Just when people need the government most, is when you will find politicians at their sleaziest.
Over a month after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, about three-quarters of the Island is still without power.
But rather than respond in the best interest of citizens, the government engaged in a crony deal with an inadequate energy company. Puerto Rico gave a $300 million contract to rebuild their power infrastructure to the company Whitefish Energy.
The public later learned that the company only planned to send 300 employees to the island. With such a small crew, it would take years to fully restore power to Puerto Rico.
Whitefish Energy is based in the small Montana town of Whitefish. A local news station visited the headquarters and found that it was based out of a rural residence.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke is also from the small town of Whitefish, Montana. He denies that he had anything to do with the contract.
Zinke is already embroiled in a handful of other scandals, involving chartering expensive flights with tax dollars, and attending donor events while on duty, which means he paid for travel with tax dollars.
We still don't know how exactly the two-year-old company Whitefish landed the no-bid contract. But it is quite clear that it is not because of their ability as a company. For starters, the company only has two full-time permanent employees. The company has never worked on a project with the magnitude of rebuilding Puerto Rico's power structure.
The contract has now been canceled by Puerto Rican authorities, but that decision takes 30 days to go into effect. In the meantime, the company will receive $30 million for already completed work.
Puerto Rican officials, however, have wasted precious time and resources. The controversy is expected to delay the restoration of power to Puerto Rico by over a dozen weeks.
The great irony of situations like these is that when the government is most needed, they take the most advantage. In a crisis, the government could shine by quickly helping the people affected. But instead, they all too often prove just how untrustworthy they are.
Some people think of government as an insurance policy. You may not need much government protection on a daily basis, but what about when disaster strikes? Who will rescue the people?
This is one of many examples that shows much of what government does is make-believe. They offer a false sense of security. It is all for show. They talk big, and present themselves as important. But when it comes time to act quickly in order to avoid human suffering, they reveal the true nature of government. That nature ranges from corruption to incompetence.