What is the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure?
The Department of Energy is denying Murtha's claim that it supports his $1 million earmark request to fund this Center. DoE spokeswoman Anne Kolton said that the earmark is not a program that meets the department's "mission-critical" threshold, noting it was "inconsistent" with the department's 2008 budget.
* * * * *
A million bucks paid by you is small change compared to debating the entire federal budget of $2.8 trillion, but what it goes to is pretty shady.
Just what is the Center for Instrumented Critical Infrastructure? A long-winded corporate term for some project designed to make citizens think that this thing is about safety or security? A search through Yahoo or Google does not turn up anything substantial.
On the House floor Tuesday, Republican Rep. Jeff Flake of Arizona questioned Democratic Rep. Peter J. Visclosky of Indiana who is Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee about this Center. Visclosky admitted that he didn't have a clue.
After a lengthy back-and-forth, Flake, complaining that his staff couldn't find a website for the center, asked Visclosky, "Does the center currently exist?"
"At this time, I do not know," the Indiana Democrat replied. "But if it does not exist, the monies could not go to it."
Perhaps he should ask Pennsylvania Democrat John P. Murtha. He's the sponsor for this earmark. He also did not show up to defend this so-called Center. Supposedly, the Center is part of a corporation called Concurrent Technologies (link to their web site), which is based in Johnstown, PA.
Yet Flake's attempt to get rid of that earmark failed 98 to 326. Even though Visclosky admitted he did not know what the Center is about, the Democrats still chose to support the earmark.
Here is where it gets interesting. Concurrent Technologies Corporation (CTC) is actually a Section 501(c)(3) entity. Their 2005 Form 990 reports no direct support from the public (charitable contributions), yet it has received over $116 million in government grants in that year.
It would seem that back in 1988, Murtha asked the University of Pittsburgh to form a non-profit entity that would focus on excellence in metalworking. This entity would receive funding from the Navy. Over the years, this non-profit became CTC. It would seem that this "corporation" is totally funded by earmarks. The New York Times believe that CTC has been paid almost $1 billion in grants and contracts. From 2002, it would seem that most of the members of the CTC board and directors have contributed to Murtha's campaign.
Daniel DeVos, president of CTC is part of the PMA Group, one of Murtha's largest overall campaign-funders.
Note also that Murtha slipped in a few earmarks for Concurrent back in May for the Intelligence Authorization bill. It contained $5.5 million for CTC for a mobile missile monitoring system and intelligence training. Of course it got cut in half during the House-Senate conference of the bill.
Also interesting is a June 2007 press release by Murtha about Concurrent Technologies being listed by Washington Technology magazine in their top 100 government contractors as well as being nominated for the 2007 Secretary of Defense Employer Support Freedom Award for its continuing support of employees who serve in the National Guard and Reserve.
Redstate - This is a problem
Crypt's Blog - What's in your wallet?