It's been a rough week for Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson. Actually, his whole tenure as HUD Secretary has been rocky - he's been accused of firing a HUD contractor who wasn't a Bush supporter, of giving away lucrative insider deals to friends, and of using his political muscle to bully enemies. Of course he had to go, because if there's one thing the Bush administration doesn't tolerate, it's petty, grudge-holding cronyism. Jackson resigned yesterday, telling reporters that he was leaving to spend more time with his family.
Why is Secretary Jackson looking to spend more time with his family all of a sudden? We're going to go out on a limb and guess that it's got to do more with the FBI investigation than it does with a timeshare in Steamboat Springs he and the wife just found a great deal on.
Spending time with the family always gets trotted out when these guys need an excuse to resign. We wonder if they try to spin it the same way behind closed doors: "Honey, I might get hit with a federal indictment - we're going to Epcot!" Let me tell you - that is going to be one awkward monorail ride.
But there has been one bit of HUD spending that's been overlooked this week. That's the hundred thousand dollars Secretary Jackson paid Dan Duffy to paint official portraits of Jackson and the last four HUD secretaries. We spoke to Duffy back in September as he was furiously trying to complete all five portraits under deadline. And we checked back in with him today.