After ejaculating 5 million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, BP doled out $750 million to state and local governments in a panicked attempt to seem less evil. The states, being dutiful stewards of the environment, directed the money to cleanup and mitigation. Kidding! No, they spent it on the Doobie Brothers and iPads.
The AP has taken out the green eyeshades and come up with a hilarious accounting of how Gulf Coast states and cities used BP's money, and lets just say the results don't go very far toward combating certain stereotypes associated with the Old South. Florida spent $560,000 for the Doobie Brothers, Kenny Loggins, and Lynyrd Skynyrd to play shows on Okaloosa Island. Charlotte Randolph, the president of Louisiana's Lafourche Parish, sent BP the bill for a new iPad, which she purchased six weeks after the leak had been capped. And this:
Lafourche Parish spokesman Brennan Matherne, who bought a new Dell laptop and accessories for $3,165, said working on the spill had worn out the computer he got just a year earlier for $2,700.
Biloxi, home to a strip of casinos overlooking the Mississippi Sound, bought 14 sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks, two boats, two dump trucks and a backhoe loader with its $1.4 million share of BP grant money.
Mayor A.J. Holloway, who drove a city-owned 2006 GMC Yukon before the spill, now has one of the vehicles the city purchased with the BP grant - a black 2011 Chevy Tahoe 1500 LT that cost more than $35,000. The city's public works director and chief engineer also are driving SUVs bought with BP money.
As long as, in the end, BP is getting screwed, who's to judge?