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Under normal circumstances, a criminal investigation of a Cabinet Secretary would be a big deal. But with all the political scandals now swirling about, there’s been virtually no media attention of the investigation into Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson.
Fortunately, there’s this terrific recent piece by Ed Pound in National Journal:
In February 2004, a lobbyist named Scott Keller joined Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson as his deputy chief of staff. Over the next three years, Keller became Jackson’s indispensable man — his “right arm,” insiders say — at the Housing and Urban Development Department. In January, President Bush nominated Keller to be HUD’s assistant secretary for congressional and intergovernmental relations. But his nomination languished in the Senate, and Keller resigned from the department in August.
Keller, 37, resumed his lobbying career and says he left HUD under his own steam to provide for his family. But at the same time, sources say, the former Jackson aide has emerged in recent months as a central figure in the government’s criminal investigation of the HUD secretary. In one instance, Keller played an important role in a decision by the Housing Authority of New Orleans, or HANO, which is controlled by HUD, to award a $127 million redevelopment project to a team that included an Atlanta company, Columbia Residential. That firm has significant financial ties to Jackson: It owes him between $250,000 and $500,000 “for past services,” according to the HUD secretary’s public financial disclosure reports.
More from Ken Silverstein:
Commentary — November 17, 2015, 6:41 pm
The Clintons’ so-called charitable enterprise has served as a vehicle to launder money and to enrich family friends.
Freddie Gray’s relatives arrived for the trial in the afternoon, after the prep-school kids had left. By their dress, they seemed to have just gotten off work in the medical and clerical fields. The family did not appear at ease in the courtroom. They winced and dropped their heads as William Porter and his fellow officer Zachary Novak testified to opening the doors of their police van last April and finding Freddie paralyzed, unresponsive, with mucus pooling at his mouth and nose. Four women and one man mournfully listened as the officers described needing to get gloves before they could touch him.
The first of six Baltimore police officers to be brought before the court for their treatment of Freddie Gray, a black twenty-five-year-old whose death in their custody was the immediate cause of the city’s uprising last spring, William Porter is young, black, and on trial. Here in this courtroom, in this city, in this nation, race and the future seem so intertwined as to be the same thing.
Average speed of Heinz ketchup, from the mouth of an upended bottle, in miles per year:
After studying the fall of 64,000 individual raindrops, scientists found that some small raindrops fall faster than they ought to.
The Playboy mansion in California was bought by the heir to the Twinkie fortune, and a New Mexico man set fire to his apartment to protest his neighbors’ loud lovemaking.
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“Matt was happy enough to sustain himself on the detritus of a world he saw as careening toward self-destruction, and equally happy to scam a government he despised. 'I’m glad everyone’s so wasteful,' he told me. 'It supports my lifestyle.'”