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HUD Chief Lambasted for Talk of Contracts, Loyalty

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Alphonso Jackson seeks to distance himself from remarks he made at a business meeting about withholding contracts from applicants who don't agree with President Bush's policies.

On April 28, Jackson told a story at a Dallas forum about denying a contract because the contractor said he did not like President Bush. At the time, Jackson explained that he didn't believe in supporting people who don't support his administration. Jackson now says he regrets the remarks, and that contracts are always awarded solely on the basis of merit.

But the statements drew strong criticism from Democrats on the Hill, and HUD's Inspector General has launched a review. Michele Norris talks about the controversy with Todd Gillman, politics reporter for the Dallas Morning News.

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