Once the color barrier has been broken, minority contractors seeking government work may need to overcome the Bush barrier.I'll give you a moment to ask if he is, in fact, shitting you.
That's the message U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson seemed to send during an April 28 talk in Dallas.
Jackson, a former president and CEO of the Dallas Housing Authority, was among the featured speakers at a forum sponsored by the Real Estate Executive Council, a national minority real estate consortium.
After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with 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."
Caught your breath? Good, let's continue.
I'm certainly not surprised to see another Bush official admit -- hell, brag -- that political loyalty is this administration's first, second, and last priority. Remember what John D'Iulio, the one-time head of the faith-based initiative, said: "There is no precedent in any modern White House for what is going on in this one: a complete lack of a policy apparatus. What you’ve got is everything—-and I mean everything—-being run by the political arm. It’s the reign of the Mayberry Machiavellis." Whether it's Porter Goss purging the CIA of Democrats or the Department of Agriculture being told to promote the war in Iraq, this administration is nothing if not political.
What I find so interesting about this latest revelation of the Bush hackocracy is that it finally answers a question I've been asking for the last year: With Hurricane Katrina destroying the city of New Orleans and sending its residents scattered to the four corners of the country, why haven't we heard anything -- and I mean, anything -- from the administration's HUD Secretary? For some crazy reason, I thought HUD would be right in the thick of the effort to provide housing and urban development in the aftermath of the hurricane, what with the words "housing and urban development" in its very name. But, no, HUD hasn't been seen.
Well, now we know why. Instead of doing his job, the HUD Secretary has been focused on maintaining the structural integrity of the White House, shoring up its levees against those dirty Demmycrats and providing shelter from the storm of public opinion for a battered and abused president.
I'm with Atrios. This guy needs to resign, and now.