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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Minority rule, corruption, disinformation, attacks on those who dare tell the truth: There is a direct line from what's happening in Russia and Ukraine to what's happening here at home. And that's what MoJo's Monika Bauerlein writes about in "Their Fight Is Our Fight" to unpack the information war we find ourselves in and share a few examples to show why the power of independent, reader-supported journalism is such a threat to authoritarians.

Corrupt leaders the world over can (and will) try to shut down the truth, but when the truth has millions of people on its side, you can't keep it down for good. And there's no more powerful or urgent argument for your support of Mother Jones' journalism right now than that. We need to raise about $450,000 to hit our online fundraising budget in these next few months, so please read more from Monika and pitch in if you can.

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