"He had made every effort to get a contract with HUD for 10 years," [HUD Secretary] Jackson said of the prospective contractor. "He made a heck of a proposal and was on the (General Services Administration) list, so we selected him. He came to see me and thank me for selecting him. Then he said something ... he said, 'I have a problem with your president.'
"I said, 'What do you mean?' He said, 'I don't like President Bush.' I thought to myself, 'Brother, you have a disconnect -- the president is elected, I was selected. You wouldn't be getting the contract unless I was sitting here. If you have a problem with the president, don't tell the secretary.'
"He didn't get the contract," Jackson continued. "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."
As if I have to say it, yes, it is illegal to deny a contract based on political affiliation. What made this jackass think that kind of thing is ok? Interestingly, as Think Progress notes, it's also not normal practice for the Secretary to negotiate contracts, though really, it would just be another drop in the ocean at this point.