April 3rd, 2012
04:51 PM ET
3 years ago

GSA chief gone, but fallout continues in wake of lavish convention expense

Washington (CNN) - A day after the head of the General Services Administration resigned because of a procurement scandal at the federal agency, officials vowed Tuesday to implement spending reforms and disciplinary action she announced on the way out the door.

A letter Monday from now-former GSA Administrator Martha Johnson agreed with the recommendations of the GSA Inspector General in a report that documented massive overspending, questionable expenditures, and a cavalier attitude toward procurement rules surrounding a regional training conference held in Las Vegas in 2010.

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Filed under: White House
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Myviewis

    Let me guess, this is okay because she is a Democrat and a Republican made me do it excuse. Never would a Democrat abuse its position, power, be money hungry, irresponsible. Oh no, a Democrat is always concerned for the people, this is just another scandal among many other scandals of Democrats, always putting your hands in the cookie jar, always plotting, scheming, always making underhand plans. I have to say that Democrats are excellent in deceiving, cunning, calculating and trickyyyyyy. Wow, thank goodness Democrats do always get found out. I wonder how much she got away with when she worked for President Clinton. And she seems so mousy.

    April 3, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  2. Claudia, Phoenix, AZ

    The GSA is and has always been a agency of theives.

    April 3, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Larry L

    This is why the American people continually have a low opinion of government agencies. So many good people devote their lives to honorable service yet it only takes a few rotten apples to ruin the barrel. I firmly believe the people who signed-off on the ridiculous expenditures should face serious administrative actions and repay the funds if fraudlulent activities are discovered.

    April 3, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  4. cali girl

    SHAME on them for the outright looney spending.

    April 3, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  5. The REAL TRUTH...

    @myviewis – nice slant, but hardly limited to those on the Democratic side. Remember a certain *watergate* term ??

    April 3, 2012 05:33 pm at 5:33 pm |
  6. MTATL67

    This is not a Democratic or a Republican thing. This is a total disregard of the public trust. The President acted decisively and swiftly. If Republicans want to turn this into a partisan issue then that says more about them and their own issues. If Republican want to talk about waste then need to justify wanting to bring back pork-barrel earmarks. Which cost more than whatever the GSA spent. My own Georgia Senator earmarked over $200K for BLUEBERRIES. Yes blueberries.

    April 3, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  7. Larry L

    @Myviewis

    "Let me guess, this is okay because she is a Democrat and a Republican made me do it excuse."
    ----------------------------------------------------------You need help. She's being hammered (rightfully so) and nobody said a word about "Republicans" or it being "okay".

    Could you be a little sensitive considering the Republican record of corruption? Those 37 phone conversations Dick Cheney had with Ken Lay in the 60 days preceeding Enron's collapse may have been two old friends chatting – more believable if they were high school girls right before the prom.

    Cheney's "special" treatment of his old company, the one holding millions of dollars in stock for him, can best be seen if you google the "Haliburton Loophole". I guess the bonus Haliburton got after being caught by the Army Audit Agency for defrauding the Army was just an act of kindness and compassion.

    When Cheney and "W" were trying to start a war with Iraq the falsification of intelligence records seemed a bit naughty. Outing a secret agent to punish her husband makes one think they were somewhat vindictive regarding that event. Of well... no harm – no foul. Only 4,500 Service-members died and 40,000 wounded in that little business venture. Oil company stocks (don't forget Haliburton) went sky high!

    If you'd like to extend your trip down corruption lane just follow the money here in Texas – where Rick Perry took an unusual interest in requiring the HPV vaccine – but only after about 150k hit his campaign coffers. Perry's direct ties to the oil industry could fill volumes in a series of books on "Crooked Republicans I Have Known". A lot of trees would die to print the entire series.

    You'd be wise to avoid this subject – just ask Trent Lott or Newt Gingrich if they think these old situations are worth mentioning. I believe they took the traditional Republican escape path – declaring that they talked to Jesus and he forgave them... Jesus gets a lot of Republican business in this area.

    April 3, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  8. Myviewis

    @The Real Truth-seriously that is all you've got "watergate"? You just proved my point that instead of Democrats be angry at someone spending this huge amount of our money, abusing her power, been so irresponsible in her job the Democrat creates an excuse because this person is a Democrat. Thank you for proving my point that Democrats are not troubled or bothered by deceit, trickery, cunning. I bet that if you could have done the same as she did you would have and that is why it doesn't bother you that she spend our money.

    April 3, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  9. Obama Doubling down on Socialism

    Yes, yes, yes.... the lovely huge federal bureaucracy that loves to take and spend your hard earned tax dollars "for you.' These are the same people that would be running Obamacare. Yes, the federal government just LOVES to take and take and take and pretend it is looking out for your interests. Sure makes me want to send it more of my money! NOT!!!

    I say fire every person that went there or organized it or approved it. While this country speeds towards bankruptcy, they need to be an example of. It will be the ONLY way this stops.

