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Tuesday, May 09, 2006
Here's Another Manufactured Controversy

A lot of liberal blogs are pointing to this story:

After discussing the huge strides the agency has made in doing business with minority-owned companies, Jackson closed with a cautionary tale, relaying a conversation he had with a prospective advertising contractor.

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'

"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "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."

Now, note the stupidity of the contractor, which is the point of the story. Was he denied the contract because he had donated to Democrats? Nope. Was he denied the contract because he voted for Democrats. Nope. Was he denied the contract because he likes Democrats?

Nope. He was denied the contract because he was stupid enough to tell a Republican appointee of the president that he doesn't like the president.

Note in particular this part, which gets pushed down to the third page of the story:

Under Jackson's leadership, HUD has gone from close to the bottom to first among the larger agencies doing business with minority-owned companies.

In 2005, 16% of HUD contracts, or about $167 million worth of work, went to black-owned businesses. Hispanic-owned businesses received 7%, or $71 million. That combined 23% is up from 6% in 2000, the year before Jackson was named deputy secretary of the agency.

So under Bush, minority-owned businesses have gotten a very good share of the business contracts made by HUD, in fact far more than under Clinton. And since Bush has gotten pretty poor support from blacks, we can assume that many of those contractors don't like Bush. So what's the difference?

The rest of them were smart enough not to say it.
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