The Spectacle Blog

Doan Miss This Story!!!!

By on 2.22.07 | 2:50PM

PUNISHED FOR SAVING MONEY!

Here's a story that I urge more bloggers and columnists to pay attention to, one which I will be blogging or columnizing about more in the coming weeks -- but I claim no pride of ownership, so I hope others dig into it themselves and beat me to the punch. Anyway, it involves the chief of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), Lurita Doan, who has been doing yeoman's (would lefty feminists call it "yeowoman's"?) work at eliminating waste in an agency that was $120 million in the red and eliminated the shortfall, plus recommended a whopping $1.3 billion in further cuts. For her efforts, she has been subjected to blowback from the permanent bureaucracy, as witness this original WashPost story about what really is a tempest in a thimble. It was followed up this WashPost story that described GSA's (i.e. Doan's) perfectly reasonable reply to the allegations.

What happened was that she dared to cut the Inspector General's budget as well. She seemed to have good reason for it. Regardless, he launched an investigation of her that blamed her for even CONSIDERING the issuing of a contract that NEVER actually was effectuated. Gee: Big whoop. Yet the Post, doing the bidding of Henry Waxman, tried to make a big deal of it. The Post also questioned Doan's actions in the case of five firms that were being considered for suspension from contracts because of fraud allegations. The Post wrote that Doan "intervened in the suspension process." Again, that was wrong. What she did was merely ask for a report on the case and suggest that a slowdown be considered IF appropriate. Lurita specifically wrote: "If these letters can be stopped until cooler heads can prevail and discuss what the appropriate mechanism is to obtain the information that CAO requires, that would be best."

For this bit of intelligent oversight, she is being treated as if she is somehow doing something wrong.

The kicker to all this? Try the fact that Ms. Doan is an incredibly successful businesswoman, born and raised in the now-infamous 9th Ward of my hometown New Orleans (I've never met her, by the way), a victim of both Hurricane Betsy and Hurricane Katrina. She earned her admirably tough hide by being among the first (maybe THE first) black girl (as a third-grader) to integrate the Crescent City's private school system.

Conservatives should be rallying to her defense. More later.

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