Trouble at HUD
It’s been a tough month for Dept. of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. First there was that allegation that HUD officials were plotting retaliation against the head of the agency’s Philadelphia office. That official had refused Jackson’s demands to turn over a $2 million city lot to a Jackson crony.
Then there were those charges from members of a Senate appropriations subcommittee that Jackson ducked questions about the Philadelphia scandal during a hearing last week.
And now, Sens. Patty Murray (D-Wash.), the head of that subcommittee, and Chris Dodd (D-Conn.), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, are calling for Jackson’s resignation. In a letter to the White House delivered Friday, Murray and Dodd contend the scandal surrounding the HUD chief "undermine[s] his ability to effectively address the current housing crisis."
This is a cabinet secretary who has consistently ducked accountability, and arrogantly refused to heed the public’s calls for answers. Secretary Jackson should resign immediately and seek to clear his name as a private citizen – if he can.
It’s not the first time that clouds of cronyism have hovered over Jackson. In 2006, an internal investigation found that he had encouraged HUD employers to grant agency contracts to friends of President George W. Bush.
At least Jackson has this to be thankful for: Today’s news of scandal surrounding passports and presidential candidates at the State Dept. is sure to drown out the much less sexy allegations targeting HUD.