Friday, July 2, 2010

The Obama Spoils System

A disturbing precedent appears likely to emerge from the controversy surrounding the job offers by White House officials to Pennsylvania congressman Joe Sestak and former Colorado house speaker Andrew Romanoff in exchange for their withdrawal from primary challenges to sitting Democratic United States senators. The White House counsel’s office has asserted that a desire to protect the campaign coffers of the president’s political party is a “legitimate interest,” and that White Houseofficials may therefore offer taxpayer-funded positions in the federal government to further that interest. White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs elaborated on this theory, arguing, “The president has, as the leader of the party, has an interest in ensuring that supporters don’t run against each other in contested primaries.” Gibbs later added, “Again, does the leader of the party have an interest in ensuring that primaries that tend to be costly aren’t had so that you’re ready for a general election? Of course.”...more

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