Obama's Ethics Problem Not Going Away

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AAAintheBeltway, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. It was bad enough that Obama fired the Inspector General for Americorps right after he had exposed massive wrongdoing by Obama family friend and supporter Kevin Johnson. Now, in predictable democrat thug fashion, they are slandering the man. Let's hope republicans can grow some backbone and stand up to these crooked chicago mob tactics.


    [Print] White House refuses to answer Senate questions on AmeriCorps IG firing
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    06/17/09 6:10 PM EDT
    Norman Eisen, the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with investigators on the staff of Republican Sen. Charles Grassley at Grassley's offices Wednesday morning. The investigators wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. According to Grassley, Eisen revealed very, very little, refusing to answer many questions of fact put to him. And now Grassley has written a letter to the White House counsel asking for answers.

    The questions relate to a letter Eisen sent to some senators Tuesday night attributing Walpin's dismissal, in significant part, to Walpin's behavior at a May 20, 2009 board meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service, the organization that oversees AmeriCorps. Eisen wrote that at the meeting, "Mr. Walpin was confused, disoriented, unable to answer questions and exhibited other behavior that led the board to question his capacity to serve." After the meeting, Eisen wrote, Walpin lost the confidence of the Corporation Board. The White House conducted a review of the matter, and Walpin was fired. (For a detailed account of Walpin's reaction to the White House charges, see here.)

    At Wednesday's meeting, Sen. Grassley's staffers wanted to know more about the White House review. "Unfortunately," Grassley writes in a letter sent late Wednesday afternoon to White House counsel Gregory Craig, "Mr. Eisen refused to answer several direct questions posed to him about the representations made in his letter." Grassley says that since Eisen refused to answer the questions in person, Grassley would submit a dozen of them in writing. Here they are:

    1) Did the [Corporation for National and Community Service] Board communicate its concerns about Mr. Walpin to the White House in writing?

    2) Specifically, which CNCS Board members came forward with concerns about Mr. Walpin’s ability to serve as the Inspector General?

    3) Was the communication about the Board’s concerns on or about May 20, 2009 the first instance of any communications with White House personnel regarding the possibility of removing Mr. Walpin?

    4) Which witnesses were interviewed in the course of Mr. Eisen’s review?

    5) How many witnesses were interviewed?

    6) Were any employees of the Office of Inspector General, who may have had more frequent contact with Mr. Walpin than the Board members, interviewed?

    7) Was Mr. Walpin asked directly during Mr. Eisen’s review about the events of May 20, 2009?

    8) Was Mr. Walpin asked for his response to the allegations submitted to the Integrity Committee by Acting U.S. Attorney Lawrence Brown?

    9) What efforts were made during Mr. Eisen’s review to obtain both sides of the story or to afford the Office of Inspector General an opportunity to be heard?

    10) In addition to the claim that Mr. Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented,” the letter also says he exhibited “other behavior” that led to questions about his capacity. What other behavior was Mr. Eisen referencing?

    11) If the initial and primary concern had to do with Mr. Walpin’s capacity to serve for potential health reasons, why was he only given one hour to decide whether to resign or be fired?

    12) If Mr. Walpin’s telecommuting arrangements since the beginning of this year were a major concern, then why was Mr. Walpin not simply asked to stop telecommuting?

    Grassley asks the White House for a response in writing by Wednesday, June 24.

    -Byron York
  2. Get this. Now their talking point is that it was an act of political courage to fire this guy. By that standard the Daily mob, Blogojavich and Jesse Jackson are real heroes. Of course, they were obama's mentors and role models.


    White House: Firing AmeriCorps IG an act of "political courage"
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    06/18/09 2:18 PM EDT
    A top White House lawyer called the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin an act of "political courage," according to House Republican aides who were in a meeting with the lawyer Wednesday.

    Norman Eisen, who is the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with staffers for Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday. Eisen, along with another White House staffer who accompanied him, "wanted to talk broadly about inspectors general," says a GOP aide familiar with what went on at the meeting. "When we pressed them on specific questions and documents, they said they weren't prepared to give us information on that."

