September 11 recovery money diverted to large international corporations

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Last month, a bipartisan group of Congresspeople, in a rare display of doing what we elected them to do, turned the heat up on the Bush administration over the fact that so many Katrina recovery contracts had gone to large corporations in the usual Bush no-bid way. As a result, the contracts were re-bid.

Pity such a group wasn’t around after September 11. The New York Daily News has put together a report on where the September 11 recovery money went, and–surprise, surprise–much of it, though pledged to small businesses, went instead to large international corporations.

Among the companies getting the hundreds of millions of dollars handed out by the federal government was a stock brokerage firm that had closed over a month before the attacks took place. The company, which applied for a grant, received $150,000, and its sister corporation received over $50,000. 4U Services, a technology consulting firm, received so many grants and loans that the total amount of relief was $640 million.

Empire State Development Corp., a company with no experience in providing disaster relief, created five grant programs and two loan programs, and the money flowed.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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