Wednesday, May 10, 2006

DBJ article prompts calls for resignation of HUD secretary, investigation

U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-NJ, has called for the resignation of Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson following a report in the Dallas Business Journal that Jackson scuttled a government contract after an applicant said he didn't like President Bush.

Alphonso Jackson, U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary, was quoted as saying he withdrew a contract when the contractor stated he had “a problem with your president”.

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.”

A few more Jackson quotes from and

It would be a mistake to rebuild the Ninth Ward.

The other part of outsourcing is this: it simply says where the work can be done outside better than it can be done inside, we should do it.

The Bush administration is the most diverse in history because the president fills jobs on the basis of a person’s capabilities and qualifications, not on the color of his or her skin.

I was soon drawn to the Republican Party because I realized that it truly, not just rhetorically, believed in equality.

And I always like to stress, it’s not a quota, not a set-aside, it’s not about race, it’s about giving opportunities to demonstrate their abilities to do work with the Federal Government.

You can’t rise as a class. You have to rise individually. It’s what many of the civil rights-era people don’t understand.

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