Revelations of lavish and inappropriate spending at a 2010 federal training conference in Las Vegas have engulfed the Obama administration’s General Services Administration this week, forcing several senior GSA officials to step down and prompting new calls for the President to crack down on government waste.
The details of the conference are shocking: 300 employees from the GSA’s western offices were put up at the luxury M Resort Spa Casino, where GSA executives stayed in two-story loft suites outfitted with wet bars and multiple televisions. Attendees were treated to after-hours parties, a $7,000 sushi reception, and entertained by a clown, a comedian, and a $3,200 “mind-reader.”
As if that weren’t damning enough, a new video has surfaced from the conference that confirms that the GSA’s excess was not only accepted, but celebrated.
The video features the winning entry of what was apparently an employee music video conference. In it, GSA employee Hank Terlaje of Hawaii croons about what he would do if he was Commissioner, to the tune of Travis McCoy’s “Billionaire.” His list includes buying computers and guns, driving around in government cars, giving out cash bonuses, and avoiding inspector general investigations.
The video is actually hilarious (at one point Hank and his fellow bureaucrats do a choreographed dance in their office), but it also portrays bureaucratic life as a pretty cushy existence. At the end, Terlaje gets a standing ovation from his fellow employees at the conference, and Deputy Commissioner of the Public Building Service David Foley crowns Terlaje “Commissioner for a Day.” Foley also throws in a few jokes about Congressional oversight and Obama’s initiative to curb government spending.
Here’s the video, courtesy of the House Oversight Committee (who obtained it from the GSA Inspector General):
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