Monday, May 07, 2007

Pumps, pumps, pumps....and a man called Booga

Retraction: An anon commenter pointed out that the first sentence in this post is incorrect and indeed it is. I was unaware that the pumps purchased from MWI are only used when the floodgates close, so the MWI pumps still haven't actually been put to the test. The anon also stated that the power to the existing pumps was cut and this is what actually caused the city to flood on Friday...I don't know if this is correct or not.

On their first real test....the pumps worked. We had a massive storm come through on the Kentucky adage goes..."It was rainin' like a cow pissin' on a flat rock."

The city did flood but the pumps were not to blame, we simply had too much rain too quickly to get the water out. Of course it had to happen during Jazzfest when the city was filled with tourists...they now know the reality of living below sea level.

Most people also know that the Army Corps. of Engineers gave the 26 million dollar pump contract to the MWI Corporation, based in Deerfield Beech, Florida. The company's president, J. David Eller was a former business parnter with Florida Governor, Jeb Bush. In 1989 Bush formed a company called, Bush-El, which served as a marketing company to sell the pumps to foreign countries.

What many people don't know is that in 2002, the U.S. Department of Justice charged MWI with fraud. The DOJ claimed that while Jeb's dad, George, was president, MWI fraudulently helped the country of Nigeria garner $74 million in U.S. taxpayer backed loans from the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The money was then used by the Nigerian government to buy pumps from MWI.

The pickle is....the country didn't need the pumps. Most of the pumps ended up dorment, rusting in a field.

Jeb brokered the deal with the Nigerian government after traveling to the country in 1989 where he was greeted by Nigerian brass with a parade of 1300 horses in his honor. Apparently Bush convinced them they needed the pumps which I'm sure involved a healthy kickback to the Nigerian officials who decided they suddenly needed industrial water pumps.

Jeb claims he had nothing to do with the loans themselves. The Export-Import Bank is a U.S. government entity whose board members are appointed by the President...once again at the time the loans were granted to Nigeria, George H. Bush was the seated president. The Export-Import Bank claims Nigeria payed back the loans with interest.

The investigation was never completed by the DOJ, and the charges were subsequently dropped.

So MWI seems to do most of their business in third world suprise they supplied New Orleans with pumps. But how did they get the contract with A.C.E.?

An AZ reader has informed me that the deal was cut with MWI before anyone else knew the bid solicitation was even in the works. Enter a below-the-radar company from Houma, Associated Pump and Supply, Inc. The company is owned by a guy named Louis "Booga" Klingman who is the exclusive Louisiana representative for MWI. "Booga" caught wind that the pump deal was coming down the pipe well before it was public knowledge. He wined and dined the Corps. reps and was no doubt the source for the MWI specs. which the "Corpse" brass used to write the bid. There is even speculation that "Booga" may have actually written the specs. himself for the A.C.E. bid.

I'm curious if the pumps were actually purchased directly from MWI or if they were purchased through Booga's company, Associated Pumps and Supply, Inc. According to this article in Houma Today ....Booga did indeed get the contract for 26 million. It would appear his company essentially served as a broker for MWI. I'm curious how much Booga netted out of that 26 million.

Read more at da po' blog and Fix the Pumps


Anonymous said...

No to the opening statement. The MWI pumps are at the floodgates. AFAIK those weren't even in consideration Friday, nor will they be until the floodgates go down.

And the city flooded because the power to the regular pumps was cut.

Anonymous said...

"AFAIK those weren't even in consideration Friday, nor will they be until the floodgates go down." Hmmmm. Until the floogates go down, which would be after the diver(s) swim down to make sure the gates aren't impeded by sediment or debris, er, as the tropical event approaches. Why does that make me so uneasy?

The little Houma blip was a great find, Ashe.

Jason Brad Berry said...

Yeah, you know...i'm really suprised there isn't more action on this post. This is pretty interesting development in this story. This guy, Booga, seems to be the pivot point in this whole deal.

Anonymous said...

Well I see how someone as uninformed and sophomoric as you could spill such ridiculous, unsubstantiated tripe about Associated Pump and Mr Klingman. You know nothing of either. As far as MWI's past, I admit that I am uninformned, but after reading most of your June and May of '07 complaints, as well as your dissertaion regarding MWI, the one thing of which I am certain is that I still am "uninformed". It must be nice to sit up on your "high horse" as an uninformed boob and throw your crap down at the poor huddled masses. However, sir, there are fewer and fewer targets for your venom, so you now turn to Mr Klingman, Booga. Sir, Booga has worked damn hard for many years to build a reputable, well respected pump and related equipment business in Houma. His business accumen and very hard and often still very dirty, hot, greasy work (Booga is not afraid to deliver to his customers everything promised no matter what it requires from him). So, the city of N.O. will also benefit from his efforts. MWI and Mr. Klingman/Associated Pumps have busted their collective behinds to make certain that the pumps will be operable and working efficiently before another catastrophic event. Get this straigt, Mr. Smartass, all pumps have maximum capacities, so theoretically any pump can be swamped and inefficient when that thresh-hold is breached....Hell, look at Dallas the last 24 hours. Why don't you try to get it right just once, please. There was a problem with the pumps, but it was not the original equipment manufacturer and the problems, once noted, were immediately addressed by all concerned and at no cost to the city. Everyone involved is working hard and doing their utmost, including Booga, to be sure N.O. is protected. As far as Booga getting an edge on the competition: NEWS FLASH DUDE---EVERY OTHER PUMP COMPANY IN LA AND SURROUNDING PARTS ONLY WISH THEY HAD DONE THE SAME THING. Due to Booga's past work with the city and his excellent reputation and due to the fact he was in the right place at the right time, because he works very hard (he is not using political connections like so many others do in your screwed up city government). I see, in your twisted mind, Booga should have called all his competitors, including the one that no doubt put your sorry excuse for a blogger up to the task of defaming MWI and Mr Klingman, right??? Man, grow the hell up. Get a friggin grip, every pump company and cell phone company and fabricator and suppliers of all types of equipment
fight everyday for the advantage, if there was indeed one at all, that Booga got by working hard and delivering quality goods and services to your city....after all, is that not what you want, or would you just rather sit around like a cry baby and complain about everything????

Anonymous said...

Booga is the local "vendor" for MWI. Look on any suppliers webpage and when you hit the "contact us" button, most will always ask you your location, then....bamm a vendor name pops up. You got it right as far as Booga being the pivot man, OF COURSE HE IS THE PIVOT MAN, HE IS THE PUMP MANUFACTURERS REP! Anonymous got it right. The pumps are fine, the only thing that went wrong with the pumping system when it was tested was a faulty component within the hydraulic pump which actually drives the pump head. this was changed and they work fine. Also for people that heard that the pumps didn't work correctly after the hydraulic pump was fixed it was b/c when the COE tested them, there was not enough water in the drainage basin. These pumps are design to operate within a certain range, that range happens to be when the flood gates are closed and the water is rising within the basin. There is always some sort of political deals going on in LA, its part of business. Is it right? No, but its part of the game. The city of NOLA flooded b/c of ignorant politicians not spending money on the right 'fixes' for their city. Period. If you want to complain about unfair business practices, research into the Disaster Business and all the crooked muthas that made out like bandits. Look up one in particular who operates in Slidell,LA.

Jason Brad Berry said...

- If you want to complain about unfair business practices, research into the Disaster Business and all the crooked muthas that made out like bandits. Look up one in particular who operates in Slidell,LA.

Do names and I will air it out.