From the Heartland: Whitefish Still Waiting to Get Paid
Even I'm surprised at the lack of attention this story is now getting.
Everybody and their mother in the news media and in politics piled on to Whitefish Energy a couple years ago. But now that it's been shown that Whitefish got the job done, and still isn't being paid- you'd think all the groupies who piled on two years ago would now be willing to come forward and admit that they they got it wrong and rushed to judgement.
Admit they were wrong? Admit that they bashed a Montana company and cost them a major contract without getting their facts? Even I shouldn't be that optimistic.
For those who missed it, over two weeks ago I interviewed the CEO of Whitefish Energy. This interview followed a report by Bloomberg News. Other than that, I haven't seen any coverage of this big story.
Former Daily Inter Lake editor Frank Miele has this follow up on his Heartland Diary USA blog:
You probably remember the story because Techmanski’s name was dragged through the mud for months by the Fake News Media. No one could believe that a tiny Montana company could have the ingenuity, foresight and skill to restore electric power to a Caribbean island thousands of miles away. So a bunch of vulture reporters and their Democratic allies in Congress tried to find a scandal where there was none.
Even the Bloomberg interview was tainted by a bizarre headline that further victimized Techmanski while supposedly promoting is point of view. The story is published as “CEO Who Didn’t Get Arrested Says He Just Wants to Get Paid.” What in God’s name does that mean? Was there ever any suggestion that Techmanski was going to be arrested? Not that I’m aware of. The only people who were arrested were FEMA officials and the president of another electrical contractor that had nothing to do with Whitefish Energy.
PRIOR POST FROM OCTOBER 15, 2019
They got the job done, and now they're not getting paid.
Remember Whitefish Energy? They're the Montana company that got viciously attacked with unsubstantiated allegations--allegations which led to the company losing out on a $300 million contract.
It all started about two years ago after Whitefish Energy was awarded the contract to restore power to Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria. Many in the media and in the Democrat Party seized on the Whitefish Energy story and attacked the Montana company for landing the contract, claiming that the company only landed the business because they were from the same Montana town as then-Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke.
Whitefish was forced to pull out of Puerto Rico, despite actually getting the job done in the one month they were on the ground restoring power to 50% of the island. The work basically ground to a halt after Whitefish was forced to leave.
But now here we are nearly two years later, and Whitefish isn't being paid for the work they got done, as Bloomberg News recently reported.
Why did Democrats and Republicans alike fail to stand up for this company? Should Montana's elected officials apologize to Whitefish Energy? And, how can Montanans make sure this Montana business gets paid? Check out our full exclusive interview with Whitefish Energy CEO Andy Techmanski below:
PRIOR POST FROM FEB 14, 2018
I remember the news last Fall. A Whitefish company lands $300 million contract to help Puerto Rico. It seemed like nearly simultaneously there was also a headline about the State of Montana being $300 million in the hole, and being forced into a special session of the legislature.
While the stories are not necessarily related, I recall finding it quite odd that some of the same politicians worried about needing to find more revenue for the state budget, were some of the same politicians who were quick to bail on a Montana company for nabbing a large contract.
That's why I found this column by The Daily Inter Lake's Frank Miele so interesting. The headline: Maybe Whitefish Energy Wasn't So Bad After All?
Here's an excerpt:
You’ll no doubt remember that Whitefish Energy spent time in the dock as public enemy No. 1 last year after it won a $300 million contract from the island territory to restore power in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
As a result of the public outrage, Whitefish Energy lost the contract after just one month and completed its work in late November after restoring power to approximately 50 percent of the devastated island. Lo and behold, it is now two and a half months later, and according to the Voice of America, power has been restored to just 60 percent of the island. In other words, work has slowed to a crawl since Whitefish Energy was removed from the project.
Miele sums it up by saying, "the only reason why Whitefish Energy lost the contract was politics."