Reuters Exploits Halliburton-Katrina Connection

September 11th, 2005 12:03 PM

On September 3, a question was asked here: “How Will Hurricane-Related Halliburton Contract Be Reported?” Yesterday, Reuters answered this with an article entitled “Firms With Bush Ties Snag Katrina Deals.”

“Companies with ties to the Bush White House and the former head of FEMA are clinching some of the administration's first disaster relief and reconstruction contracts in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

“At least two major corporate clients of lobbyist Joe Allbaugh, President George W. Bush's former campaign manager and a former head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, have already been tapped to start recovery work along the battered Gulf Coast.

“One is Shaw Group Inc. and the other is Halliburton Co. subsidiary Kellogg Brown and Root. Vice President Dick Cheney is a former head of Halliburton.”

A lot of focus was given to Vice President Cheney in this article:

“Halliburton continues to be a source of income for Cheney, who served as its chief executive officer from 1995 until 2000 when he joined the Republican ticket for the White House. According to tax filings released in April, Cheney's income included $194,852 in deferred pay from the company, which has also won billion-dollar government contracts in Iraq.”

Unfortunately, the article failed to mention:

  • Halliburton is one of few companies nationally that are qualified for the reconstruction work necessary in New Orleans
  • Cheney sold off all of his Halliburton stock and options prior to assuming the position of vice president in January 2001
  • His current income from Halliburton is derived from retirement accounts that he has either already paid into or from deferred compensation that he is entitled to receive as a former employee of that company

Update 21:00 from Matthew Sheffield: Michelle Malkin catches journalists in a related error. She notes how CNN and other outlets focus on the fact that another cleanup company, The Shaw Group, has hired the lobbying services of Joe Allbaugh, the Bush admin's former FEMA director. Left out of the coverage, however, is that Jim Bernhard, the founder and CEO of the company, is chairman of the Louisiana Democratic Party.