More from the Admirable Candor Department
HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson, speaking before a group of minority executives in Dallas, had this to say about his interaction with an applicant for a government contract who voiced opposition to the president:
"[This contractor] 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."
Wow. We had a hard time believing Secretary Jackson actually said these things (although his honesty is refreshing). After talking to a HUD source, we find it less difficult to fathom. The results of our investigation appear after the jump.
Here's what we learned from our operative:
* Before taking the helm at HUD, Jackson ran three different housing authorities, all of which had serious problems -- some related to his (mis)management of them.
* He is "a sleazy character," and a close friend of Marion Barry.
* When he arrived at HUD, he initiated a staff shake-up that resulted in the departure of several highly regarded career employees.
* As for why he said what he said in Dallas, "Jackson probably thought that it was safe for him to speak candidly to a group of minority executives -- his fellow 'brothers and sisters.' But he shouldn't have assumed that no press members were present. That was pretty dumb!"
HUD Secretary's Blunt Warning [Dallas Business Journal]
Earlier: From the Admirable Candor Department