Lurita Alexis Doan, GSA Chief: Capitalism Meets Politics


When a person of note is covered by the media in Your Nation’s Capital, three questions are asked by the victim:

1) Is there a picture?

2) Is it above the fold?

3) Is the story running on the weekend?


Lurita Alexis Doan If the newspaper publishes a picture of the person above the fold, then the media outlet is creating the “legs” that the story will take. The media outlet is helping to make the story, the story. And bleeding will follow. Because…

If it bleeds, it leads.

Lurita Alexis Doan, the top executive of the General Services Administration came to DC to make a difference after making a buck. In her old position running a for-profit technology company, she was most familiar with selling to the government and creating wealth and generating jobs.

She knows how to create wealth with efficient and effective management. But there was one skill set her new job in Government required that few for-profit businesses cover in management training:

Multiple points of accountability.

It was not enough for Doan to lead the billion dollar agency, manage her staff, boss and peers, and customers. She also had to manage the press, the public perception, and now, as we have all read, she must deal with the initiative-killing-congress in the person of Henry Waxman.

Representative Waxman is accusing Lurita Doan of a laundry list of offenses, but the most interesting is violating the Hatch Act.

Alert Reader Tom Commented,

Please accurately present facts, in particular the provisions of the Hatch Act. You clearly omit the prohibitions relevant to Ms. Doan’s violation: that no employee may engage in political activity while on duty or in a government office. The Hatch Act prohibits far more than the 3 actions you list…

Lurita Doan’s Hatch Act “violation” is no worse than driving down Constitution Avenue with a Bush bumper sticker.

Your Business Blogger knows a bit about the line that separates public service as a govenment appointee receiving a government paycheck, and electioneering.

Lurita Doan has been coloring well within the lines of The Hatch Act. At least much better than Your Business Blogger.

Because, unlike Lurita Doan, I inadvertently fudged the line. At least according to the Richmond Times Dispatch.

A number of years ago I sent out an invitation to friends to attend a fund raiser, from my spacious government office. Your Business Blogger,

Used a government computer

Fund raised for a particular candidate

In an election

I goofed. As RTD’s Tyler Whitley quickly wrote. But it was not above the fold, there was no picture, and the article was mid-week, but, thankfully, small. I was a dummy and got off light.

Doan is innocent and being condemned under The Hatch Act.

The Hatch Act of 1939 is arcane; difficult to understand and frightfully easy to misinterpret. Think IRS regulations.

But, there was no attempt on her part of using the agency or anything else to compel employees to do any partisan activities.

She made a statement that 6 people apparently heard and 30 people did not.

It was not her meeting, it was set up by her White House liaison and she was not aware of its contents beforehand. She readily admits she should have asked more questions. Of course, these are political appointees and they are allowed leeway in meetings at government buildings. She should have understood the nature the meeting before attending or making any statements. She has since taken steps to make sure all meetings are vetted through counsel and through her ethics staff.

No, Doan is not in violation. This is simply a witch hunt on the part of Democrats to get to the White House. And Democrats imply that only the GOP is being political. Lurita Doan has been caught in the middle of participating in this meeting and possibly making the statement on helping candidates — remember: Doan does business, not politics. But, she certainly has not advocated or pushed the GSA employees to do anything in an election.

An election that is still a year and half away.

The issue is more than any confusion over The Hatch Act. The Democrat attack machine sees Lurita Alexis Doan as a two-fer:

1) A George Bush appointee, and

2) A business person.

The liberal media and liberal Democrats don’t care for either.


Dan Gainor

Director Business and Media Institute I had lunch the other day with Dan Gainor, pictured at left, below the fold, who is the The Boone Pickens Free Market Fellow and Director of the Business and Media Institute — a part of Brent Bozell’s Media Research Center. I ask him about the liberal bias — the media bias against businessmen. “Nearly every businessman is shown by Hollywood to be a crook, or worse,” says Gainor. Portraited as monsters. Or hypocrites, like, say, a church-going thief. As he writes in Bad Company: For the American Businessman, Primetime is Crimetime,

One enduring American cultural image is the man in the gray flannel suit. A businessman, with briefcase in tow and tie crisply knotted, who left the family for an honest day’s work and eventually returned home worn and weary. But TV long ago abandoned that icon and replaced it with the stereotype of corporate evil.

