Affirmative action even the president can love

HUD secretary says he won't give contracts to people who don't support Bush.

Published May 9, 2006 5:26PM (EDT)

A lot of Republicans oppose minority set-asides in government contracting, but there's apparently one ever-shrinking minority group that still deserves a helping hand: Bush supporters.

Raw Story calls our attention to a Dallas Business Journal report in which the president's secretary of housing and urban development tells of a conversation he had with a contractor trying to get a share of HUD's advertising work.

The contractor had "made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," Alphonso Jackson says. "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.'"

So what happened to the Bush-opposing contractor? "He didn't get the contract," Jackson says. "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."

By Tim Grieve

Tim Grieve is a senior writer and the author of Salon's War Room blog.

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