OH, THANK GOD! Roy Bernardi, currently Assistant Secretary at the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been sidestepped by the Bush Administration for the top job. GW announced today that Steve Preston, director of the Small Business Administrationhas been named to succeed the disgraced and retiring Alphonso Jackson as the next Secretary at HUD.
Preston is evidently competent, working diligently to remake the SBA. Most governmental agencies run by Bush appointees feature a steel cage match between incompetence and corruption to determine standard operating procedure. Preston apparently prizes competence and results. The signature accomplishment of his tenure at SBA was cutting through the languishing backlog of assistance requests at SBA for small businesses wiped out by Hurricane Katrina. Preston pushed $6 billion in aid out the door in a matter of months.
Our nation has been spared the incompetence of Roy Bernardi, a political hack whose signature accomplishment as mayor of Syracuse was mismanaging the Finance Department so badly that the city had no idea what its accounts receivable balance was on any given day. This led to charges of fraud by the Securities and Exchange Commission because when the city issued a bond, the information provided to investors on the city’s finances was just a guess.
A Bernardi-directed HUD would be unable to tackle the pressing problems facing our country in the mortgage foreclosure/credit crunch/undefinable derivative financial product /Wall St. land grab (take your pick) crisis. Wow, it is certainly a new day in Bushland–competence over cronyism.