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Wednesday, January 3, 2007
Kessler Fluffs HUD Secretary, Ignores Corruption
Topic: Newsmax

Ronald Kessler's latest Republican fluff piece for NewsMax is a Jan. 3 profile of HUD secretary Alphonso Jackson built around his claims that "black leaders like Jesse Jackson, Al Sharpton, and Julian Bond are doing a disservice to blacks by perpetuating an ideology of victimhood." (That's becoming a recurring theme for Kessler, having previously addressed it in an October interview with Juan Williams, whom he suggested was the "black Ann Coulter.") At one point, Kessler quotes the words of the secretary's father: " 'Never take anything that you didn't earn,' his father told Alphonso. 'That's close to stealing.' "

Needless to say, Kessler makes no mention of Jackson's behavior that appears to contradict his father's adage. A September 2006 inspector general's report found that Jackson urged staff members to favor friends of President Bush when awarding HUD contracts (though it found no direct proof that Jackson's staff obeyed). His chief of staff told investigators that Jackson "personally intervened with contractors whom he did not like . . . these contractors had Democratic political affiliations," according the report. Indeed, he told a gathering in Dallas in April that he didn't award one contract, even though the contractor won the bidding, because the contractor said he didn't like Bush. (Jackson later claimed he "lied.")

So Jackson is either a liar or a crony (or both). Would his father be proud of that? And shouldn't Kessler have mentioned this to his readers?

Posted by Terry K. at 2:29 PM EST

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