Thursday, May 11, 2006
Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson apologized yesterday for telling a Dallas business group that he had rejected a HUD contract because the contractor had criticized President Bush.
Jackson said he made up the story. "I deeply regret the anecdotal remarks I made at a recent Texas small-business forum and would like to reassure the public that all HUD contracts are awarded solely on a stringent merit-based process," Jackson said in a statement. "During my tenure, no contract has ever been awarded, rejected, or rescinded due to the personal or political beliefs of the recipient."
At the April 28 event, Jackson told of a minority contractor who had finally landed an advertising contract with the Department of Housing and Urban Development after trying for 10 years, according to an article in the Dallas Business Journal.
Jackson said that when the man approached him to thank him for the contract, the contractor said he didn't like Bush.
"He didn't get the contract," Jackson told the group, according to the newspaper. "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."