Monday, June 22, 2009

IG Gerald Walpin Firing: A different kind of counterfeiting

President Obama's excuses for firing AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin look weaker every day. The FBI has opened an investigation into a Sacramento program formerly run by a close ally of President Obama's, giving credence to the IG's work...The president fired Mr. Walpin June 11 after Mr. Walpin filed two reports critical of Obama friends. The highest-profile of the two reports focused on misuse of funds at Sacramento's St. Hope Academy, then run by former NBA star Kevin Johnson before Mr. Johnson was elected Sacramento's mayor in November. Mr. Johnson was a frequent stump speaker for Mr. Obama during last year's campaign and has claimed in TV interviews to be particularly good friends with first lady Michelle Obama....Editorial, Washington Times, 6/22/2009

The “transparent” administration may be learning the various meanings and usages of irony. It's all about heritage. In Chicago ward politics, the standard for a century has been a favor given, a favor returned. This is fine, one supposes, for an alderman. What can it hurt? However, when the White House intervenes in another federal officer's investigation of a personal friend of the President's, we've stepped a long way back in time, from transparency to obstruction of justice. And it's getting worse.

On the very same day that the president fired Mr. Walpin, St. Hope's executive director, Rick Maya, left his job at St. Hope. He did not go quietly. His resignation letter charged Mr. Johnson and several St. Hope board members with numerous ethical violations. Most explosively, he charged that a board member improperly deleted e-mails of Mr. Johnson's that already were under a federal subpoena...Suddenly, the problems at St. Hope begin to look as severe as Mr. Walpin had charged rather than being minor infractions...(Editorial....cont'd)

The last thing the country needs is an administration so small-minded that it will flout its constitutional oaths and magisterial obligations on behalf of political supporters.


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