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Bechtel´s Political Ties Draw Criticism

Bechtel Corporation has a talent for building political bridges, as well as a history of creating landmarks like the Hoover Dam. The company´s political clout didn´t go unnoticed as federal authorities decided which company would win the contracts to rebuild Iraq.

But Bechtel´s ties to some Republican party leaders have critics worried that the company enjoyed an unfair advantage in bidding for the contracts.

Federal authorities announced Thursday that Bechtel won the initial contract for $34.6 million. That figure will surely grow over the next 18 months. The deal could be worth more than its projected $680 million price tag, because the winning bidder is expected to become the frontrunner for future business as the U.S. invests up to $100 billion to help rebuild Iraq.