    In one exchange, according to the GOP aide, the White House lawyers explained that inspector general Walpin was not working well with the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, and the administration believed that IGs should work well with the leadership of their agencies. Eisen said he knew that removing Walpin might be seen as an action that would raise questions. "But [Eisen] said that what they did in trying to fix the situation was an act of political courage -- and 'political courage' is the phrase they used," says the aide.

    Republicans, along with a few Democrats, have been concerned about the White House's methods in removing Walpin. The law requires the president to give Congress 30 days' notice, plus the cause for the firing of an inspector general. In Walpin's case, the White House called Walpin out of the blue, gave him one hour either to resign or be fired, and only later notified Congress, and then without giving any cause for its action. Only later, after a lone Democrat, Sen. Claire McCaskill, said the White House "failed to follow the proper procedure" and requested a written explanation for the firing, did the White House respond.
  3. Funny how democrats can make massive scandals out of far less than this, but republicans seem only able to sit and wring their hands and complain. How about putting holds on every nominee until it is answered adequately? How about using House and Senate rules to tie up things? How about getting every single republican to march to the White House and make a media circus out of it?

    No wonder the republican base despises these losers. The same ones who will supinely roll over and vote for sonya sotomayor.


    Will Democrats cover up the AmeriCorps mess?
    By: Byron York
    Chief Political Correspondent
    06/16/09 12:13 AM EDT

    Can Republicans in Congress get to the bottom of President Obama's sudden -- and suspicious -- decision to fire AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin? The answer is no -- unless some. Democrats show interest in what could possibly be the first scandal, or at least mini-scandal, of the Obama administration.

    In dismissing Walpin, the president seemed to trample on the law -- a law he himself had co-sponsored as a senator -- that protects inspectors general from political influence and retribution. In addition, it appears that at least part of the reason Walpin was fired was for the tenacity he showed in investigating misuse of AmeriCorps money by a friend and supporter of the president, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, California. Walpin got the goods -- evidence of Johnson's serious misuse of federal dollars -- and the inspector general ended up getting fired for his troubles.

    So the Walpin case is just the kind of thing the watchdogs of good government in the House and Senate might investigate. But Democrats enjoy solid majorities in both houses, and thus control what will be investigated, and how any investigation will proceed. As the minority party, Republicans have little power to do anything.

    "We can't move something through a committee," says one Republican Senate aide. "We can't issue a subpoena. But we can write letters, and we can jump up and down."

    That's pretty much what Republicans are reduced to doing now. They are asking the administration for information -- politely -- and are trying to get the message out through the press. That's all they can do.

    They're not particularly optimistic about getting help from the other side. Would Majority Leader Harry Reid really have any interest in a tough probe of a Democratic White House, a Democratic AmeriCorps, and a Democratic mayor who just happens to be a friend of the president?

    The committee that would normally be expected to look into the matter would be the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, which oversees AmeriCorps. But the chairman is Sen. Edward Kennedy, who in April joined President Obama to celebrate the passage of the $5.7 billion Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, which will triple the size of AmeriCorps. Kennedy is highly unlikely to support an investigation that might tarnish his favorite program.

    Inspectors general as a whole are watched over by the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, headed by Sen. Joseph Lieberman. Some Republicans hope -- a little -- that Lieberman will lend a hand, but they're not holding their breath.

    The one lawmaker who has shown real interest in investigating the AmeriCorps matter is Iowa Republican Sen. Charles Grassley. Throughout his career, Grassley has been something of a guardian angel for inspectors general, and he was on the Walpin case from the very beginning.

    But Grassley is not just a Republican, he's also on the Senate Finance Committee, which really doesn't have much jurisdiction over this particular matter. So he did what Republicans can do -- he wrote a letter, to Alan Solomont, the former Democratic fundraiser who now heads AmeriCorps.

    "It is vital that Congress obtain a full understanding of the role that you and your colleagues…played in these matters," Grassley wrote. "Inspectors General have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated. This is especially true when such concerns are as legitimate and meritorious as Mr. Walpin’s appear to be."

    Grassley asked AmeriCorps to hand over all records and e-mails and documents and other information about the Walpin firing. But if Grassley is the only one doing the asking, the administration doesn't really have to comply.

