Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Housing Sec. Canceled Contract Because Contractor Criticized Bush, Apparently Violating Law

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson publicly admitted that he canceled a government contract with a business because the CEO was critical of President Bush. From the Dallas Business Journal and Think Progress:

“He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years,” Jackson said of the prospective contractor. “He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something … he said, ‘I have a problem with your president.’

“I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I don’t like President Bush.’ I thought to myself, ‘Brother, you have a disconnect — the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn’t be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don’t tell the secretary.’

“He didn’t get the contract,” Jackson continued. “Why should I reward someone who doesn’t like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don’t get the contract. That’s the way I believe.”

Jackson’s conduct appears to be in violation of federal law. From the Federal Acquisition Regulations, 48 CFR 3.101-1:

Government business shall be conducted in a manner above reproach and, except as authorized by statute or regulation, with complete impartiality and with preferential treatment for none. Transactions relating to the expenditure of public funds require the highest degree of public trust and an impeccable standard of conduct.

Now, Jackson says he "Fabricated the Entire Story":
A spokesperson for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson has issued a second response to reports that Jackson publicly admitted cancelling a government contract with a business because the CEO was critical of President Bush.
Gov contracts are supposed to be awarded on MERIT... not politics or political allegence. Kinda sounds like the repugs operate like the Russia mob doesn't it?
Dustee Tucker, a spokeswoman for Jackson, told the Dallas Business Journal Tuesday that Jackson’s comments at his April 28 speech were purely “anecdotal.”

“He was merely trying to explain to the audience how people in D.C., will say critical things about the secretary, will unfairly characterize the president and then turn around and ask you for money,” Tucker said. “He did not actually meet with someone and turn down a contract. He’s not part of the contracting process.”

In other words, his spokesman claims that Jackson fabricated a long and detailed exchange (excerpt: “He said, ‘I have a problem with your president.’ I said, ‘What do you mean?’ He said, ‘I don’t like President Bush.’”) with a CEO that doesn’t actually exist, about a process he isn’t actually involved with."

Bidding for a government contract isn’t ‘asking for money.’ It’s not Alphonso Jackson’s money to give away to his buddies. It is the taxpayers’ money. It should go to whoever can do the best job, regardless of their political views.
Amazing that the repugs on the hill didn't think much of the story: kinda like business as usual: Reminds me of Delay's little black book and the way he used to flaunt it.

8 comments:

Reign of Reason said...

More fun with HUD:
http://thinkprogress.org/2006/05/11/jacksons-advice/

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