Welcome to the blog for Wonderland Advocacy Research. In addition to Oppo/Policy research for our clients, occasionally we uncover information that is important to the public interest as a whole and thus, should be shared. In doing so, we hope to continue our purpose of "bringing to light that which others would prefer to remain hidden."
This week, Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, New Jersey, has hit the media with accusations that NJ Lieutenant Governor, Kim Guadagno, threatened to withhold Hurricane Sandy Relief funding if Zimmer didn't throw her support behind a Rockefeller development project.
Zimmer claimed earlier this week in aninterview with MSNBCthat, on May 13, 2013, she was approached by Lt. Governor Guadagno who suggested that the release of Hurricane Sandy Relief funds was contingent upon Zimmer's support of the "Rockefeller Project." According to Zimmer, Guadango was speaking on behalf of Governor Chris Christie when she gave the ultimatum to the Hoboken Mayor.
In a personal diary account submitted to the media, Mayor Zimmer allegedly wrote on May 15, 2013:
"'At the end of a big tour of ShopRite and meeting, she [Lt. Governor Guadango] pulls me aside with no one else around and says that I need to move forward with the Rockefeller project. It is very important to the governor. The word is that you are against it and you need to move forward or we are not going to be able to help you. I know it’s not right – these things should not be connected – but they are, she says, and if you tell anyone, I will deny it.'”
The international project, developed in celebration of the Foundation's 100th Anniversary was created to help cities develop planning and infrastructure to protect against weather-related disasters. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal on May 14, 2013, Rockefeller Foundation President, Dr. Judith Rodin, specifically mentions Hurricane Sandy and its devastating aftermath. The project is intended to reach cities in the United States and abroad.
Just 8 days later, on May 22, 2013,it was announced that a portion of the Rockefeller project known as the "Re. Investment Initiative" had chosen eight U.S. citiesas recipients of funding for a "two-year study to look into how to solve flooding and other storm-water infrastructure problems."
One of those first eight cities was Hoboken, New Jersey.
Dawn Zimmer, Mayor of Hoboken, NJ
The award was announced the same day on the Official Webpage for the City of Hoboken, NJ, with Hoboken Mayor, Dawn Zimmer quoted as saying:
"'We are thrilled to be one of the first cities in the country chosen for this innovative partnership to develop and finance sustainable solutions to address our flooding, transportation, and other infrastructure challenges,' said Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer. 'The tremendous technical and financial guidance provided through the RE.invest Initiative will facilitate Hoboken becoming a more resilient community.'”
ACCENTURE LLP, the Obama Administration’s choice to take-over 'rescue operations' at Healthcare.gov, has a history of committing fraud, waste, and abuse in its contracts with other Federal agencies like the Department of Education (DOE) and the United States Postal Service (USPS).
Just seven months ago, the Postal Service Inspector General’s office issued a “Management Alert” to outline “potential fraud risks associated with Accenture Federal Services Contracting Practices…”
In the June 2013 document, the Deputy Inspector General for the Postal Service recommended:
“The Postal Service should consider Accenture for suspension or debarment and review existing contracts to determine whether the contracts warrant termination. This action would protect the Postal Service’s financial interest from unethical, dishonest, or otherwise irresponsible supplier practices.”
The letter expressed concerns about a 2012 audit for USPS conducted by the Defense Contract Audit Agency (DCAA). DCAA investigated Accenture’s Postal Service cost-estimating practices and found eight major deficiencies.
During the DCAA audit, it was noted that Accenture “refused to provide historical cost and pricing data on the projects it had completed for the Postal Service when requested.”
The Memorandum also details previous allegations brought against Accenture, including a 2011 agreement in which Accenture opted to pay $63.6 million to settle a whistleblower lawsuit filed by Department of Justice.
The case charged that Accenture had engaged in fraudulent practices involving kick-backs, price-gouging, and bid-rigging while under contract with several Government agencies. According to a September 2011 press release, the suit was handled by the Department of Justice with assistance from seven other Federal Agencies.
In a November 2011report to Congress, the Inspector General for theUnited States Department of Education indicated that the DOE had also been a party in the Justice Department lawsuit against Accenture:
“The settlement includes $3 million in payments made to Accenture by the Department [of Education] as a result of the contractor’s alleged false claims.”
Accenture’s legal troubles and shady practices don’t appear to be limited to its work within the Federal Government.
In May 2013, a Federal Appeals Court reaffirmed a judgement against Accenture for $44.4 million. Accenture was ordered to pay $26.2 million in compensatory damages and $18.2 million in punitive damages to Wellogix, Inc for “misappropriating” the Wellogix’s trade secrets by stealing the software company’s technology, source codes, and design specifications.
With multiple allegations of abuse, fraud, and theft, one has to question the Obama Administration’s wisdom in choosing Accenture LLP as the new lead contractor for Healthcare.gov.
As the Inspector General for the Postal Service so succinctly stated just a few months ago:
“Accenture’s actions demonstrate questionable business integrity.”
The rollout of PPACA, better known as Obamcare, has left many Americans steeped in uncertainty with concerns about cancelled plans, rising premiums, employer mandates, potential penalties, whacked out websites, and doctor availability- among others things...
However, there is one group of Americans that need not worry about where, when, or how to sign-up for Obamacare.
If you are incarcerated,
the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS), the folks that run Healthcare.gov, want you to know that you are "Exempt from the Shared Responsibility Payment for Individuals."
That's right!...Just fill out the form, and unlike most Americans, you can be exempt fromthe IRS requirements under the Obamacare law.
The Administration will grant you an exemption from your share of the burden and you won't be penalized by the IRS for not participating. Whether you're a petty criminal or a hardcore felon, as long as you are in jail, you don't have to worry your pretty little head about Obamacare.