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When will Republicans modernize? Kickbacks are so old-fashioned

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Campaign Troika: Gov. Susana Martinez, Heather Wilson, Sen. Marco Rubio

Former U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson collected nearly half a million dollars in questionable payments from four federally funded nuclear labs after she left office, the Energy Department’s inspector general says in a new report.

Wilson failed to provide documentation for the work she did to earn $20,000 a month from the Los Alamos and Sandia national labs in New Mexico from January 2009 to March 2011, the report said. Officials at the Nevada Test Site and Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee acknowledged there “were no deliverables” associated with $30,000 the two labs paid Wilson. And Sandia and Los Alamos appear to have asked Wilson to help them secure more work for the labs, an apparent violation of her contract, the report said.

In total, nearly $450,000 in questionable payments were identified, the bulk from Los Alamos and Sandia.

The contractors that run the labs billed the payments to the government, “even though they did not receive evidence that work performed under the agreements had been completed,” the report said. The payments were fully reimbursed by the government

The report called Wilson’s agreements with the labs unusual and in some cases “highly irregular.” And it said the agreements and the lab operators failed to include or enforce “even minimum” invoicing standards required under federal regulations.

Wilson, a Republican who represented New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District, collected much of the money in between two unsuccessful runs for the U.S. Senate. She was defeated last year by Democrat Martin Heinrich during a campaign that highlighted her connections to Los Alamos and Sandia. The labs conduct classified research on nuclear weapons…

During the 2012 Senate campaign, the AP sought copies of Wilson’s contracts with the labs after she disclosed income from Los Alamos, Sandia and Oak Ridge. And all three labs called the documents confidential.

Well – we’re not supposed to question anything the government and their security monkeys say is “confidential”. Right?

Meanwhile, stealing from the American people – whether it’s to pay for shiny nuclear weapons or the latest gear to snoop on our online conversations – is always the favorite hustle for the military-industrial mafia.

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Written by Ed Campbell

June 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

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