Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CDQ battle brewing

You probably haven't heard much about it, but Alaska's Community Development Quota program is coming up for a major performance review, the first in several years.

The CDQ program is a 20-year-old federal initiative that vests six nonprofit companies with exclusive shares of the Bering Sea commercial fisheries. The companies harvest the fish and crab for the benefit of disadvantaged Western Alaska villages.

Through most of the CDQ program's history, these six companies competed fiercely with one another for the lucrative quota during periodic government reviews.

To the relief of many, the competition ended when Congress in 2006 passed legislation that set each company's quota shares more or less permanently.

The law, however, mandated a state review of the program in — you guessed it — 2012, and every 10 years thereafter.

A special panel made up of the state commissioners of commerce, labor and fish and game later this year will evaluate each company's performance in generating village prosperity.

The review has teeth — an underperformer could lose as much as 10 percent of its quota.

Now, longtime followers of the CDQ program won't be surprised to learn that some of the CDQ players aren't content to simply go through the state review.

No, some see a bigger opportunity here and are going — again, you guessed it — directly to Congress seeking a bigger share.

This is the approach of Coastal Villages Region Fund, the Anchorage-based CDQ company representing 20 communities in the Kuskokwim River area.

In the latest edition of its newsletter, Coastal says its president, vice president and staff went to Washington, D.C., in early May to ask Congress to correct the "enormous inequities that exist in the current CDQ allocations."

Already the richest of the six CDQ companies, Coastal argues it actually deserves considerably more quota given its larger constituent population.

Coastal is "asking Congress to fix the inequities that occurred in the CDQ allocations prior to 2006 so that Coastal will get its fair share."

Well, Deckboss is sure Coastal has a good argument. But he imagines the other five CDQ groups also have good arguments — and maybe have taken their own trips to D.C.


I can see an old-fashioned CDQ smackdown coming. Can't you?


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how the CDQs list all the billions of dollars worth in their efforts for "generating village prosperity" especially since they've become part of the problem that is killing off the salmon culture and tradition.

Anonymous said...

Self-enrichment and greediness will be the downfall of the CDQ free money pot.

Non-profits asking for more federal dollars to make more profit is insane to begin with.

Anonymous said...

CDQ trivia - Coastal Villages Region Fund administrators coined the phrase "Pollock Provides".

I'd like to see the list of what those monies provide for the village people. Gas money for seal hunting, money for funerals, money for gospel singsparations, money for basketball tournments and a whole lot of other trival things is my guess.

Anonymous said...

Pollock sure is providin' some big ass salaries and bonuses there at CVRF.

Anonymous said...

I heard nearly a million a year for one man to be the Native figurehead. That's been going on for several years so this figurehead is probably worth at least 12 Million on the poor peoples dime.

Anonymous said...

It'd be in the USA's best interest if Congress enacts a law for strict oversight of the CDQ program. It's pretty much been a 'free for a handful of men' since a Coast Guard rider act in 2006, which, took away state and federal oversight of the program.

Anonymous said...

The CDQ program is totally fair.
I see no reason to argue that the inland natives that can't even see the ocean, want their "traditional" share of the fisheries.
None of them want to work out here, which is what we do to make a living. Way too hard.

Anonymous said...

@June 20, 2012 11:05 AM, has it pegged. The Coast Guard bill was the WORST thing that ever happened to the CDQ program. I will never forget being at a board meeting after its passage. The whole time all I could hear was the 'Twilight' theme playing in the background. Finally, the top guys got their free-play period they had lusted for so long. As others have alluded here, simply put, not near enough $$$ has ended up in the hands of the people that the program was designed for. If there was a collapse in the pollack, all that would be left is debt and the jokers that created the debt would do a 'Corzine'.

Given the history, my guess is the whole review process will be a white-wash. The boyz at the top are extremely good at pleasuring politicians. Seen it with mine eyes!

Anonymous said...

Not only are the CDQ "boyz at the top are extremely good at pleasuring politicians.", they are also very good at "pleasuring" some important agency workers.

