Monday, March 26, 2007

Political scandal brewing at GSA

Just as we expect a certain level of patronage to be passed out by the victors of elections, one expects a certain amount of blurring of the line between politicking and governance. Franking privleges comes to mind immediately. Technically, it's to be used to inform a legislator's district but certainly it has some political benefit to an incumbent. However, this administration has gone so far beyond the line between the two, that governance doesn't even enter into the equation. Everything is about political advantage

Witnesses have told congressional investigators that the chief of the General Services Administration and a deputy in Karl Rove's political affairs office at the White House joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, who discussed ways to help Republican candidates.

With GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan and up to 40 regional administrators on hand, J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Jan. 26 of polling data about the 2006 elections.

When Jennings concluded his presentation to the GSA political appointees, Doan allegedly asked them how they could "help 'our candidates' in the next elections," according to a March 6 letter to Doan from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Waxman said in the letter that one method suggested was using "targeted public events, such as the opening of federal facilities around the country."
Discussion ensued on how to block Democrats from attending such events and how to include Republicans where Democrats were already scheduled to appear. There was apparently no discussion on such "trivial items" for instance, as anticipated building needs for the future or existing needs for repairs.

Doan is also embroiled in peripheral scandalettes about her awarding of no-bid contracts to cronies and interfering in existing contracts to benefit of her department but to the detriment of the taxpayer. She of course denies any involvement in wrongdoing, but once again existing documents would prove her to be a liar.

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