King of the hill at HUD
[UPDATE: His flack says he was just making sh*t up…see below.]
Another Bush-supporting brother gone power mad, believing he can dole out government contracts on the basis of whether the person in question kneels down to Dear Leader.
From the Dallas Business Journal, the wit and wisdom of U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson at a conference, recounting a reminder of his self-importance to the audience with an example of he did to a prospective advertising contractor:
“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.”
Hat tip, Paul in SF.
UPDATE: Think Progress reports that Jackson’s spokesperson is bleating that he was just shooting the sh*t, making the whole story up as calls for his head and an investigation loom.
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, Jackson used a public forum to fabricate 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.
…That excuse isn’t just difficult to swallow — it also contradicts the spokesperson’s first response published in today’s paper, which referenced the specific contract in question: “Dustee Tucker, a spokeswoman for Jackson’s office, said the value of the advertising contract, which was to be placed with a minority publication, could not be provided.” It looks like Jackson is changing his story as criticism builds.