Tuesday, March 6, 2007

GSA Head to Staff: “Find Opportunities to Help Republican Political Candidates”

Crossposted at Raising Kaine and Daily Kos.

Project on Government Oversight (POGO) today says:

Today House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Henry Waxman put to rest recent reports that GSA Administrator Lurita Doan may have been acting in good faith when she steered a $20,000 contract to an old friend. According to a release from Waxman’s office, "Ms. Fraser used her professional connections to advance Doan’s nomination to GSA and to provide personal favors, and that Ms. Fraser continued to provide services with the expectation of payment to Ms. Doan after she became GSA Administrator.”
"Besides being caught with her hand in the cookie jar, Doan apparently urged her staff at GSA “to find opportunities to help Republican political candidates.”

The Post was a few hours behind POGO here.

Lurita Doan marches to the corrupt drum. See all the corruption and waste the Oversight Committee has been exposing since the Democrats took over just a few weeks ago. Who was responsible for oversight before Henry Waxman (D-CA) took over? Tom Davis (R-VA)

There are more installments in the series from Robert O'Harrow and Scott Higham. According to this story, at GSA, where Tom Davis forced out Angela Styles for friend and felon David Safarian, Lurita Doan took over. Doan was a very friendly donor to Davis when he was RNCC Chair; the Doan family gave $153,215 to Republicans and over $40,000 to Davis's RNCC when he was Chair. At GSA, for the second time in her federal career, Doan illegally bypassed her own staff to provide a no-bid contract to a friend.

Although the Post states that three Committee members signed a letter asking for an explanation of the fraud, they don't dare embarrass Tom Davis by saying Davis, the Committee Chair, was not bothered enough by the stink to be one of the signers. The letter asking for an explanation was signed by minority Committee members Waxman, Holmes-Norton, and Obserstar.

On her way out of GSA, Styles had said "There is still not a lot of oversight in some areas of our contracting system, and I think it will haunt us." Done.


Beltway Progressive said...

Clearly, taxpayer champion Waxman represents hard work and accountability. Davis is the wild spender and crook.

Doan and GSA are worse than even I thought! Waxman's index to the matter is here.

More detail today of the blatant illegalities:

"Further investigation by the committee uncovered more problems, which it intends to inspect.

"In his letter, Waxman described a nationwide teleconference that took place Jan. 26 at GSA headquarters convened to figure out ways to help Republican political candidates. According to his letter, Doan held the meeting with senior staff and about 40 GSA political appointees to hear from J. Scott Jennings, special assistant to the president and deputy director of political affairs at the White House, and John Horton, GSA’s White House liaison, about national polling data from the November 2006 midterm elections. During the teleconference, some participants suggested blocking House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) from attending the opening of an environmentally efficient courthouse in San Francisco, according to the letter.

Doan also wanted to get Sen. Mel Martinez (R-Fla.), chairman of the Republican National Committee, to attend a courthouse opening in Florida, according to Waxman."

Doan has been in trouble before when she tried to eliminate in house audits and steer them to sympathetic friends:

"Doan included the Office of the Inspector General in her request for budget cuts. She also asked the IG’s office to cut back on the number of pre-award audits it performs. But Doan angered lawmakers when she announced that she intended to transfer those audit responsibilities to small, private-sector auditing firms because she wanted them to have a larger piece of the federal contracting pie. Angry lawmakers [not Davis] promptly sent letters asking her to leave the system alone."

More here at www.citizensforethics.org (pdf)

PM said...

It's going to be a fun, rewarding two years with Henry Waxman in charge.

I'm also pleased to have read today that Citizens Against Government Waste (which has been linked to the GOP -- but which does have a pretty independent "small member" base) in their annual "Pig Book" review noted that pork earmarks were way down under the Dems so far.

Anonymous said...

It's David Safavian. And his WIFE Jennifer has worked for Tom Davis for the past five years. And she still does. I'm sure she enjoyed preparing the minority brief that skewered the IG, since that was one of the offices her husband lied to about his Abramoff trip. In fact, it was an anonymous tip to the IG that sparked the investigation of David Safavian.