Alphonso Jackson

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Alphonso Jackson is the Secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development.

Countrywide Mortgage Scandal

Alphonso Jackson was among the prominent politicians who may have received favorable mortgage deals from Countrywide, a mortgage lender at the heart of the current mortgage crises. According to an investigation conducted by Conde Nast's Portfolio, Countrywide's V.I.P program may have bent rules to offer Alphonso Jackson a better deal on mortgages for his Alexandria, Virginia town house and vacation home on Hilton Head Island, South Carolina.

Main article: Countrywide Mortgage Scandal

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development

On January 28, 2004, Alphonso Jackson assumed the duties of Acting Secretary at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, replacing Mel Martinez. [1]

According to his HUD biography [2], Jackson became the 13th Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and was "unanimously confirmed by the Senate in June 2001 as HUD's Deputy Secretary."

Contracting scandal

On April 28, 2006, Jackson gave a speech in Dallas in which he told a story about a contractor who made "a heck of a proposal and was on the [General Services Administration] list, so we selected him." However, after Jackson said the man told him, "I have a problem with your president... I don’t like President Bush," HUD changed its mind and "he didn't get the contract." Jackson said he told the man, "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." Jackson asked the crowd, "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." [3] [4]

Denying a contract based on political affiliation of opinions is a possible violation of the Competition in Contracting Act. [5]

On May 3, a Jackson spokesperson, Dustee Tucker, told reporters that the contract Jackson was referring to in Dallas was "an advertising contract with a minority publication." [6]

On May 5, the Dallas Business Journal printed their story on the speech. [7]

When first asked about the speech on May 9, spokesperson Tucker referred to the contractor as approaching Jackson in a "trashing, in a very aggressive way." [8]

Also on May 9, Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Barney Frank (D-Mass.) said that bringing such political considerations into federal contracting was possibly illegal and requested all documents related to the contract mentioned in the speech or any other contract Jackson was involved in. [9] The same day, Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) called on President George W. Bush to ask for Jackson's immediate resignation. [10]

After making the initial comment about the contractor approaching Jackson "in a very aggressive way," Jackson spokesperson Tucker later on May 9 claimed that the story was purely "anecdotal" and that "he was merely trying to explain to the audience how people in D.C., will say critical things about the secretary, will unfairly characterize the president and then turn around and ask you for money... He did not actually meet with someone and turn down a contract. He's not part of the contracting process." [11]

On May 10, ThinkProgress bloggers tried to reach Tucker for further comment they were told that she was on "scheduled leave" and was not available for comment. [12]

Pre-HUD career

According to his HUD biography [13]:

"Acting Secretary Jackson was most recently the President of American Electric Power-TEXAS, a $13 billion utility company, located in Austin, Texas.
"From January 1989 until July 1996, Jackson was President and CEO of The Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, Texas, a $100 million operation.
"Previous to The Housing Authority of the City of Dallas, Jackson was Director of the Department of Public and Assisted Housing in Washington, D.C., for the $137 million operation. Also, he served as Chairperson for the District of Columbia Redevelopment Land Agency Board.
"Jackson holds a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's degree in education administration from Truman State University and a law degree from Washington University School of Law.
"In 1977, Jackson became the Director of Public Safety for the City of St. Louis. Jackson also served as executive director for the St. Louis Housing Authority; a director of consultant services for the certified public accounting firm of Laventhol and Horwath-St. Louis; and special assistant to the chancellor and assistant professor at the University of Missouri.
"Jackson previously served on the following Boards: JP Morgan Chase & Co.-Texas; Zale-Lipshy University Hospital; The Nature Conservancy of Texas; Voyager Expanded Learning, Inc.; The Hockaday School; Truman State University; Dallas Citizens Council; Dallas Theater Center; Episcopal School of Dallas; Boy Scouts of America, Dallas Metropolitan and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
"Jackson was presented the AFLAC - 2001 Lifetime Achievement Award, the National Boys & Girls Clubs of America - 1997 Chairman's Award and The Aspen Institute - 1995 Aspen Fellow.
"Jackson has received Presidential and other Appointments: The National Commission on America's Urban Families (92-93); Member of the Regional Selection Panel for the White House Fellowship Programs (90-92) and a Member of The National Commission on Severely Distressed Public Housing (90-92). In addition, Jackson was a member of the National Welfare Simplification and Coordination Advisory Committee (92-93) and served as Chairman of the General Services Commission of the State of Texas (95-98)."


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