Alphonso Jackson, Housing Secretary for Bush, Resigning

Alphonso Jackson, the Secretary of Housing for Bush, is resigning to spend more time with his family. Of course, there’™s some troublesome and questionable contracts he’™s given out. The big suprise here is that there’™s no whiney excuses yet. No alcoholism to blame, at least yet.

Commentary By: Steven Reynolds

Mr. Jackson is just the latest in a long line of Bush appointees who has resigned to go spend more time with his family. He may need that time, as the DOJ is investigating him for giving out contracts to friends. Yes, the culture of curruption is alive and well and living in the Bush Administration still. Here’™s the skinny from the New York Times:

‘œThere comes a time when one most attend more diligently to personal and family matters,’ Mr. Jackson said. ‘œ Now is such a time for me.’

‘œSeven years ago, President Bush gave me an extraordinary opportunity to serve HUD and the nation,’ said Mr. Jackson, who first joined the department as deputy secretary in 2001. ‘œAs the son of a lead smelter and nurse midwife, and as the last of 12 children, never did I imagine I’™d serve America in such a way. I am truly grateful for the opportunity.’

Mr. Jackson said that he had worked hard to keep families in their homes, to revitalize public housing and to preserve affordable housing. ‘œDuring my time here, I have sought to make America a better place to live, work and raise a family,’ he said.

He left the room without taking any questions.

Well, that didn’™t tell us anything, did it? The Times was going to quote Mr. Jackson, which is fair, but they led off with the charges. They’™re a bit exotic. Contracts in sweet places going to friends, threats to the Philadelphia Housing Authority if they won’™t sell land they own to politically connected friends of Jackson. This seems a bit bald-faced, on the surface:

Housing secretary Alphonso R. Jackson resigned on Monday, saying that he needed to devote more time to his family. The announcement came as federal authorities were investigating whether he had given lucrative housing contracts in the Virgin Islands and New Orleans to friends.

His resignation, effective April 18, also comes as the Bush administration is increasingly relying on the department’™s Federal Housing Administration to help stanch the widening foreclosures.

In recent weeks, Mr. Jackson had faced mounting pressure to leave his post. The FBI has interviewed several of his employees, and two senior Democratic senators called on him to resign, saying the allegations of wrongdoing had undermined his leadership. Lawmakers have also raised concerns about accusations that Mr. Jackson had threatened to withdraw federal aid from the Philadelphia Housing Authority after its president refused to turn over a $2 million property to a politically connected developer.

I’™m thinking Mr. Jackson is a prime candidate for a pardon come January 19th, 2009, so he may not even get indicted. (Can he get pardoned if he’™s not charged until after Bush leaves office?) As a result, we’™ll probably miss out on the usual fun of watching a Republican make the kinds of whiney excuses they normally make when caught with their hands in the cookie jar, or in some male prostitute’™s pants, or playing footsy in a restroom stall, or . . . etc., etc., etc.

Monday, March 31st, 2008 by Richard Blair |

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