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Commentary; A Nice Little War to Fill the Coffers
Los Angeles Times - Los Angeles, Calif.
Subjects: Financial performance; Campaign contributions; Defense contracts; Political finance; Postwar reconstruction
Author: Juhasz, Antonia
Date: Oct 14, 2004
Start Page: B.13
Section: California Metro; Part B; Editorial Pages Desk
Abstract (Document Summary)

Not surprisingly, some of the profits generated by the war in Iraq appear to be making their way into Republican Party coffers. According to the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, each of these corporations is among the leaders in its industry in 2003- 2004 election-cycle contributions, with most of the donations going to Republicans. Halliburton funneled 85% of its $165,949 in contributions to Republicans. ChevronTexaco donated 83% of $367,731 in political contributions to Republicans. Lockheed, whose contribution total of $1,397,132 is more than the contributions of the other three corporations combined, gave 59% to Republicans, and Bechtel, 53% of $199,847.

For example, Bechtel's contracts include the rehabilitation of Iraq's water and sewer systems. Bechtel also is one of the world's top 10 private water companies, with interests in more than 200 water and wastewater treatment plants worldwide. Last month, the Baghdad Water Authority announced plans to distribute questionnaires to discern its customers' willingness to pay for their utilities. In April, Iraq's minister of public works told the Independent that Iraq was considering privatizing its water industry to "fund essential works."

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