Saturday, November 3, 2007

Defense contractor is a non-profit charity

Concurrent Technologies, just one of Rep. John Murtha's earmark-funded home district projects. From the Washington Post:

Concurrent Technologies began two decades ago doing metalworking research in Pennsylvania's struggling rust belt. In the years since, the Johnstown, Pa., company has become a federal contracting chameleon.

It is an intelligence adviser, an environmental consultant and a software engineering specialist. It has trained mine-detecting dogs and managed religion-based initiatives. It oversees construction projects, organizes conferences and studies ways to use hydrogen for fuel in Pennsylvania and South Carolina. Missile-defense research is part of its portfolio. So is the development of special armor for combat vehicles in Iraq and "solid waste technology" in Florida.

And it is a nonprofit charity.

Behind the rise of Concurrent is Rep. John P. Murtha (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee's defense subcommittee, who helped arrange funding to launch the organization in 1988. Murtha has since arranged millions of dollars more in directed congressional appropriations called earmarks. Now Concurrent has nearly $250 million in annual revenue and 1,500 employees.
It's a floor wax and a dessert topping! How do dey do dat?
Unlike many other big contractors, Concurrent pays no income tax on most of its revenue. Unlike nonprofit, federally funded research-and-development corporations, it is not chartered by the federal government.

According to Concurrent's chief financial officer, Edward J. Sheehan Jr., the Internal Revenue Service approved Concurrent as a charity because it "lessens the burden on governance" and helps "the federal government and American industry to perform more effectively through the use of emerging technologies."
Oh. ˙ǝsuǝs sǝʞɐɯ ʇɐɥʇ 'uǝɥʇ llǝʍ

Comments are interesting, for once, at the WaPo. From ThatPoliticalBlog, via Glenn Reynolds.