For a government that has no credible Congressional oversight and the greatest mania for secrecy since Nixon, the Bush administration sure seems to attract investigations. Steve Benen observes:
Following up on yesterday’s item about Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson and his apparent penchant for letting politics dictate the grant process, it looks like Bush’s cabinet secretary has a real problem on his hands.[…] Today’s news looks much worse [link].
* “During the investigation, Secretary JACKSON’s Chief of Staff, as well as the HUD Deputy Secretary testified that, in a senior staff meeting, JACKSON had advised senior staff, to the effect, that when considering discretionary contracts, they should be considering supporters of the President, language consistent with the remarks made by JACKSON in Dallas, Texas, on April 28, 2006.”
* “Investigation did disclose some problematic instances involving HUD contacts and cooperative agreement grants, in particular, the cooperative agreement award issued to Abt Associates…was blocked for a significant period of time due to Secretary JACKSON’s involvement and opposition to Abt. Secretary JACKSON’s Chief of Staff testified that one factor in JACKSON’s opposition to Abt was Abt’s political affiliation.”
* “Secretary JACKSON’s Chief of Staff also identified other instances of Secretary JACKSON intervening with contractors whom he did not like. Reviews of political contributions indicated these contractors had Democratic political affiliations.”
Given this, resignation shouldn’t even be open to debate. Jackson has to go.
Who would have guessed it. It isn’t like DC has a corruption problem or anything like that.
There is so much political corruption on Capitol Hill that the FBI has had to triple the number of squads investigating lobbyists, lawmakers and influence peddlers, the Daily News has learned.
Maybe this is an isolated bad apple? It seems like other than David Safavian and now Alfonso Jackson the Bush administration has remained fairly clean. I mean, if you don’t include Claude Allen and the George Deutsch loonies at NASA, or the underage sex problem at DHS, or the entire Department of the Interior. You also have to discount the corrupt MZM defense contracting and the problem of DoD-sponsored profiteering in general. If we can ignore that and maybe sweep Keith Tomlinson under the rug then yeah, this administration is overall pretty clean. Alphonso Jackson must be some kind of outlier.
Sarcasm aside, it should be obvious to everybody by now that this administration simply does not take governing very seriously. Look at two simple things – one, I rattled off that list above off of the top of my head. However well-informed I might be the real list runs a lot longer than that. Two, this is the criminal behavior that we find out about despite the best efforts of Congress. Imagine the stones that would turn over if the party with subpoena power actually cared enough about the country to make sure that it is being managed well.