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Rep. Defazio on fire!

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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:11 AM
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Rep. Defazio on fire!

HECK OF A JOB? Bush and Brown before the FEMA head resigned

This morning during House one minute speeches, Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon-4) ripped the hundreds of *'s political hacks in federal positions of responsibility, there not due to qualifications but their political connections.

He was particularly harsh about the head of the office of federal procurement, David Safavian, applauding the fact he was removed from the White House in handcuffs (not sure if this was literal or figurative).

Stand by for a transcript of Rep. DeFazio's speech.

Background information from the current issue of Time - /

How Many More Mike Browns Are Out There? A TIME inquiry finds that at top positions in some vital government agencies, the Bush Administration is putting connections before experience

David Safavian didn't have much hands-on experience in government contracting when the Bush Administration tapped him in 2003 to be its chief procurement officer. A law-school internship helping the Pentagon buy helicopters was about the extent of it. Yet as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, Safavian, 38, was placed in charge of the $300 billion the government spends each year on everything from paper clips to nuclear submarines, as well as the $62 billion already earmarked for Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. It was his job to ensure that the government got the most for its money and that competition for federal contracts-- among companies as well as between government workers and private contractors--was fair. It was his job until he resigned on Sept. 16 and was subsequently arrested and charged with lying and obstructing a criminal investigation into Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff's dealings with the Federal Government.

Safavian spent the bulk of his pregovernment career as a lobbyist, and his nomination to a top oversight position stunned the tightly knit federal procurement community. A dozen procurement experts interviewed by TIME said he was the most unqualified person to hold the job since its creation in 1974. Most of those who held the post before Safavian were well-versed in the arcane world of federal contracts. "Safavian is a good example of a person who had great party credentials but no substantive credentials," says Danielle Brian, executive director of the Project on Government Oversight, a nonprofit Washington watchdog group. "It's one of the most powerful positions in terms of impacting what the government does, and the kind of job--like FEMA director--that needs to be filled by a professional." Nevertheless, Safavian's April 2004 confirmation hearing before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee (attended by only five of the panel's 17 members) lasted just 67 minutes, and not a single question was asked about his qualifications.

The committee did hold up Safavian's confirmation for a year, in part because of concerns about work his lobbying firm, Janus- Merritt Strategies, had done that he was required to divulge to the panel but failed to. The firm's filings showed that it represented two men suspected of links to terrorism (Safavian said one of the men was "erroneously listed," and the other's omission was an "inadvertent error") as well as two suspect African regimes. Ultimately, the committee and the full Senate unanimously approved Safavian for the post.

His political clout, federal procurement experts say privately, came from his late-1990s lobbying partnership with Grover Norquist, now head of Americans for Tax Reform and a close ally of the Bush Administration. Norquist is an antitax advocate who once famously declared that his goal was to shrink the Federal Government so he could "drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub." As the U.S. procurement czar, Safavian was pushing in that direction by seeking to shift government work to private contractors, contending it was cheaper. Federal procurement insiders say his relationship with Norquist gave Safavian the edge in snaring the procurement post. But Norquist has "no memory" of urging the Administration to put Safavian in the post, says an associate speaking on Norquist's behalf. A White House official said Norquist "didn't influence the decision." Clay Johnson, who was designated by the White House to answer all of TIME's questions about administration staffing issues and who oversaw the procurement post, says Safavian was "by far the most qualified person" for the job. Perhaps it also didn't hurt that Safavian's wife Jennifer works as a lawyer for the House Government Reform Committee, which oversees federal contracting.


Pete DeFazio, :yourock:
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:16 AM
Response to Original message
1. Shit Dam, I missed another repuke trash * Dam it all to hell
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electropop Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #1
2. Relax, DeFazio's a Dem.
Though it's pretty amazing when a Dem has the guts to take on the BFEE.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:22 AM
Response to Reply #1
3. "Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon-4) ripped the..."
Read the text! :)
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madokie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-28-05 10:43 AM
Response to Reply #3
Shit, there is no (?) smile.
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paineinthearse Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-30-05 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #4
5. Like this?
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