John Klossner

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Klossner: The Internet has let me down

What good is the Internet if you can't find scurrilous dirt? You can find conspiracy theories, you can find videos of people lip-syncing popular music in their bedrooms, and you can find what appear to be 40-year-old clips of mongooses  fighting cobras with science fiction music in the background.

But you still can't find out what happened between Lurita Doan and Jim Williams. I say "what happened" in reference to Williams' omission from the General Services Administration's advisory panel evaluating GSA schedule contracts' price reduction clause.

I have spent much of the past week looking for clues as to what possible reason Doan could've had for not including Williams. I have found pages and pages of reasons why he would have been included, ranging from his expertise and earned respect in acquisition matters and his previous experience shoring up the Homeland Security Department's acquisition strategies to his seemingly longtime relationship with Lurita Doan, dating from her time in the private sector to her role as head of GSA. I found blogs that accused Lurita Doan and Jim Williams of having an inappropriate business relationship, referring to when he was awarding her company government contracts. I read and re-read numerous columns trying to explain whether Doan's tenure at GSA was a positive or negative for the department.

All this to see if there was a clue as to why this highly-qualified individual who had had a long and seemingly fruitful relationship with the director was left off a panel that practically had his name on it. And, at this point, I have to say I'm very disappointed in the Internet. I mean, if you can't find slanderous suppositions and half- truths online, where can you find them? Somebody, somewhere, must be posting an unsubstantiated rumor that can explain this, right? 

Someone must have heard that Jim Williams inadvertently left Lurita Doan off his Christmas card list in 2007, right? Or that he gave a dinner party and she was seated next to someone who wanted to talk about Joe Gibbs' senior moments all night?

Or -- and at this point I have to admit to a very immature problem of mine. Every time I see the name "Lurita Doan," I have the very childish reaction of switching the first letters of her name and referring to her as "Doritos Loan." It is not something I'm proud of, but there it is. What if Jim Williams -- a man who by every account handles himself as a professional and with levels of maturity that I can only dream of -- had an immature slip? For him, it may have been a moment, and I'd bet he covered himself wonderfully. But what if someone else in his office heard him, and couldn't get that name out of their head -- like I can't get the 1960s pop classic "Take a Letter Maria" out of my head this morning -- and, before you know it, a set of cubicles is referring to "Doritos Loan?" All it takes is one staffer to let this slip outside of the office and Jim Williams is off the panel that he practically wrote the book for.

According to my FCW sources, insiders said Doan felt that Williams was not making changes at GSA quick enough. Reading between the lines, that sounds like the dinner party. I mean, she couldn't have had a legitimate reason, could she?

Anyway, here's the cartoon.

Posted by John Klossner on May 22, 2008 at 12:18 PM


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