Anonymous said...

"The CDQ program is totally fair."

This program started out unfair to begin with. A slapdashed fix to the secret Salmon ByCatch problem of the Pollock Fishery in the 1980's. Now the CDQs are trying to out pimp each other for more of the blood money. Even they don't think it's "fair"!

Anonymous said...

The only "fair" way to dole out these billions and billions of Public Monies is to give it directly to the qualifying villages. As it is set up now, some of the CDQ villages are at the bottom of the totem poles, regulated to just the general corporation hand-outs while the Board Bullies control the biggest share for themselves and their relatives. It's tribal.

Anonymous said...

CVRF crashed once already and had to be rescued and reorganized. CVRF is probably crashing again, that's why they are crying for a bigger share of the loot. They are a perfect example of a federally funded program that is mismanaged. What the heck, it's free money anyway.

Anonymous said...

The 'racist' card will quickly be played should anyone raise any questions about how the CDQ money is used/managed.

Hey, why tap the fish funds to help out villagers who are choosing between food and fuel - when Hugo Chavez and Venezuela will donate fuel for nothing.

Anonymous said...

Poor people can't afford to let freebies slip by unclaimed.

Between Hugo and NSEDC, the poor people of Norton Sound were given $1,000 in energy relief last year. A tiny, tiny drop in a big, big bucket out here in Western Alaska.

Anonymous said...

There is no place at the table for "racist" attitudes with the managment of the CDQ funds. Racism is against the laws of the country giving those billions and billions of public dollars to the poor people of the Western Alaska Coastal villages. Yet, the exclusions are clear as a bell primarily because the majority of the people in Western Alaska are Alaskan Natives being lead by their noses to destroy their long standing tradition and culture of living off the salmon. I don't think the general village native understands the ramifications of the CDQs being involved in the Pollock Fishery. They are being manipulated because they are ignorant and illiterate. Race is being used as a weapon by a handful of hateful men.

Anonymous said...

Well, I'm very, very glad that the CDQs are going to Congress for a bigger piece of the pie. This brings them into the spotlight hopefully for a Congressional Investigation on the unregulated use of Public Monies. Unregulated Public Dollars competing against the Private Sector is abuse of trust. Big, Bad, Bad, Big.

Anonymous said...

"CDQ smackdown" as in drug use; or loudly kissing; or a small sailing vessel usually used for fishing.

Great play on words Wes.

Anonymous said...

The Western Alaska Community Development Quota program is not a "Native" program although many of the "districts" they are intended to serve have a majority of Alaska Natives within them.

Is Trevor McCabe "Alaska Native" because he sure makes a hefty paycheck ($500,000 according the Alaska Journal of Commerce, Andrew Jensen) that we know about.

Does he also have ownership interests in related entities and organizations?

His T-111 palace up on Anchorage Hillside has an annual tax bill that likely exceeds the average annual income of a Coastal Villages Region Fund district resident.

The big-fish in Congress that used to provide cover are dropping like flies.

I've read the "review" that CDQs are supposedly subject to and it was my interpretation that they are to be "self evaluations" drafted/concocted over the next 5 years.

Ted is Dead.

And we're down a Commerce Secretary.

Don is a dodo and Lisa has some fish slime to clean up around the office post-Fuglvog era.

To the crooked CDQ creeps (not all are dirty): the game is over.

Anonymous said...

More CDQ trivia: Trevor McCabe was an aide to Ted Stevens when this CDQ plan was slid in slyly to become an act of Congress.

Interesting how he became a biggie in one of the poorest and most illiterate CDQ regions in the state.

Anonymous said...

To blogger @ 10:53 PM, you are onto something when you question "Does he have ownership interests in related entities and organizations?"

Finders fees. Discretionary funds.
Adminstrative orders to the Board of Directors. Pumping the Public Dollars into LLCs as fast as they can. Keeping the public at arms length. Throwing out trinkets and scholarships like there is no tomorrow. Shallow, stink and low. So very obvious to stakeholders because some of us are dumb but we're not that stupid.

