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Stonewall Jackson's Out

Housing Secretary Alphonso Jackson, though probably not for long
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Several way-too-early-rising Friends of Unfair Park have sent word that former Dallas Housing Authority president and CEO Alphonso Jackson's about to quit his current job as Housing and Urban Development Secretary. And the Friends know why: The Dallas native refuses to answer Congress' questions concerning myriad allegations that he's been generous with friends and vindictive toward housing authorities and officials who won't do his bidding. (Update: For those so inclined, here's Jackson's brief letter of resignation.)

The feds are conducting several investigations into Stonewall Jackson's conduct as HUD secretary -- including, most notably at this point, allegations that he retaliated against the Philadelphia Housing Authority for failing to give Jackson BFF Kenny Gamble a $2-million piece of property way below market value. Of course, the whole mess began with Jackson's remarks in Dallas in '06, when he said, "Why should I reward someone who doesn't like the president, so they can use funds to try to campaign against the president? Logic says they don't get the contract. That's the way I believe."

Jackson's due to step down at 10 a.m. -- or, as The New York Times notes this morning, "15 minutes before Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. is supposed to outline plans for dealing with the financial crisis set off by the risky mortgage lending." The Wall Street Journal, which broke the story last night, also notes that when "asked if Mr. Jackson was planning to resign, HUD spokeswoman DJ Nordquist said she was 'not at liberty to say what the announcement is.'" Two hours and counting ... --Robert Wilonsky

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