Contact l Sitemap

home industries issues reasearch weblog press

Home  » Issues » Money & Politics

Some Jokes Are Too True To Be Funny

Posted by Brooke Shelby Biggs on May 17th, 2006

Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Alphonso Jackson may think he's Steven Colbert, but his blunt brand of "humor" is a little too, er, observational for a laugh.

The secretary was at a forum in Dallas earlier this month and told this hilarious story of an advertising contractor who had just been selected to receive a contract from HUD:

"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years. He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'

"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, '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.'

"He didn't get the contract. 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."

Jackson later said the conversation had never happened, that it was a joke, and that political leanings do not figure into the contract award system. Qualifications and competitiveness of bids are the only criteria, he insists.

He needs to work on his delivery.