'Nothing Happened,' Part II

By Al Kamen
Friday, May 12, 2006

Housing and Urban Development chief Alphonso Jackson now says he made up that elaborately detailed story he told a business group about how he denied a federal contract to a bidder because the man admitted he didn't like President Bush .

Too bad. It was a great yarn, an important primer for would-be contractors -- and worth keeping in mind -- even though Jackson says he made it all up.

This odd incident echoes another confusing episode involving Jackson in early 1993, when he was director of the Dallas Housing Authority. As recounted in several Dallas Morning News articles, Dallas City Council member Paul Fielding said Jackson assaulted him after a meeting in the mayor's office on Jan. 21.

"Mr. Jackson denied the incident to a reporter, even after being told that Mayor Steve Bartlett confirmed seeing [Jackson] shove Mr. Fielding, who hit a door." He got a black eye and a loose tooth.

"I still say there is no incident that happened," Jackson said. "I have not had any altercation at all with Mr. Fielding."

After he was charged with misdemeanor assault five days later, Jackson said he was "shocked and amazed that council member Fielding has taken this action," the Morning News reported on Jan. 27. He added that he hoped "the two of us will be able to work out any differences we have."

The newspaper on Feb. 4 published a letter from Jackson. "I certainly apologize for my part of our confrontation," he wrote.

But by Feb. 8, Fielding and Jackson were holding a news conference. "I sincerely regret that I verbally offended and physically pushed you after our meeting at City Hall a couple of weeks ago," Jackson said, reading from a letter he sent to Fielding. Fielding accepted the apology, and the charge was dropped.

A reporter asked about his statement the night of the incident in which he said "nothing happened."

"I misspoke," Jackson said.

Maybe the Cash Will Flow Like Wine

Amidst the malodorous mists rolling off the Hill these days, some might think a nod to sobriety and decorum might be in order.

But noooo. Not when there's campaign money to be raised and good booze to be drunk. So it's time for the second annual "D Street Block Party" on the 100 block of D Street SE on Capitol Hill. Five Republicans have banded together to charge $1,000 per person to attend the May 18 gathering.

Drop your first grand -- "these are individual events and require separate contributions," our invite says -- at Connecticut Rep. Nancy L. Johnson 's house and indulge in some fine "martini tasting." Head next door and slip a check to Rep. E. Clay Shaw Jr. (Fla.), who'll offer you some excellent Scotch.

Skip one house and put up another grand to go to Indiana Rep. Chris Chocola 's house, where the margarita tasting will be in full swing. Then it's next door to Florida Rep. Mark Foley 's, where for another $1,000 you can have some high-quality wine.

Now, however, elementary courtesy will oblige you to cross the street for coffee and dessert at Kansas Rep. Jim Ryun 's, which is where you'll put down your last grand for the evening.

We're told they are not closing the block to traffic, so please, walk carefully.

Mollohan's Graduation Tract

Meanwhile, Rep. Alan B. Mollohan (D-W.Va.), formerly a solidly middle-class lawmaker who's rocketed up the wealth index, is to be the speaker at Alderson-Broaddus College's 135th commencement service tomorrow in Philippi, W.Va.

Mollohan, until recently the ranking Democrat on the House ethics committee, has been criticized for buying a farm with a corporate pal while backing a $2.1 million contract to his close friend's company.

Best to go very early -- especially if Mollohan offers graduates real estate tips. After all, from 2000 to 2004, his real estate and other assets soared from $562,000 to at least $6.2 million.

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