Tuesday, September 20, 2005
First the ridiculous…
David Safavian imaged by the Washington Post and (inset) Amicus Online
Just last Friday, as the Department of Justice filed a 3-count criminal complaint (PDF) in Washington, a 38 year-old member of the Executive Office of the President, David H. Safavian, head of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget, abruptly resigned.
Safavian was a key player in the OMB’s recent and controversial decision to expand the unauthorized purchasing power of certain government officials to $250,000 to permit “agencies to more quickly purchase goods and services in support of Hurricane Katrina relief.”
At the time of his arrest, according to the New York Times, Safavian was involved in “developing contracting policies for the multibillion-dollar relief effort after Hurricane Katrina.”
Yesterday, based on that 3-count DOJ complaint, Mr. Safavian was arrested.
Safavian, the former partner of infamous lobbyist Jack Abramoff and the equally infamous but unindicted Republican Field Marshal Grover Norquist, is accused of making false statements to a General Services Administration Ethics Officer and obstructing a GSA Inspector General investigation.
With front-page headlines in the major media and with liberal websites, particularly the always excellent Talking Points Memo, buzzing with the audacity and interconnectedness of high-level Republican corruption, one can Google lots of information about Safavian’s curious “relationships”.
For example, the then 35 year-old David accompanied then 41 year-old Jack “Mitts on the Moolah” Abramoff on one of his legally controversial St. Andrews, Scotland golf outing in August 2002.
According to the New York Times, a lobbyist emailing Abramoff prior to the golf trip must have, like us, wondered about the youthful trip mate asking, "Why (sic) dave? I like him but didn't know (sic) u did as much. Business angle?"
When the ever status conscious former insect exterminator turned House Majority Leader Tom Delay accompanied Abramoff to Scotland in 2000 he resided at the luxurious Old Course Hotel, Golf Resort and Spa in St. Andrews, Kingdom of Fife, Scotland.
Young Dave Safavian, Washington lobbyist, Edwin A. Buckham, Ohio Congressman Bob Ney and the American Express card wielding Jack Abramoff likely, on their trips, economized at the 5-star Hilton Glasgow.
Interestingly, Safavian’s wife Jennifer, once the counsel for the Enron-investigating (wink, wink) House Committee on Energy and Commerce, is now, according the New York Times:
Chief counsel for oversight and investigations on the House Government Reform Committee, which is responsible for overseeing government procurement and is, among other things, expected to conduct the Congressional investigation into missteps after Hurricane Katrina.
Dave and Jen, both graduates of the Michigan State University College of Law, told an Alumni Profile in 2002 that life in Washington, for a well-connected young couple, isn’t anything like life on West Wing.
According to Dave, “You always need to be thinking” while Jen confesses, “The more you’re around here the more you get involved in it. You can’t help it. It’s exciting.”
Something tells me that life for Dave and Jen is getting even more exciting!
Next, how about a little sublime?
I recently purchased Volume 2 of Norman Karlson’s new 4-volume Encyclopedia of American Art Tiles.
This particular book, a wonderful tool for any level of Midwestern Tile collecting, is filled with spectacular color plates of tiles, some of which have never been photographed before.
Good examples of these tiles are scarce and examples of these tiles covered in the most sought after glazes are even more rare.
The 6” X 18” American Encaustic Tile Company manufactured and Herman Mueller designed relief panel of a 19th century family interior scene shown here is about the best example of its kind known with a crisp mold and gorgeous blue glaze.
A note to collectors, when it was discovered this tile was encrusted with a sticky black tar-like substance and bore no resemblance to the glory that appeared after a slow and through cleaning.
Photos: Melina Mara-Washington Post, Law.MSU.edu, sean