Never when I posted Bankrupting America’s parody of the planning proceedings for the General Services Administration Western Regions Conference did I dream that video would surface of actual GSA employees also mocking their own outrageous use of taxpayer dollars. Yet, that’s exactly what this video shows.
But that’s not all. CNN’s dispatch drew from a Huffington Post exclusive video that also showed employees chatting it up on a mock “red carpet.” At one point, Acting GSA Administration Jeff Neely (the same guy who reportedly encouraged conference planners to make the event “over the top”) says he’s wearing “all Armani.” His hope for the Conference, he said, was that it would dispel the notion that “what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Instead, he says, “What happens in Vegas needs to be shared with everybody.” It’s almost like it was his goal for word of the GSA’s outrageous spending to get out. He’s like some inadvertent whistleblower in an all-Armani disguise!
HuffPo has more videos — a couple more that look like they were also entries into the video contest, plus footage of conference presenters singing a rewritten version of “Luck Be a Lady.” The irony of one of the modified lyrics of the WRC’s version of the song struck me. “Have fun out there, but keep it within reason.”
Ah, reason. It clearly fled the conference planners for a period of time. Fortunately, the GSA recognizes it. Said a GSA spox: “These videos reinforce once again the complete lack of judgment exhibited during the 2010 Western Regions Conference. Our agency continues to be appalled by this indefensible behavior, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.”