Housing and Urban Development Secretary, Alphonso Jackson, admitted to an audience of minority real estate people that the Bush administration expects cronyism if you want to get contracts with the government. You are not allowed to dislike the president or his policies, even if you have the best bid and would be the lowest cost to taxpayers.
Jackson relayed a story about how a contractor was denied a bid because the contractor did not like president Bush. While denying a bid for personal reasons is acceptable in the private sector, it is illegal in the public sector. The government awards are required to be neutral to political affiliations and, it is an infringement on freedom of speech.
I hope there will be inquiries into this, but with a Republican controlled congress, I would be surprised that there is one. If there is preferential treatment on government contracts due to political leanings, it will only add more fuel to the cronyism fire burning in D.C. and there will be one more "shake up" in the Bush White House. Not only is it just plain wrong from a political aspect, not only is it wrong from a legal aspect, it costs us, the tax payer more, and we don't have any money to spare.
Costly Words: 'I Don't Like President Bush'
"...He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the bidder, according to an account of the speech in the Dallas Business Journal. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the GSA [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."
(Full WaPo Story)