You have to see it to believe it: Inside footage of the GSA Western Regions Conference

posted at 5:31 pm on April 7, 2012 by Tina Korbe

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.”


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…we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again.

Getting caught, that is.

itsnotaboutme on April 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Wait til the REST of the videos are made public………..

RealMc on April 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

It’s only a bad thing because they got caught — by someone else other than folks in Barack Obama’s administration.

FlatFoot on April 7, 2012 at 5:35 PM

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.

We’ll get right on it after the election, really!

LeftCoastRight on April 7, 2012 at 5:36 PM

What? Sheriff Joe and Juvenile JugEars haven’t been watching every penny? It’s Boooooshes fault and those darn millionaires and oil companies, and party of no, and the courts, and…and…and…

KOOLAID2 on April 7, 2012 at 5:44 PM

Check out Wolfie around the 2:39 mark of the video saying how shocking it is that 4 years into the Obama admin stuff like this is happening. Oh please! Well maybe Wolfie if y’all had vetted the man–at all–we wouldn’t be here 4 years being so shocked. Duh!

stukinIL4now on April 7, 2012 at 5:45 PM

It really is an all-purpose quote:
 

Something I’m missing here?
 
Whats wrong with that?
 
liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

rogerb on April 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

Getting caught, that is.

itsnotaboutme on April 7, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Exactly.

Tim_CA on April 7, 2012 at 5:52 PM

Is anyone the least bit surprised by this?

Kataklysmic on April 7, 2012 at 5:53 PM

Heartache!

NASCARinCT

Del Dolemonte on April 7, 2012 at 5:55 PM

Jumpin’ in without reading previous comments.

I think this is pretty standard fare for any corporate type getaway.

……………..

There is an issue here. Most corporations did away with all the fluff; they cut back, laid off the people of the 99%.

HOW ever: The gubmint hired a ton of workers, like these that are depicted so succinctly in this video.

The bottom line is this: For every American worker who gets a pay stub? You are funding this behavior. If you are taken aback (as I am), I recommend you change your @-4 status to “EXEMPT”

You may thank me in person when I am thrown in prison for suggesting such an unAmerican thing.

Key West Reader on April 7, 2012 at 5:59 PM

And predictably, Pope Jugears has shifted the blame onto …

… wait for it …

BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOSH!

SagebrushPuppet on April 7, 2012 at 6:04 PM

Is anyone the least bit surprised by this?

Key West Reader on April 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM

For a few hours I wish China were in charge. Bodies would be dangling from lamp-poles like Christmas decorations.

These are thieves who have raped us, will never be punished and contemptuously laugh at us and are led by Big Thug from Chi-town.

MaiDee on April 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM

These are thieves who have raped us, will never be punished and contemptuously laugh at us and are led by Big Thug from Chi-town.

MaiDee on April 7, 2012 at 6:05 PM

That’s just a bit extreme.

Just sayin’ Raped? Uhreally?

Key West Reader on April 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

Smart power

Grunt on April 7, 2012 at 6:10 PM

“I’ll have more flexibility to cover your asses after my reelection…please transmit this to Vladimir”…

Strike Hornet on April 7, 2012 at 6:17 PM

Democrats living like Michelle and Barry.

pat on April 7, 2012 at 6:21 PM

Whenever anyone talks of budget cuts or living within our means, predictably Biden and his ilk start howling about how the Republicans want to kill firefighters, fire teachers and take food from the mouth of starving children.

With half or so of the federal agencies unable to get a clean audit on their books and this marvelous glimpse inside the mentality toward taxpayers hard earned funds, maybe a few eyes will be opened to the possibility that there is targetable waste in federalville.

Not-a-Marxist on April 7, 2012 at 6:25 PM

They are part of the Obama administration.

The media and leftie memes are “happens under all presidents”.

All presidents are exposed, accountable and responsible. Own it, circuses in towns, and your clowns.

Schadenfreude on April 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

OT:
A source close to the Rick Santorum campaign tells National Review Online that the senator has canceled his Monday schedule. Santorum and his wife, Karen, will be spending the day at the hospital with their daughter, Bella. He did not have public events planned, but all internal “campaign activities,” the source says, from phone calls to fundraising, will be put on hold. Bella was hospitalized on Friday.

So sad. Hope the babes not worse.

bluealice on April 7, 2012 at 6:29 PM

Key West Reader enjoy your lime pies. Yes it is rape! When corporate types are involved in this level of thievery they go to prison for 150 years. When government types do it they are gently asked to “resign”and then ONLY because they were caught red handed by “outsiders”. This is Bernie Madoff on a minor scale but when you add up all the government thieves, collectively-they make- Madoff looks by a piker by comparison.

MaiDee on April 7, 2012 at 6:33 PM

Something I’m missing here?

Whats wrong with that?

liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

rogerb on April 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

I was their earlier..I knew this be a classic. lol

Wasn’t Cr66 say’ing “Own it”! I think that applies here as well.