Anonymous said...

No one really believes $500,000 a year covers the "lifestyle choices" of these so called CDQ managers, do they?

I wonder how many subsidiaries or spinoffs have been created from the CDQs?

Since the CDQs are seemingly exempt from any meaningful oversight (thanks for Frank "The Bank" Murkowski's Blue Ribbon panel report... it's doubtful anyone knows much about how much money flows through the CDQs into Anchorage-based management pockets?

Tim Smith said...

Twenty-one comments so far and nobody is contesting CVRF's claim to a larger slice of the CDQ pie. I would think that the regions that have had the least benefit from the CDQ program during the past 20 years should be the first in line for additional allocations. It looks to me as if that would be Norton Sound. I sure don't know many people who have gained access to fisheries related employment or income through the CDQ program. An objective analysis would show that and I thought that was the point of doing a decennial review

I called Wanetta Ayers, Division Director of the DCCED Office of Economic Development and asked her how a member of the public could participate in the decennial review. She told me to talk to Norton Sound Economic Development Corporation, the CDQ group for the region. Yeah, that should work.

Anonymous said...

Wanetta Ayers is a CDQ insider, she use to work for their umbrella group, WACDA. These people are only loyal to each other.

Anonymous said...

The Coast Guard rider in 2006 hurt the public more than that Blue Panel report. That was Don Young's doing.

Anonymous said...

It would seem important that the commissioners doing the decennial review go to the villages so they can judge first hand the relative effects of economic enhancement by the CDQ groups.And that they solicit testimony from city governments, be they municipal or tribal, on a case by case basis. As it is now they are simply being lobbied without any empirical evidence for a wise decision. Apriori knowledge, and magical thinking will perpetuate the economic negative feedback loop that has CDQ industrial fisheries destroying the subsistence salmon of it's people and the ancient culture inextricably tied to it. The current
administration in Juneau has hung out a "Love For Sale" sign to any corporation that can fuel it's political sustainability.

Anonymous said...

As part of the review, hold each Board of Directors member accountable to recount all that he/she has acquired for their specific community - then interview the community to double check the individual's account.

These Public Monies were trusted to the CDQ Corporations for the good of the people. Show that good or be held accountable for NEGLIGENCE OF DUTY - the villages have the power to recall their elected board member and replace him/her.

Anonymous said...

Seen it with mine eyes...With every community that I worked in as a CDQ functionary, without exception, what was going on within the leadership was not relayed to the average Joe. Many times I was asked for information. Having said that, I will add that the average community Joe didn't really care that much. This was partly from lack of understanding and education but it came mostly from the way a hierarchy works in the village. This is not going to change anytime soon. The travesty of ANCSA and the CDQ program is that they are merely a honky jamb-job foisted on our unangan brothers and sisters to 'mainstream' them into white culture. In my opinion, both have failed if your measure is that the prosperity of the average Joe has increased significantly.

In the CDQ group I worked for NONE of the businesses created could stand alone as an independent entity. ALL required infusions of capital annually. This could lead one to think, what's the point? Would not every individual better profit from a distribution of proceeds from the prosecution of the resource that they collectively own? Silly me, of course, the law was intended to create 'sustainable economies'. So, how's that working out? The population in the communities of the CDQ that I worked for have fallen shockingly. Nothing they have done has staunched that outflow. By my accounting, they have created few jobs that are sustainable. Should, heaven forbid, pollack cease to exist the game is entirely over.

Anonymous said...

The ANCSA Corporations are 40 years old; Non-profit spin-offs of the Native Corporations are at least 35 years old; CDQ programs are 20 years old. Though the CDQs are not Native Corporations, they are controlled by Boards of Directors who are Native.

Millions and millions of dollars poured into rural Alaska, yet, the general population in a community of Alaskan Natives (a village) is far, far from being prosperous. Jobless, moneyless, hopeless people waiting for help after all these years.

Anonymous said...

