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January 13, 2011


Beutler took thousands in donations from Antelope Valley contractors

by Deena Winter

After learning about the cracking or spalling that’s happening on four brand-spanking-new Antelope Valley bridges in downtown Lincoln, I took a look at which companies built them, and which of those contributed to Mayor Chris Beutler’s campaign war chest since he took office.
No surprise, three of the companies have given thousands to Beutler since 2007.
Of course, many of the construction, design and engineering companies that have worked on big Lincoln projects give money to politicians. Many of the companies now doing arena work have given thousands of dollars to Beutler (and a few other local politicians) in recent years.
The city has not yet determined what is causing the spalling on four Antelope Valley bridges– which recently caused a chunk of concrete to fall off the O Street bridge, so we don’t have a person or company to point our finger at.
But as an aside, here are Antelope Valley contractors who gave money to Beutler in recent years (this doesn’t count donations from individuals who work for the companies):
• Hawkins Construction Co. — the primary contractor for two of the bridges (with multiple subcontractors) — has donated $7,000 to Beutler.
• PB Americas — the company in charge of both design and engineering for all of the bridges — has donated $6,500 to Beutler.
• HWS — one of PB’s design subcontractors — donated $4,000 to Beutler.

5 Comments Post a comment
  1. Jane H Kinsey
    Jan 13 2011

    HWS is the company that did the environmental study for Arena area. The companies and politicians are all in league together.
    We have to stop it!

  2. Cindy
    Jan 14 2011

    If I’m reading these campaign finance reports right, it looks like Beutler has raised about a half million dollars between the ’07 campaign and now. So, these “questionable” contributions account for about 3.5% of his total fundraising. I can also see that these companies also gave to Beutler’s opponent Ken Svoboda in ’07.

    What exactly is your point here Deena?

  3. Jan 14 2011

    I’m not suggesting malfeasance, I am interested in transparency. When I said “no surprise,” I’m saying it’s not a surprise that these companies donated to him AND OTHERS, as I said. Just the facts, ma’am.

  4. Ken
    Jan 19 2011

    You make it sound like Beutler received a lot of money and then you tell us it was $7,000, $6,500 and $4,000 respectively. Sounds like chump change to me. I am not sure what you are trying to tell us. Don’t make it sound like it was some huge amount.

  5. Matt Van Essen
    Jan 21 2011

    Has anyone looked into the LES Central Reliability Project? I have been wondering why the the LES board members voted to spend $52 million to put the transmission line underground instead of $4 million to put it above ground. The ratepayers will bear the cost of this. I was told that Mayor Beutler was eager to have this line buried, but didn’t want anyone to know that he was eager to bury it. When I wrote the Mayor’s office, he said he had nothing to do with it, the decision was up to the board. I have since been told that the board is all appointed by the mayor. I have been curious if there are certain companies or unions who will be working on this project who are contributing to Mayor Beutler’s campaign or if he stands to gain personally from this obvious financial boondoggle.

    I also wonder if “Nebraskans for Peace”, “Cat Lovers Against the Bomb”, or “Transmission Line Buriers Local 101” or some other useless organization bused homeless people to the LES open houses to testify in favor of burying the line. Why didn’t LES just put a vote to all LES ratepayers? The system for soliciting public input is susceptible to abuse and should be scrapped.

    Now, I am aware that I need to be educated on “the process” of how the Mayor, the City Council, the LES Board Members all play into these decisons. I’m sure there are those who will be happy to educate me.


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