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Federal Buildings on a Bumper Sticker?

Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. Rep. John Mica, R-Fla. J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The steady stream of criticism of the General Services Administration heard from House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica has emerged as a campaign issue in the central Florida district the Republican has represented for 20 years.

For nearly a year, Mica has blasted GSA both for extravagant spending at employee conferences and for what he believes is the agency’s snail’s pace progress in selling off excess federal properties.

Now his opponent in his reelection bid, Sandy Adams, is blasting Mica for “advancing his own personal agenda at the taxpayer’s expense.” In a press release, Adams called attention to Mica’s effort since last year to evict the Federal Trade Commission from its headquarters to make room for additional exhibition space for the National Gallery of Art. Such a move -- opposed unanimously by FTC commissioners -- is estimated by the Congressional Budget Office to cost a future government $270 million.

Says Adams, “As he publicly highlights excessive spending at federal agencies, he has hypocritically been championing his own government waste to satisfy his personal love of fine art.”

Charles S. Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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