    April 3, 2012 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  10. Jae

    GSA..biggest ripoff. They priced everything 3x higher then retail stores, yet military is pretty much required to purchase from them. Had to purchase from them for last 6 yrs and still going. Government and tax payers would save TONS of money without them..unless you work for GSA, or GSA advantage contractor

    April 3, 2012 05:48 pm at 5:48 pm |
  11. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Myviewis – "seriously that is all you've got "watergate"? You just proved my point that instead of Democrats be angry at someone spending this huge amount of our money, abusing her power, been so irresponsible in her job the Democrat creates an excuse because this person is a Democrat. Thank you for proving my point that Democrats are not troubled or bothered by deceit, trickery, cunning. "
    --------------------------------–
    I was not supporting any of the above. I merely stated using the watergate example that abuse of power is NOT limited to Democrats. If you cannot read that into my comment, pls quit wasting my time.

    April 3, 2012 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  12. The REAL TRUTH...

    @Obama Doubling down on Socialism – I say fire every person that went there or organized it or approved it. While this country speeds towards bankruptcy, they need to be an example of. It will be the ONLY way this stops.
    -----------------------
    Speaking hypothetically – lets say you are correct for once. What would you support as alternative? Power corrupts. Absolute Power corrupts absolutely, and no side is immune. Vote out EVERY incumbent? Adopt a GOP budget like Ryan's? What's YOUR solution to this problem??

    April 3, 2012 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  13. Mikey

    @Myviews – Not okay. Not okay any time someone betrays the public trust. This is the kind of spending we simply cannot have; the wasteful kind. I do not begrudge paying taxes, to educate our population, maintain infrastructure, defend our country, maintain our position in the world, help the needy, support economic initiatives important to our future, spur technology development, regulate markets to maintain the public trust,and support other worthwhile causes. What I don't like paying taxes for is waste and unnecessary or counterproductive programs. I think we agree on this one. This is not a political issue. It's an ethical and responsibility issue and sometimes even a criminal issue.

    April 3, 2012 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  14. Mikey

    @Double down – don't paint everyone in government with a broad brush. That would be like calling everyone in business a crook. It's simply not true and gets in the way of good decision making.

    April 3, 2012 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  15. Myviewis

    @Larry L – Thank you for proving my point that Democrats don't get angry if a Democrat does wrong. You guys are hypocrites. The point here is that a wrong was done by this woman, it matters not if she is a Democrat or Republican, the point is people shouldn't get away with this kind of abuse. If a Republican had done this the same rule applies. We must demand that a better system is implemented in our government to stop this kind of spending abuse of our tax money. This is ridiculous, we are in financial trouble and this extremely experienced woman pulls this stunt. Absolutely, ridiculous that she did this. How can you not be troubled by our money being spend so irresponsibly when so many people need help?????

    April 3, 2012 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  16. Myviewis

    @The Real Truth – how about our government implements a controlled accounting system that audits quarterly so that this kind of spending is caught in time, an accounting system that requires 4 signatures of 4 different departments.

    April 3, 2012 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  17. Myviewis

    @Mikey – Thank you!!!!!! I couldn't have said it better. Beautifully said.

    April 3, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  18. Larry L

    @Obama Doubling down on Socialism (As Tttled By a Conservative Doubling Down on Fascism)

    "I say fire every person that went there or organized it or approved it. While this country speeds towards bankruptcy, they need to be an example of. It will be the ONLY way this stops."
    ---------------------------------------------------------
    For the first time I totally agree with you. Neither Moderates nor Conservatives should tolerate waste or dishonesty in our government.

    April 3, 2012 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  19. Larry L

    @Myviewis

    @Larry L – Thank you for proving my point that Democrats don't get angry if a Democrat does wrong.
    ----------------------------------------------------------
    Please go back and read my first comment! What part of "I firmly believe the people who signed-off on the ridiculous expenditures should face serious administrative actions and repay the funds if fraudlulent activities are discovered" indicates I'm not upset? I was simply pointing out that your comment was a ridiculous generalization – something I'd expect from Rush Limbaugh listeners.

    April 3, 2012 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  20. Another Day in the Idiot Mines

    "Thank you for proving my point that Democrats are not troubled or bothered by deceit, trickery, cunning."

    Really? Do you have those magic Joseph Smith glasses? Because I can't see any comments justifying government waste in general, or this waste in particular. And since as a GOPB cult member you may be a bit impaired intellectually, here's the simpler version: Saying "don't forget your guys do X" is in no way evidence the person making that statement actually supports or condones X. Making things up and posting them on CNN is really a waste of everyone's time so please stop.

    April 3, 2012 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  21. Obama Doubling down on Socialism

    One has to wonder how many other insane government boondoogles are going on, even as we speak. This one has taken a year and a half to surface. EVERY single government "conference", "awards dinner", or "event" needs to be reviewed by auditors. Far more heads need to role than a few at the top. This is behavior that borders on criminal when the government and country is going bankrupt, we're borrowing 40 cents on every dollar we spend and cuts are NOT being made.

    Only when a LOT of people get canned will the message be understood in the government, this is not play money we are spending.

    April 3, 2012 06:52 pm at 6:52 pm |