Remember this picture? President Barack Hussein Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid,and (then) Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi declared this to be the most honest and transparent administration in our nation’s history. Obama campaigned on what he called “the most sweeping ethics reform in history.” Obama also frequently criticized the role of money in politics.
For Obama to say that his administration would be honest and transparent must have really required him to have more than his share of chutzpah. Especially in light of the fact that more than half of Obama’s 47 largest bundlers have been given administration jobs, and nine have been appointed to presidential boards and committees. At least 24 Obama bundlers have been appointed to posts as foreign ambassadors. To the victors go the spoils.
Eric Schultz, White House spokesman, said, “In filling these posts, the administration looks for the most qualified candidates who represent Americans from all walks of life. Being a donor does not get you a job in this administration, nor does it preclude you from getting one.” Yet Obama has appointed 59 ambassadors who were not career Foreign Service officers. Forty percent of his appointees were bundlers. The Foreign Service Act of 1980 says that “contributions to political campaigns should not be a factor in the appointment of an individual as a chief of mission (ambassador).”
Obama has appointed campaign bundlers to several jobs:
- Attorney General Eric Holder was a bundler who raised at least $50,000 for Obama
- Federal Communications Commission chairman Julius Genachowski raised at least half a million dollars for Obama
- Department of Energy liaison Steve Spinner pressed DOE staff members to finalize a government loan for Solyndra
- George Kaiser, major Obama bundler, advised on how to press officials for federal contracts and additional loan assistance for Solyndra
- Luxembourg Ambassador Cynthia Stroum, a Seattle venture capitalist, raised $500,000 for Obama
- Stroum was replaced by Robert Mandell, a Florida real estate developer who raised between $200,000 and $500,000 for Obama
- Ambassador to the Bahamas Nicole Avant, a music industry executive, raised at least $500,000 for Obama
- Belgian Ambassador Howard Gutman bundled at least half a million dollars for Obama’s 2008 campaign and another $275,000 for his inauguration
- Donald H. Gips, who raised more than $500,000 in contributions for Obama, was put in charge of hiring in the Obama White House, helping to place loyalists and fundraisers in many key positions
Obama ran in 2008 on changing the culture in Washington, and specifically against this very practice, and so it’s not unfair to point out his hypocrisy. Obama’s 2008 campaign slogan was “change you can believe in.” We are STILL waiting for change!
But that’s just my opinion.