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The WP's latest Doan story -- what's new?

So the WP's front page has a new story on GSA administrator Lurita Doan:

GSA Chief Is Accused of Playing Politics [WP, 3.26, 2007]

Doan Denies 'Improper' Use of Agency for GOP

Witnesses have told congressional investigators that the chief of the General Services Administration and a deputy in Karl Rove's political affairs office at the White House joined in a videoconference earlier this year with top GSA political appointees, who discussed ways to help Republican candidates.

With GSA Administrator Lurita Alexis Doan and up to 40 regional administrators on hand, J. Scott Jennings, the White House's deputy director of political affairs, gave a PowerPoint presentation on Jan. 26 of polling data about the 2006 elections.

When Jennings concluded his presentation to the GSA political appointees, Doan allegedly asked them how they could "help 'our candidates' in the next elections," according to a March 6 letter to Doan from Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Waxman said in the letter that one method suggested was using "targeted public events, such as the opening of federal facilities around the country."


OK, I have to say that I just don't get it. On the face of it, there is just nothing new here ... nothing significantly new, anyway. We reported this back on March 12. Doan was even the Buzz of the Week. And it was in the letter that Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) sent to Doan 'inviting' her to testify. [.pdf] And it was in the WP's own coverage, albeit buried. (You have to go to the third Web page to find the Hatch Act details.)

I understand that Monday newspapers are difficult to fill, but was there really nothing else going on? Is there not a war going on? I know two of the fired prosecutors were on Meet the Press yesterday.

There are many things here that deserve a full review, and Hatch Act issues are so critically important ... and I can't wait to hear Wednesday's hearing... but I just don't get why this is on page one.

Is that the Jaws music I hear in the background?

A total aside: Check out who took the photo that runs with the story online. Yes, none other then WP reporter Robert O'harrow Jr. I noticed he was taking photos when he was at Doan's FOSE speech last week.

Posted by Christopher Dorobek on Mar 26, 2007 at 12:16 PM


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