Does Lurita Doan Have a Point?
The saga of former General Services Admin. head Lurita Doan returned to life yesterday when the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee released a report on the politicization of federal agencies during the Bush administration.
The report recalls that Doan violated the Hatch Act by asking GSA civil servants “how we can help our candidates” and then entertainingly stonewalled the oversight committee’s look into the incident.
Doan responded to yesterday’s report with a gem of a letter to Rep. Henry. A Waxman (D-Calif.), the oversight committee chair. It accuses Waxman of “ubiquitous hypocrisy” and running a “kangaroo court.” (TPM Muckraker has helpfully put the letter in PDF form). But in the missive to Waxman is a valid point about the federal investigation that brought her down:
Your flawed report is also curious for what it does not contain. Nowhere is there mention that you relied heavily upon the flawed investigation of Special Counsel Mr. Scott Bloch. Nor is there any mention of the fact that the OSC Director Mr. Bloch was forced to hire an outifit called ‘Geeks on Call’ to quickly come in and erase all the files of his government computers dealing with this investigation when it became clear that the evidence had been doctored, witnesses tampered with and conclusions driven by political ambitions. Nor did you mention that the FBI raided Mr. Bloch’s home and office.
Doan calls Waxman’s reliance on Bloch’s investigation “utterly craven.”
How problems with the Official of Special Counsel, a tiny federal agency designed to protect civil servants, affected the career of the head of GSA is inside baseball.
But Doan is right: Scott Bloch, the man who said she violated federal law, has been an embarrassing Bush administration appointee himself. In particular, he has been terrible investigating other instances of White House politicization of federal agencies. For this, Waxman has called for Bloch’s resignation.
Regardless, it’s good to see Doan back in the news. There are few other provocateurs who will say of Waxman, “Most Americans are familiar with your lack of candor.”