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9323: Pina comments on "Ira Kurzban-super salesman??" (fwd)

From: kevin pina <kpinbox@hotmail.com>

While reading Mr. Durban's comments on the information released by Mr. 
Lucas, I am reminded of that wonderful adage that a little bit of knowledge 
can be a dangerous thing.

A case in point: I remember when I first learned of the Ministry of the 
Environment's lack of funds to complete the waste removal from Gonaives in 
early 2000. You folks remember that little environmental disaster created by 
the dumping of Philadelphia waste ash on Haiti's shores? The clean-up effort 
had come to a screeching halt and funds were being held up in NY due to 
internecine brawls among US contractors managing the project. After close 
scrutiny of the situation and the players involved, I concluded it would 
take nothing short of a miracle to put the project back on track.

As we all know, the clean up was finally completed with the waste removed 
from Haiti and successfully returned back to the US. I would like to 
emphasize here that the international law involved and complexity of the 
negotiations made this no small feat. Few know however, that this was 
largely due to the intervention of Mr. Kurzban and his legal team who 
initially invested their own funds and resources to resuscitate the clean-up 
effort and see it through to completion. This is but one example where Mr. 
Kurzban has committed his personal strength and resources, and those of his 
law firm, towards advancement and progress in Haiti. He puts his money where 
his mouth is. If his detractors could point to similar and tangible results, 
on behalf of their own efforts in Haiti, it would lend great credence to 
their attacks. Alas, I fear they cannot.

I completely support the release and dissemination of public information and 
I am grateful Mr. Lucas brought this to our attention. In that spirit, I 
would like to ask if he can direct us to a public source for financial 
information about the International Republican Institute's USAID contract 
for the "Democracy Enhancement" project? How much was the total USAID 
contract awarded to the International Republican Institute for the 
"Democracy Enhancement" project? How much was his personal salary and that 
of his staff during his tenure as director including "hazard pay"? What was 
the expense account figures over and above the payment of salaries? Lastly, 
given that the result has been the formation of a small and unpopular 
"opposition" whose only claim to fame has been the ability to block much 
needed assistance and loans to Haiti, would he consider it a success and 
money well spent on behalf of the American people?  After all, it was US 
taxpayer dollars that paid Mr. Lucas's salary and foot the bill for all of 
this unless Mr. Lucas made personal contributions to the effort that we 
unaware of.

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