The Daily Caller has what it clearly considers to be a scoop:
First Lady Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company that earned the contract to build the failed Obamacare website.The Caller story continues:
Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of '85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal, which earned the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment website at Healthcare.gov....
Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle Obama are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.I'm not sure what (BLACK) those references to Gabon and the fact (BLACK) that Townes-Whitley is an African-American working mother are meant to suggest (BLACK) about this alleged cronyism (BLACK), but I'm sure there's a connection (BLACK).
Toni Townes '85 is a onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office and previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa. Her decision to return to work, as an African-American woman, after six years of raising kids was applauded by a Princeton alumni publication in 1998.
In any case, what about the fact that CGI employs this classmate of Michelle's? Doesn't that suggest that the company is in the tank for the Obamas?
BuzzFeed's Steve Friess answered that question a week ago:
... according to Federal Election Commission records, [CGI's] PAC gave more to House Republicans than House Democrats during the 2012 cycle -- including a $2,000 check for the GOP's chief scandal investigator, Oversight Committee Chair Darrell Issa. What's more, executives of CGI Federal personally gave more than twice as much to GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney than to President Obama. The contractor has also feasted on more than $2.4 billion worth of IT work dating back to the early Bush Administration.Friess argues that one problem in this situation is contractor complacency:
... CGI's first federal contract for IT work started in 2001....
In fact, USASpending.gov, the federal site tracking government contracts, shows CGI has been the contractor of choice for a wide range of computer systems work throughout the Bush Administration, including hundreds of multimillion-dollar contracts for the Departments of Defense, Agriculture and Health and Human Services.
The contract under which CGI did the Obamacare website work, in fact, began in 2007 as a contract with HHS to handle Medicare and Medicaid IT.
Federal contracting rules ... favor entrenched, large companies with track records....If the best way to get a federal contract is to be a company that's already obtained a lot of federal contracts, that seems like a plausible, if partial, explanation for what went wrong here.
Clay Johnson, a former Presidential Innovation Fellow under Obama who has excoriated the White House and HHS for its handling of the site, ... believes the problem stems from the procurement process and the biases that keep small, nimble tech start-ups from getting this kind of work.