Thursday, September 21, 2006

The United States of Republicans?

Remember how Alphonso Jackson, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, supposedly told that he canceled a contract because the contractor had dissed Bush? Well, it seems that this indeed took place:

The incident prompted an investigation by the HUD Inspector General. The Dallas Morning News got a look at the 340-page report yesterday. The report concluded that an incident similar to the one Jackson described did occur.

Additionally, the Inspector General — through interviews with top HUD staffers — found that Jackson was involved in even more egregious behavior. The report reveals that Jackson instructed staff to award HUD contracts to President Bush's political allies and withhold them from his political opponents. From the Dallas Morning News:

In a follow-up interview on June 8, investigators confronted her with testimony from Cathy MacFarlane, who resigned that month as HUD's assistant secretary for public affairs. Ms. MacFarlane told investigators that at a senior staff meeting, Mr. Jackson "made a statement to the effect that it was important to consider presidential supporters when you are considering the selected candidates for discretionary contracts."

And Ms. MacFarlane told investigators, "I think it was a political [appointee] talking to a political, saying if all things are equal, you're giving out a contract, give it out to the family, you know."

The tribal code of honor working here? I hope this is an isolated incident. The government is still supposed to be the government of all Americans:

...the Federal Aquisition Reguations (48 CFR 3.101-1) which requires that "Government business shall be conducted in a manner above reproach and…with complete impartiality and with preferential treatment for none."