Mercury Rising 鳯女

Politics, life, and other things that matter

Why Are Republicans Defending Lurita Doan?

Posted by MEC on March 31, 2007

Knight in Shining Armor

GSA chief Lurita Doan was called before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday to answer questions about, among other things, a January 26 meeting that appears to be a violation of the Hatch Act and a no-bid contract awarded to Ms. Doan’s personal friend

Two Republican House members in particular rode to Ms. Doan’s defense. Tom Davis (R-VA) fell all over himself proclaiming Ms. Doan’s uprightness and innocence, going so far as to read an email that accused the Democrats of projection. John Mica (R-FL) went beyond dismissing all allegations that Ms. Doan behaved improperly, accusing the Democrats of being a pack of racists for “targeting” Ms. Doan. (Mica also threw a full-metal temper tantrum at being cut off by Commitee chair Henry Waxman when Mica spoke out of turn, so maybe he’s just naturally intemperate.)

I would expect a kneejerk defense of any of Bush’s appointees, since no loyal Republican would question a decision by their Dear Leader. But Davis’ and Mica’s outrage seems to go beyond kneejerk partisan reaction. So … are these Honorable men taking it personally?

Does anybody know of a connection between Lurita Doan and Tom Davis or John Mica? (Minds out of the gutter, people, I’m thinking of Deep Throat’s advice to “follow the money”.) Kos diarist achamblee mentions a possible reason: Tom Davis is on the list of at-risk politicians for whom White House operative Scott Jennings was soliciting GSA staffers’ help.

14 Responses to “Why Are Republicans Defending Lurita Doan?”

  1. What’s most amazing is that she has managed to wind up in such hot water after less than a year on the job.

    We should also note the even-more-than-most amazing: Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) did a good job in supporting Waxman, saying that Waxman was obeying his oath of office (and that, by implication, Davis and Mica were not). I don’t know what Mica and Davis think they are going to get out of this, because if their districts aren’t absolutely rattlesnake Republican, they could face a challenge, even intraparty, on the premise that they are part of the corruption.

  2. Abby said

    It was rather amazing to listen to Ms Doan dismiss her respnsibilities. Apparently she sets her own agenda, laws, ethics be damned. She reminds me of a self indulgent child, who
    you know to be bright, and hope that character development will
    soon take place, meanwhile she must take responsibility for ignoring the Hatch act.

  3. Dara Leyden said

    Tom Davis employs Jennifer Safavian, whose husband was recently convicted of perjury for lying to the FBI and …….to the GSA Inspecor General. That’s an easy one!

  4. Charles said

    That would explain it, Dara.

    Gee. What a cozy little town it is.

  5. MEC said

    The Thugs certainly seemed hellbent on discrediting the Inspector General. I suspect that, besides the Safavian connection, there are a lot of cozy financial arrangements they don’t want uncovered.

  6. Is Ms. Doan another one of the “bleed the beast” folk that Rove and Norquist brought specificially to rape her agency before destroying it? Sure sounds like it.

  7. AndreaC said

    Tom Davis had GSA champion Angela Styles fired because of her effective oversight over Tom Davis campaign donors. She was replaced with the likes of felon David Safarian and Lurita Doan.

  8. Charles said

    We can’t have honest people running things, can we, Andrea?

    I mean, if we were Republicans.

  9. At some point, can’t we disagree with somebody without having to accuse them of being a crook or questioning their motives?

  10. Charles said

    Christopher, the Inspector General of the GSA accused Doan of violating the Hatch Act. That’s a very serious violation. For a high-level employee, it’s a violation of the oath of office.

    I’m sorry that the right has become pro-criminal as it has turned out that so many people on the right are breaking laws, but you and me– let’s not lie to ourselves or one another, ok?

  11. First, a correction — the Office of Special Counsel found that Doan violated the Hatch Act. And perhaps this illustrates my point. You made a mistake. Do we make a criminal case out of it? Is your point no longer valid because you got the facts of the case wrong?

    Secondly, you don’t know anything about me, so why do you feel the need to label me? Or anybody else for that matter?

