Dumb and dumber: at least that's what it looks like.
An advisory panel charged with rooting out waste, fraud and abuse in the federal stimulus package canceled a planned meeting at the Ritz-Carlton in Phoenix after an onslaught of bad press.
The Recovery Independent Advisory Panel's chairman, Chris Sale, said he decided to postpone his event “in deference to concerns raised in the press” about the choice, though he defended his choice of location by saying that it was the most affordable of three hotels his panel had considered. (He claimed the hotel had offered him rooms at $109/night.)
Reports The Wall Street Journal's Washington Wire: "The Washington Examiner reported on the Recovery Independent Advisory Panel’s hotel choice Thursday, calling it a 'super-luxe' destination and quoting the hotel website’s boasts of a 'picturesque' location, nearby shopping and golf facilities and the 'casual elegance, relaxed atmosphere and uniquely inviting ambiance” of its restaurant.'"
Whatever the price tag of the hotel rooms, the description of what the meeting was supposed to be about had critics rolling their eyes.
"According to the notice in the federal register," the Journal reports. "The stimulus meeting was supposed to have been for members of the public to comment on their experience of using the recovery.gov website and on ways the board could prevent waste, fraud and abuse and provide more information about the aid and tax cut provisions in the stimulus package."
The meeting was scheduled to take place Nov. 22.