Support Bush or Bust
Those who think government contracting can become too political -- and just ask John Rowland about that -- need to read this story in the ...
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, appearing at a Dallas forum late last month, dispensed some advice to a real estate coalition about landing work with the government. A surefire way to find yourself cut out, he said, was to express any disapproval of President Bush.
That's what happened to a potential contractor who had finally landed work with the department, after years of trying. But while thanking Jackson, he made the error of admitting that he didn't like Bush.
"He didn't get the contract," Jackson said. "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."
Late update -- Jackson released a statement saying, "I deeply regret the anecdotal remarks," and he said that during his tenure "no contract has ever been rewarded, rejected or rescinded due to the personal or political beliefs of the recipient."
Here is a statement attributed to Jackson's spokesperson posted on a washingtonpost.com chat:
"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. He did not actually meet with someone and turn down a contract. He's not part of the contracting process."