Where are you li4life? We know your lurking…

bazil9 on April 7, 2012 at 6:38 PM

This is just a tiny fraction of what the White House has done. Just another shiny object to distract us from the real criminals.

katy on April 7, 2012 at 6:51 PM

Now, why might GSA employees feel comfortable with something like this? We’ll give you one guess … http://bit.ly/qVdDUt

ombdz on April 7, 2012 at 7:00 PM

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.”

Only need one step. Shut it down, along with energy, education, hud, commerce. Sure there’s a few more.

msupertas on April 7, 2012 at 7:03 PM

The country is almost $16 trillion in debt. Yet, there’s money for this Las Vegas boondoogle, $860,000 for Leon Panetta to fly home
every weekend, $4 million for the Obamas Hawaiian holiday (complete with his and hers planes), $1.5 billion for the Muslim Brotherhoon in Egypt, $2 billion for Soros-backed Petrobras drilling off the coast of Brazil, $2 billion for a new refinery in Colombia and who knows what else.

bw222 on April 7, 2012 at 7:03 PM

This is just a tiny fraction of what the White House has done. Just another shiny object to distract us from the real criminals.

katy on April 7, 2012 at 6:51 PM

As bad as this boondoggle is, the Obamas’ Hawaiian holiday cost the taxpayers nearly five times more.

bw222 on April 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

Yeah, lets use the same standard on them that the Democrats used against Enron.

JellyToast on April 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

What an absolute idiot Wolf Blitzer is…..what did you think, Wolf??? Obama was going to clean things up….you sound shocked that 4 years into the Obama adminstration these kind of things are still going on!!! Wake up, Wolf!!! Things have gotten worse…not better!! You need more proof???

driguana on April 7, 2012 at 7:16 PM

Age of Obama

forest on April 7, 2012 at 7:23 PM

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.”

I’m sorry the GSA is reacting to the public scandal. They should have recognized the problems with this in the PLANNING stage, not two years later when they got caught. People should have been fired in 2010 not 2012. And let us not forget that these are senior people, one of the videos has a moron boasting he his unstoppable because he is a GS-15.

Happy Nomad on April 7, 2012 at 7:39 PM

You missed the rest of the story Tina.

Politics
White House pushing blame on Bush administration for GSA debacle

You knew it was coming, right?

JPeterman on April 7, 2012 at 7:41 PM

As bad as this boondoggle is, the Obamas’ Hawaiian holiday cost the taxpayers nearly five times more.

bw222 on April 7, 2012 at 7:06 PM

I think the difference is that the Obamas are addicted to vacations. To allow the Obama brat go off on vacation to Mexico when it took a 24-person security detail shows people who do not care about such details. They are grifters.

The GSA scandal is different because this is institutional excess and hubris. I guarantee that every one of those videos that have shown up were shot while the employees involved were on the clock and that isn’t even counted in the cost of this conference.

Happy Nomad on April 7, 2012 at 7:44 PM

It really is an all-purpose quote:

Something I’m missing here?

Whats wrong with that?

liberal4life on April 7, 2012 at 10:34 AM

rogerb on April 7, 2012 at 5:50 PM

-
The stupidest quote ever… and it fits all occasions.
-

RalphyBoy on April 7, 2012 at 7:59 PM

Just as dumb as the RNC.

rjl1999 on April 7, 2012 at 8:06 PM

After watching the 2nd vid I think we should give all gubment employees a bunch of booze and some cameras… The sh*t they would put on the net would end the willingness of tax payers to pay for their play.
-

RalphyBoy on April 7, 2012 at 8:07 PM

“You can’t get corporate jets. You can’t go take a trip to Las Vegas or go down to the Super Bowl on the taxpayers’ dime. There’s got to be some accountability and some responsibility.”
 
- President Barack H. Obama, Feb. 11, 2009

rogerb on April 7, 2012 at 8:15 PM

I feel so much better about Government making itself more efficient and taking more of our money *rolls eyes*

Ukiah on April 7, 2012 at 8:51 PM

Its no wonder that Obama does not want to fill vacant inspector general vacancies. Look at the stuff that can turn up.

KW64 on April 7, 2012 at 9:03 PM

Just want and see — If Republican investigations turn up evidence that cannot be ignored about government corruption, Obama will blame the corruption on Bush and take credit for its uncovering.

We are not all this wasteful in government by the way; but I do see a lot of stuff thrown out while it still has useful life left in it.

KW64 on April 7, 2012 at 9:08 PM

So, how come nobody is asking the obvious question: This was the Western Regions Conference, to the beltway crowd and Washington insiders, the Wester Regions is the hinterlands, you get sentenced there if you screw up or offend someone or you pay your dues there on your way to a beltway position. So, what did they do at the Eastern Regions conference and where was it held?

AZfederalist on April 7, 2012 at 9:17 PM

There is NO reason for a “regional conference,” PERIOD. We have webcams and online meeting software. No $7500 orders of shrimp, but if you need to meet, there it is.

Adjoran on April 7, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Ain’t no work like gubmint work.

Galtian on April 7, 2012 at 9:54 PM

How in the hell does a government with $15 trillion in debt and over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities even have an entire organization whose job is to find office space and furniture for other federal employees?!

