The local lobbyists for the military industrial complex, that creature against which Ike Eisenhower warned us, have been given control over a $177 million loan to refurbish the 6 military bases in Massachusetts, and they have been given these funds with no requirement for transparency or accountability.
It is our money getting handed over without control.
The six bases are Hanscom Air Force Base in Bedford; the Army’s Natick Soldier Systems Center; the Fort Devens training facility; the National Guard facility at Joint Base Cape Cod; Westover Air Force Reserve Base; and Barnes Air National Guard Base.
Mo Cowan, who stepped in to cover the remainder of John Kerry’s time as senator when he became Secretary of State until the special election, is not only the person in charge, but he is a lobbyist for Lockheed Martin which is a client of ML Strategies of which he is chief operating officer.
From what I have read, this committee doesn't even take minutes of its meetings, nor does it record votes. .
When the $177 million is spent, it will have to be paid back with interest by state taxpayers.
The sacred U.S. Military budget, which cannot be touched without cries of weakening the country even as unneeded things like tanks that just had to be purchased now sit in a desert unused because they are unnecessary, is already the largest in the world and doesn’t need this additional money.
The task force in charge of the $177 million taxpayer loan includes representatives from state agencies, the military, and the defense industry. Its job is to use the funds to persuade the Pentagon to keep the six bases open.
Meanwhile, Pentagon officials have said that base-closing decisions should presently be made on military grounds, not on local lobbying or local spending.
The “Military Bond Bill”, also known as “An Act Encouraging the Improvement, Expansion and Development of Military Installations in the Commonwealth”, H.3736, was passed by the House of Representatives on November 13, 2013 and signed by the governor just this past March is an unnecessary waste of taxpayer money, that probably will not achieve the intended objective.
There has been no comprehensive evaluation of the problem of declining military spending that justifies the bill or the money.
The Pentagon has not asked for this money.
In contrast to this unnecessary funding, 3,897 Massachusetts families have applied for Emergency Shelter in the past 9 months due to inadequate funding for housing, and unmet repairs in state public housing projects total approximately $1 billion.
Ignoring H.3211 and S.1750, the Budget for All resolution, that calls for funding human needs, and investing in jobs, while asking the rich and corporations to pay their fair share, and cutting bloated and unnecessary military spending, in spite of the resolution having been passéd by a 3-to-1 margin in 91 cities and towns across the state, it appears legislators are willing to hand over this $177 million and saddle the taxpayers with the subsequent bill.
How that $177 million is to be spent has not been determined, and with a commission who keeps no minutes and records no votes, things would appear to be a little questionable