    Let me say, I am not defending what happened. It was wrong and it should not have happened. The presentation was clearly political. She should have acknowledged that and and said that it will never happen again. BUT… this was NOT a meeting planned or organized by her. She did not create these PPT slides. It was held months after one election and nearly two years before the next and it was presented to a group of POLITICAL appointees. These are Republicans. It’s not like one has to convince them to vote Republican.

    Furthermore, there is no evidence whatsoever that she did anything to ‘help our candidates.’

    Again, let me stress — the meeting should have never happened. She should have never said what she probably said, but this is not a capital case. It makes great political theater. It allows the party in power on the Hill to bash the party in power at the White House, but it doesn’t improve government. Do you really believe that this isn’t political? I agree — let’s not lie to each other.

    Doan is in a battle — an impassioned battle — with her IG over the role of oversight in government procurement. It is an important debate to have on its merits. Merely questioning the motives of everybody we disagree stifles that — or any debate. What are we afraid of?

    Doan has many problems and she has made many mistakes. But God forbid any of us undergo this kind of scrutiny — we would all be publicly tarred and feathered.

    There are serious issues facing the management of government. This is a distraction from those serious issues.

    With all due respect…

  12. Charles said

    Christopher:
    1. I haven’t characterized you, personally. Unless you are “the right,” you’re reading into what I said.
    2. As suggested by the preceding item, you appear to parse English very poorly. This could be the root of the problem for your failure to understand the situation. You claim that I am in error because I said that “the Inspector General of the GSA accused Doan of violating the Hatch Act.”
    To quote <a href=”http://govexec.com/pdfs/DoaninvestigationPOTUSLtr060807.pdf” rel=”nofollow”>Scott Bloch of the Office of Special Counsel,</a> “Specifically, it was alleged [by the IG of GSA] that the Administrato, Ms. Lurita A. Doan, engaged in political activities in violation of 5 U.S.C. sec. 7323(1)(1) of the Hatch Act.”
    Try re-parsing.
    3. You’re correct that the Office of Special Counsel has found Doan did something wrong. But you completely wrong that this is somehow benign because the others at the lunch were political appointees. To <a href=”http://govexec.com/dailyfed/0607/061107p1.htm” rel=”nofollow”>quote:</a>
    “General Services Administration chief Lurita Doan should ‘be disciplined to the fullest extent’ for violating the law that limits political activity in agencies, the head of the independent agency investigating the matter said in a letter to President Bush Friday.”
    If this were an isolated abuse, especially by a <i>junior</i> employee, we might be able to fire Doan and get on with it. But this systematic use of the federal government as a cog in a political machine is the <i>modus operandi</i> of the Bush Administration. It is destroying morale and leading to resignations of the best.
    Morale at US Attorney offices is through the floor. Same for the FBI. Scientists at EPA and NASA said that their conclusions were twisted, meaning that major decisions of this nation were made on the basis of false information. Some were afraid of retaliation (and some were retaliated against). The FDA is under a cloud. Contracts at DHS and DoD are being steered to cronies, many of whom are incompetent and/or corrupt.
    4. Bloch also said that Doan “was insensitive to” cooperating fully and honestly– with his office. But it’s plain that she lied to Congress, which is a crime.
    There is a saying: “Keep an open mind, but don’t let your brains fall out.” The attitude of your post, however, that we can’t say that a person has committed a criminal offense when it’s perfectly obvious that she has probably committed several, could put you at peril.
    With all respect <i>due</i>….

    Added on update: I suggest re-reading your editorial about Doan in a year, after things have shaken out. It’s an easy editorial to find. It’s the only article that comes up on Google with search phrase Doan GSA “effective administrator” .

  13. MEC said

    Me, I am boggled that Scott Bloch did what the Inspector General is supposed to do. I expected him to be a good little Bushevik and cover up the wrongdoing, given that he’s been working hard at depriving whistleblowers of protections instead of protecting them.

  14. […] recently had the editor of Federal Computer Weekly posting that what Lurita Doan was doing at GSA wasn’t so bad. They were just fellow political appointees having lunch, he […]

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