TheBlueSite on April 7, 2012 at 10:09 PM

This is where I say something completely idiotic
liberal4life every time I post

There, I saved her the trouble of having to post.

St Gaudens on April 7, 2012 at 10:40 PM

You may thank me in person when I am thrown in prison for suggesting such an unAmerican thing.

Key West Reader on April 7, 2012 at 5:59 PM

I’ll bake you a cake with a file in it!

Laura in Maryland on April 8, 2012 at 12:40 AM

They wanted to be caught? Yes! A cry for help and I hope they get a lot if it.

A heaping helping of help. Sharp medicine.

Be careful what ye wish for….

Sherman1864 on April 8, 2012 at 4:01 AM

Not that I’m supporting the fraud, waste and abuse that goes on in the Federal government, but I believe this should be kept in perspective.

I understand that the GSA spent about $850,000 for 300 or so people to attend a conference. That boils down to around $2800.00 per person.

Let’s take a look at just one of Michelle Obama’s frequent jaunts with her two daughters, mother and a few friends. They spend far more than $850,000 for only a handful of people (I’m not counting the security and administration details that tag along as they are working).

This is where the outrage should be placed.

iamsaved on April 8, 2012 at 7:53 AM

And remember the chance of any of the people you are seeing or who are in charge of GSA on the civil service side getting fired: 0%

The Senior Executive Service, however, can be fired.

Perhaps it is time to stop putting Executive cronies between government agencies and the Executive Branch… and start with ‘civil service reform’ at the top, and then Congress cutting positions across the board on the civil service side. Plus making people fireable would be a great help in getting junk like this out of the system.

This is the tip of the iceberg on waste, fraud, abuse, fiefdom control and empire building within agencies. These are the wages of big government, the people the Left devoutly TRUSTS to run EVERY part of your life.

Look closely.

Understand what the enemy wants for you.

ajacksonian on April 8, 2012 at 7:59 AM

Poor Wolf. He sounds brokenhearted.

Aronne on April 8, 2012 at 10:12 AM

“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 by being exposed for who we really are, and we are taking every step possible to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again, beginning with ensuring no cameras of any type allowed inside GSA functions. ”

BobMbx on April 8, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Who is watching these people?

ELEANOR HOLMES NORTON, a DC Congresswoman, runs the oversight committee.

The woman who is defending ATF in “Fast and Furious” hearings, walked out of a contraceptives hearing, and, last but not least, tried to block a congressional investigation into misuse of AIDS Funds by DC officials.

This is a snowflake on an iceberg.

IlikedAUH2O on April 8, 2012 at 11:50 AM

Let me just first of all say that workers like you, for the federal, state, and local governments, are so important for our vital services. And it frustrates me sometimes when people talk about ‘government jobs’ as if somehow those are worth less than private sector jobs. I think there is nothing more important than working on behalf of the American people.

Indeed.

ConservativeLA on April 8, 2012 at 11:54 AM

Not ONE IOTA of new taxes until ALL waste and fraud is taken care of.

wildcat72 on April 8, 2012 at 12:17 PM

“We at the Government Secrets Agency are dismayed at the fact that we were unable to keep this a secret and we….what was that, what….oh…. I mean the Government Services Agency are dismayed at the activity regarding this Las Vegas convention. Needless to say we believed in the law that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas..when congress passed this law we at the GSA thought…..what was that…what…oh…it not an actual law….OK, let me start over on this. We at the GSA are sorry and would like a second chance. Thank you” Quote from recently fired GSA spokesperson.

DWoDiego on April 8, 2012 at 12:39 PM

If this had happened in the private sector, the responsible officer — whoever was in charge of these people — would already have been fired.

If this had happened in the military, the responsible officer — literally, a commissioned officer who had command of these people — would already have been fired, and would most likely be facing charges.

But it happened in a federal civilian agency. They’re shocked, shocked. We’ll see if GSA actually does anything more than bleat a couple of times to the public and maybe rewrite a staff manual.

J.E. Dyer on April 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

They can insure that “nothing like this ever happens again” by not holding any more “training” conferences. Regional meet-ups of this sort are entirely unnecessary in this electronic age. They are merely excuses for partying on the taxpayers’ dime.

Gotta love Wolf. He’s shocked, shocked, to find this kind of thing still going on “four” years (actually it’s three and some change) into the Obama administration. You make a lot of money at CNN, Wolf; buy yourself a clue why dontcha.

SukieTawdry on April 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM

But it happened in a federal civilian agency. They’re shocked, shocked. We’ll see if GSA actually does anything more than bleat a couple of times to the public and maybe rewrite a staff manual.

J.E. Dyer on April 8, 2012 at 12:48 PM

I’ll bet some of the people depicted in the videos are supervisors themselves. Nice example they set. Remember, the NAVY relieved the skipper of the Enterprise for goofy videos that he had a part in three years prior to his taking command.

arnold ziffel on April 8, 2012 at 5:57 PM

With the exception of some members of the military the vast majority of federal workers are workshy grifter scum.

CorporatePiggy on April 9, 2012 at 8:47 AM