Wednesday, April 25, 2007

At Last, an Investigation

Where's the outrage? That's what I've been wondering ever since the Lurita Doan incident last month. For those of you just joining us, Doan is the head of the General Services Administration, and one of Karl Rove's top aides gave Doan and her top aides a presentation on the Republican party's political goals for the 2008 elections, including slides such as "2008 House Targets: Top 20" (with a list of Democratic seats). After the presentation, according to six witnesses, Doan asked "how can we use GSA to help our candidates?" Doan says she does not have a "recollection" of saying that.

The alleged statement is so blatant, so completely inappropriate, that Doan's faulty memory is not credible. If someone asked me, "Jon, at the last faculty meeting, did you say, 'how can we use GW University funds to refurbish my apartment?'" I wouldn't have to search my memory banks. I could immediately answer, "Of course I didn't say that, I would never say that, that would be illegal." It's not the kind of thing that would cause you to say, "well, I might have said that, I just don't recall."

Well, finally the U.S. Office of Special Counsel is putting together a task force to investigate whether these presentations (they weren't just given at GSA) violated the Hatch Act. It will also consider part of the U.S. Attorneys firings scandal. But I'm not holding my breath. Scott Bloch, the head of the office, is a Bush administration insider, and they haven't done the greatest job of investigating themselves on anything so far.

What we need is more action from the congressional investigation into which other government agencies saw this slide show. If, as the administration claims, the slide show is perfectly legal, why can't it release a list of who's seen it? Congress should find out, and it should definitively determine whether Lurita Doan proposed to manipulate GSA actions for the benefit of Republican political candidates. If so, an impeachment inquiry would seem appropriate.

No comments: