Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Alphonso Jackson's House Of Cards

At least I’ll say this much about Bushco; when it comes to cronyism, hubris and incompe- tence, they’re definitely “equal opportunity offenders.”

With that in mind, here’s a story that appeared in the New York Times last Thursday (a little late on this, I know)…

WASHINGTON, Oct. 4 — The Justice Department is investigating ties between Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso R. Jackson and a friend of Mr. Jackson’s who was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by him for rebuilding work in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, federal officials said Thursday.

The investigation, they said, centers in part on whether Mr. Jackson was fully truthful in Congressional testimony and in interviews with federal investigators when he said he had not steered housing contracts to friends and administration supporters.
I really don’t know what to say about Jackson as I read this story (as well as rereading this prior post, and georgia10 has more here).

I mean, we know Bushco is a bunch of crooks, but is it asking too much to at least keep quiet about it? Don’t they have some kind of a playbook written by Karl Rove telling the people in this administration to shut their respective pie holes when they’re doling out work to their buddies (in this case, about $485,000 from Jackson to his friend William Hairston, whose only apparent qualification is that he’s a golfing partner with Jackson in Hilton Head, S.C. where Hairston lives, as noted in the story)?

The good news for Jackson is that this is supposedly going to be investigated by the Justice Department, assuming the DOJ can get its own act together under Michael Mukasey; somehow, with the endless stream of Bushco malfeasance, I have a feeling this will be determined as something less than a priority (which, of course, is a tragedy in particular for the people depicted in this video).


Anonymous said...

Hold up! Did you say the only qualification William Hairston has is being his golf buddy? Perhaps you haven't read that he is a qualified contractor imported from another state to provide services. No one wants to mention that he was paid less than what the going rate and saved millions of tax payers dollars of which you dont seem to care about. You all were probably the same people on your soap box faulting the president for inaction after Katrina. Now that immediate actions were taken for housing reconstruction services, you want to complain and cry foul. What should Mr. Jackson have done when asked by the housing authority? Look in the phone book and make recommendations? Perhaps you need to take a trip down to New Orleans and I don't mean, only to the French Quarter. It remains a disaster torn area that still is in need of major reconstruction. So while government procurement and red tape hold up the process with months of reviewing bids, many people remain homeless to date. Blame who you want, but in an emergency hire who you need to get the job done. And as a result, my family has moved back into one of the houses that Mr. Hairston was determined to finish.

doomsy said...

Oh brother…

Let me get this straight; you’re defending Jackson who has made it clear that he prefers dealing with vendors who pledge their loyalty to Dubya (Jackson’s little slip notwithstanding, and I don’t buy his fake apology for a minute). And all Jackson has to do is issue a statement on any dealings he may or may not have had with Hairston instead of automatically playing the “pity” card about “intending to clear his name” or some such nonsense.

And I’m sorry you don’t like the way the government procurement process works, but it’s designed to prevent the kind of fraud that quite possibly may have occurred with Jackson’s apparent preference (based on the Times story) for rewarding loyalists to this regime. You should just count your blessings that you have apparently found new housing without the misery encountered by your neighbors.

Also, though I primarily blame this administration for the total failure to plan and/or execute and/or coordinate rescue efforts for Katrina (they couldn’t control the pictures on TV to show the extent of their incompetence, and Dubya’s approval ratings haven’t been the same since between that and the war), I don’t mean to let Gov. Kathleen Blanco or Mayor Ray “Chocolate City” Nagin off the hook completely either.

All Jackson has to do is tell the truth about this stuff, but as it is for everyone else in this administration, that is apparently asking too much.