    In 1993, just after Bill Clinton was elected and Democrats controlled both the House and Senate, a lone Republican congressman, Rep. Bill Clinger, wanted to investigate the suspicious firings of the White House Travel Office staff.

    But majority Democrats had no inclination to pursue the matter. Clinger tried and tried, wrote letter after letter, and jumped up and down, but he didn't begin to get results until after November 1994, when Republicans took control of both Houses of Congress.

    When it comes to investigating allegations of wrongdoing, Republicans today are right back where they were in 1993.

    Byron York, The Examiner’s chief political correspondent, can be contacted at byork@washingtonexaminer.com. His column appears on Tuesday and Friday, and his stories and blog posts can be read daily at ExaminerPolitics.com.
  4. IG Walpin explains in an interview that Kevin Johnson's "charity", is now insolvent and can't pay back the misused funds, which is why the settlement with him was so outrageous. The acting US Attorney, a "career" (read democrat) government lawyer, cut Walpin out of the settlement talks even though Walpin was the one who uncovered the fraud. He also uncovered massive misconduct in Americorps biggest program, some tuition payment scam at CUNY.


    These are the same people democrats want to have running our health care system.
  5. I almost wish Obama had lost to Grandpa McCain, because the incessant whining from the extreme right wing is almost not worth having an intelligent president (even though I loathe his handling of Wall Street - Bush II Part Deux) in office for a change.


    We'll have to put up with this kind of shit for at least 3 1/2 more years.

    Aye aye aye.

  6. Another brilliant response from ET's self-proclaimed intellectual giant.

    So I take it you approve of firing IG's who expose waste, fraud and abuse?
  7. Lucrum


    GM, Chrysler Bailouts Trim Obama’s Approval Ratings
    By Timothy J. Burger and Jonathan D. Salant

    June 18 (Bloomberg) -- The government’s bailouts of General Motors Corp. and Chrysler LLC are unpopular among large numbers of Americans, and that is helping to drag down President Barack Obama’s approval ratings, according to three new polls.

    A survey published today by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press found that the percentage of respondents approving of the way Obama is handling the economy dropped to 52 percent from 60 percent in April. Fifty-eight percent said they opposed spending billions of U.S. taxpayer dollars to keep the automakers afloat, compared with 36 percent in favor.

    A New York Times-CBS News poll found 46 percent disapproved of the government’s handling of the auto industry’s problems, while 41 percent approved. And in a Wall Street Journal/NBC survey, 53 percent disapproved of the U.S. providing financial aid to the automakers...
  8. This post is almost laughable and it might even be enjoyable if you were a moron. The entire Presidency of GW Bush was marred by crat bitching and whining without giving the man a sliver of credit for anything. Now the right calls out Obama and you call it "shit" that you have to put up with for 3 1/2 more years. I guess you would like it more if everyone was an Obama zombie and just marched to the tune of the media. For you it would certainly suck if someone held Obama accountable. That is the kind of "shit" you just couldn't deal with. It would be so much better if everyone focused on where Obama ate dinner. Wait a minute, that is what the majority of the media is focused on. Nevermind.
  9. Eight


    I wonder how much Democrat money is going towards fighting the moves by states to require that candidates have to provide a valid birth certificate to get on the ballot?
  10. Its really not democrat money that will be used. It will be taxpayer money.

    It goes like this. Take the UAW. They were a major financer of Obamas campaign. Since Obama won he has to pay them back. The really cool thing about it for Obama is he doesnt have to repay them with his money, he gets to repay them with OUR money. The taxpayer money that Obama stole so he could repay the UAW with be redonated by the UAW to block the mentioned state laws to Obama's benefit. So really, this is a kind of recycling. The money starts in the UAWs pocket, gets cycled to Obamas pocket, then it is cycled from the taxpayers to Obama's pocket, then is recycled from Obama's to the UAW's pocket, then recycled again from the UAW to Obama. This is what they mean by renewable resources.

    In common circles this is refered to as 'dirty politics'.
    #10     Jun 18, 2009