And Democrats believing this script — and all that flickers for truth in Hollywood — hate Bush, hate capitalism, hate businessmen.

Lurita Alexis Doan knows how to make money in the Free Market and is on the Bush management team. Making Doan the (immediate) target.

Capitalism bested communism. But Capitalism and Business will have a bigger challenge with liberal Democrats like Henry Waxman in Congress.


Thank you (foot)notes:

See Christopher J. Dorobek’s take at the jump.

See Lurita Alexis Doan: Good Management Meets Bad Politics

And How To Cut The Federal Budget at a Government Agency by Lurita Alexis Doan

Did Doan understand The Manager’s Mission? Bob Novak indicates that Doan clearly does not enjoy the support of her management molecule: Boss, Peers, Staff, Customers. See Hatch Act Hatchet Job.

Testimonial Two-Step has more on DC tactics.

Also see NewsBusters for exposing and combating liberal media bias.

Editorial: More headlines than help

FCW shares hopeful and depressing points about the main players at a Doan hearing

BY Christopher J. Dorobek

Published on June 25, 2007

Federal agencies face tough issues, particularly those related to procurement. But you wouldn’t know that if you had attended a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing earlier this month, which featured Lurita Doan, administrator of the General Services Administration, in a starring role.

The four-hour session was the administrator’s second appearance before the committee in the past few months. The session seemed to be misfocused on partisan political issues that might have been helpful to those involved in political campaigns, but it failed to improve government procurement and management.

Here are our thoughts on what was hopeful — and depressing — about the major players at the hearing.

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

Hopeful: Waxman has raised the visibility of oversight and highlighted some of the procurement issues that agencies are facing.

Depressing: The committee, so far, has focused on issues that make headlines rather than issues that make a difference. Waxman’s views about government procurement are different from those of his predecessor. That’s fine, but Waxman’s vision has not become clear in the hearings or in the handful of speeches he has given.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.), ranking minority member on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee:

Hopeful: Davis has long been a guiding force for government procurement and reform. He has been a moderating influence on some of the more rabid partisans on both sides of the aisle.

Depressing: Davis can get sucked into the fracas. During his opening statement at the Doan hearing, he went on about Valerie Plame Wilson, whose difficulties had nothing to do with the Doan hearing.


Hopeful: Doan seems increasingly committed to the task of focusing on agency customers and ensuring that they get what they need to do their work. At one point in the hearing, Doan was asked what was her biggest challenge, and she spoke eloquently about the procurement workforce.

Depressing: Doan has not yet put to rest the findings that she violated the Hatch Act. She often seems unable to listen, to a degree that even Republican supporters commented on it.

Those depressing thoughts are serious ones. We hope the issues behind them will be addressed.


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2 Responses

  1. Jackrabbit says:

    Your disdain for the rule of Law and accountability in this administration is destroying this country.

    Ms. Doan’s abhorrent performance in front of congress, her lying, her threats of retribution to subordinates, and her illegal partisanship undermine everything this country is supposed to stand for.

    I think it is ashame that fundamentalists like yourself are unwilling to see the forest for the trees and insist that your disproved, dishonorable, and unethical world view is more important than freedom, civil rights, and democracy.

    I pray you will come to your senses before it’s too late.

  2. Jack Yoest says:

    Dear Jackrabbit,

    Did you really write “pray”?

    Goodness, kind sir, from your world view, what on earth are you praying to?

    Would it be the Creator mentioned in our founding documents?

    The Creator of the world?

    The Word? The Way? The Truth? The Light?

    You would not be praying to Jesus Christ the only way to eternal life?

    What deity are you beseeching? Did you actually embrace Jesus? Or are you hugging a tree?

    Have a nice eternity,