The Washington Examiner adds a little heavily-subsidized, potentially incendiary punctuation to the story of the Government Services Administration – that painfully throbbing appendage of our massive federal government:
Before GSA administrator Martha Johnson resigned in disgrace, she proudly oversaw the purchase of over 100 electric vehicles that would be delivered to Government agencies.
In this 2011 video filmed by the GSA, Johnson proudly delivers a set of keys to a brand new Chevy Volt to Energy Secretary David Chu.
“This is the first of many sets of keys that will be delivered to the Department of Energy and other agencies that will help save millions of dollars and set a course for a sustainable federal fleet,” she says, with a Chevy Volt in the background.
There’s a video, too!
Now, hold on a second: I thought Secretary Chu didn’t have a car. He made a point of saying so in Congressional testimony. But here we’ve got Martha Johnson handing him the keys to a Volt! Did that baby drop dead and get stuck in your garage, Mr. Secretary? Do you need help dragging it out? You shouldn’t just leave it sitting in your house. Volts are fire hazards, you know.
In other GSA news, the Senate is taking its turn to work the GSA over, in a series of considerably… lower-key hearings than the Republican House gave us. The agency’s Inspector General, Brian Miller, did his bit to liven up the proceedings, as reported by Fox News:
“We are continuing ongoing investigations,” Miller said. “And every time we turn over a proverbial stone, we find 50 more and we find things crawling out from under them.”
On the question of whether the problems were limited to the Western regions, he said that bank robbers go where the money is.
(Emphases mine.) Senator Jim Inhofe (R-MI) noted that no oversight hearings have been held on the GSA in 12 years, and warned, “We’re dealing with corrupt people here.”
Even that wasn’t exciting enough for Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), who found himself wondering just how many government conferences are being held in Las Vegas these days. It turns out there used to be a policy against holding government confabs in such “leisure-oriented” destinations, but it was overturned in 2009, at the urging of… Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who just happens to hail from Nevada.
Senator Paul wrote to House Oversight chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA) and referenced letters from Reid to then-White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel, saying that “in light of the recent extravagant spending within the Government Services Agency, and the subsequent House and Senate hearings, I respectfully ask you to investigate how many government agency conferences, from any agency throughout government, were held in Las Vegas since the Administration reversed its previous policy.”
But you don’t have to read any boring correspondence between Reid and Emanuel, because Harry Reid thoughtfully produced a video, too. The music is catchy.
Reid defended Las Vegas to reporters, as quoted in Politico:
“We all acknowledge the best place to hold a convention in the world is Las Vegas,” he said. “There’s 150,000 hotel rooms, it’s very inexpensive to come there, and I understand why people want to come to Las Vegas.”
“But what the GSA did has nothing to do with Las Vegas,” Reid continued. “It has everything to do with stupidity, with a lack of common sense.”
A bloated government pumped full of borrowed money, which Harry Reid has not seen fit to provide with a budget for three years running, has a deficit of common sense? Who could have seen that coming?