HUD Chief Pushed Contracts to Bush Supporters
From The Dallas Morning News
Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson urged top aides to take contractors' politics into account when handing out grants and deals, an internal department review has found, though there is no "direct evidence" that favoritism actually occurred.
The department's inspector general began investigating Mr. Jackson after he boasted in a Dallas speech that he'd once scuttled a deal because the would-be contractor disparaged President Bush....
Several top HUD officials â themselves political appointees â testified that Mr. Jackson told senior staff at a meeting a few months before the April 28 speech in Dallas that they should consider contractors' political leanings. He urged them to give contracts to Bush supporters and voiced concerns about any going to active Democratic donors, the aides said.
"I have never touched a contract," Mr. Jackson said Wednesday, in his first interview about the furor his Dallas speech sparked. "I just ad-libbed a little more than I should have, and I regret that."
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