Monday, April 18, 2005

Stupid + ill-advised = Promotion!

I haven't been keeping up on the Armstrong Williams scandal lately. But I noticed this in a recent USA Today (via Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post):

[The Education Department's inspector general John] Higgins... found that David Dunn, a special assistant to President Bush, participated in at least four conversations about the Williams contract with Education Department officials last summer.

...During at least two of those conversations, Education officials voiced "strong" concerns about "the inherent conflict of Mr. Williams' role as both a public relations executive and commentator," the report says. The Education officials, deputy director of public affairs D.J. Nordquist and chief of staff Anne Radice, told the inspector general that Dunn "agreed with their concerns," the report says. Even so, the contract was renewed.

The inspector general's findings run counter to a statement made by Bush on Jan. 26, about three weeks after USA TODAY first disclosed the deal with Williams. At a news conference, Bush said of the contract, "We didn't know about this in the White House."

Woops! So it turns out they did know the White House -- as represented by Dunn -- did know that they were paying a journalist to say nice things about them. And yes, that is a violation of law.

But surely Dunn was punished, right? He's out of a job now, wondering where he went wrong, right? Uh, not exactly.

[Education Secretary Margaret Spellings] called the deal "stupid (and) … ill-advised. It showed a lack of judgment." Spellings subsequently hired Dunn as her chief of staff.

Remember, these are the people who are constantly reminding us that we are accountable, that there should be consequences for failure. But a guy makes a stupid deal that possibly breaks federal law and .... gets promoted?!?! Am I missing something?


Blogger amcmurrey said...

This is the kind of news that needs to remain in the spotlight. The republicans are crying about the attacks made against them. Well hey, if they weren't getting caught up in this stuff everyday, it might not be going so badly for them right now. Here they are the party of accountability and principles and they have the balls to whine and cry when they are called upon to be accountable. This is just another example of what this administration is all about. If you need to find out what sort of plans they have for the nation, just look at Texas and the so called Texas Miracle. It's just like everything else this administration offers, a vicious con job and a black eye inflicted on what could be a truly great nation. Why do they hate America so much?

9:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said... of the other deputies she appointed, Lampkin, was the head of the p.r. unit at the Dept. of Education.

She also got promoted. It seems like P.R. probably had something to do with the Armstrong Williams shindig, doesn't it?

9:38 PM  

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