To one who has Seen With Eyes, more stories need to be told about the blantant mismanagement of the CDQ funds. How the people who really owns those funds are shoved to the back seats while a handful of men play favors to those people who've looked the other way for 20 long, long years.

No State or Federal Oversight on Public Monies is the primary reason these CDQ Boards and and their Administrations are getting away with investing in the same fishery(pollock fishery) that is destroying a thousands year old culture and tradition of living off the salmon.

The commissioners involved in the review should indeed visit the CDQ villages to SEE with their own EYES the state of the people who own the billions and billions of dollars being pumped back into the fisheries away from the regions without their collective permission.

Talk to the drunk man who has no hope - he is crying, crying, crying for the loss of pride and self-identity. He is crying, crying, crying for being abandoned by his leaders and the state and federal dollar programs that are getting millions and millions of dollars to give him hope.

Drunk Man
CDQs worth Billions
Drunk Man crying
No Money
No Hope
No Future
Drunk Man Crying

Anonymous said...

The king salmon run failure this year and the deafening silence from the CDQ groups about salmon bycatch in the pollock trawl fisheries is another disgrace in a long list of failures by CDQ program management.

They don't have to face the people they have failed because they live in Anchorage and don't spend any more time in the CDQ communities than they absolutely have to.

The State of Alaska needs to take its roll in this decennial review seriously and stop the whitewash planned by the CDQ group management. An objective review will show that all of the benefits have been going to a handful of people at the top and a few crumbs to the communities that are supposed to benefit.

Anonymous said...

CVRF is giving out free nets to people on the Kuskokwim. That's blantant perpetuation of keeping the people dependent on hand-outs.

Five thousand bucks here, five thousand bucks there is peanuts compared to the millions and millions the Managers handle in the CDQ program.

This give away contradicts the "Self-Determination" movement. It's no wonder that the US and State Governments don't show respect to people who have a lack of sense of what's right and what's wrong. This perpetuates racial tension between the poor people - those who are Native and those who are Other Than Native.

Keep them down and keep them dumb is the logical motive. Little for them, lots for us.

Anonymous said...

Weak salmon runs all over the state and the CDQ groups are SILENT, hoping we don't notice that they have billions and billions of Western Alaskas "fisheries related economic development monies" tied up in the same fishery that is factually known to destroy salmon that the people depend on for their culture, tradition and livelihood.

SILENTLY hoping they can continue to rake in their high salaries a few more months until Uncle Sam steps in with strict rules and regulations for the expenditure of Public Monies.

Anonymous said...

A CDQ Lament

Self righteousness
Elite amongst the poor
Lacking compassion
Failing to fool
Ignorant and illiterate people

Salmon struggling
Arrogant fools
Lying to the people
Manipulators of the truth
Ordering little people around
Needing oversight

Salmon disappearing
Atrocity unmatched
Childlike motives
Ruthlessly trying to destroy
Individuals in their way
Fake leaders
Instigating trouble
Careless and conniving

Anonymous said...

CDQ monies used to form a partnership with Native Corporations is unfair use of Public Monies.

Pilgrim Hot Springs north of Nome.
NSEDC, Norton Sound's CDQ group partnered up with the Bering Straits Native Corporation to buy the place last year.

Public Monies to help advance a Racially Exclusive Native Corporation. This is a result of no oversight by the state or federal government on billions and billions of Public Dollars not designated for a specific race of people in Western Alaska.

This expenditure has the appearance of being racially discriminatory to the White People who live in Western Alaska. Nothing wrong with that is there?

Anonymous said...

Another expenditure of above named CDQ corporation just recently made in Nome, Alaska at last weeks Board of Directors meeting was to give a Native Non-Profit Corporation, Kawerak, Inc., monies in tune of $200,000, for "The Beringia Center of Culture". It would be only fair for these people to present the City of Nome the same amount for their museum efforts.

How does preserving the culture of Beringia economic development? It makes no cents to me. That $200,000 would be better spent to preserve the peoples way of life, that of living off the salmon. Subsistence knows no race. It's the safest thing to do with Public Monies. Favor no race of people.