Thursday, June 3, 2010

Dirt Has A Way Of Working Out From Under The Rug - UPDATED

We now know that the White House alleges they sent President Clinton to talk to Rep. Joe Sestak about dropping out of the race against Arlen Specter. The White House version is that they were offering him an unpaid job on an Advisory Board, one for which he would have been ineligible.

Who is actually buying this crapola? An admiral, and US Representative, is going to take an unpaid advisory job in lieu of running for US Senator? Yeah, right. Now about this oceanfront property in Nevada I want to sell you...

There are some who aren't buying this either, and they are in a position to do something about it:

Um, it all depends on what your definition of "quid pro quo" is, right? Good grief.

But at long last, as Molly Hennenberg intimated, another story is making it into the big time. This is one a few folks from Colorado have been trying to get out there to little avail. Until now. It turns out that former Colorado State House Speaker, Andrew Romanoff, was also offered a job if he would not run against Senator Michael Bennett. Oh, wait - my bad, he had a job offer "dangled" to him. See, that is not at ALL the same thing as being offered a job. Got it? Yeah, I'm not buying that crapola, and neither is the AP:
AP Sources: Admin Talked Jobs With Romanoff

The Obama administration dangled the possibility of a government job for former Colorado House Speaker Andrew Romanoff last year in hopes he would forgo a challenge to Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, officials said Wednesday, just days after the White House admitted orchestrating a job offer in the Pennsylvania Senate race.

These officials declined to specify the job that was floated or the name of the administration official who approached Romanoff, and said no formal offer was ever made. They spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they were not cleared to discuss private conversations.

The new revelation of a possible political trade again called into question President Barack Obama's repeated promises to run an open government that was above back room deals.

The Colorado episode follows a similar controversy in Pennsylvania. An embarrassed White House admitted last Friday that it turned to former President Bill Clinton last year to approach Rep. Joe Sestak about backing out of the primary in favor of an unpaid position on a federal advisory board.

Or more like no attention was paid to the Romanoff offer. And again, does the White House really expect us to believe it was an unpaid job? Please. Regardless, still wrong, and besides, Sestak wouldn't bite:
Sestak declined the offer and defeated Sen. Arlen Specter late last month for the Democratic nomination after disclosing the job discussions and highlighting it as evidence of his anti-establishment political credentials. He said last week he rejected Clinton's feeler in less than a minute.

In a two-page report on the Sestak case, the White House counsel said the administration did nothing illegal or unethical.

Unlike Sestak, Romanoff has ducked questions on the subject, and it was not clear how long his discussions with administration officials lasted.

Romanoff had sought appointment to the Senate seat that eventually went to Bennet, publicly griped he had been passed over and then discussed possible appointment possibilities inside the administration, one of the officials said.

Republicans have strongly criticized the offer to Sestak, and challenged Romanoff to answer questions about his own dealings with the White House.

Bennet has outpaced Romanoff in fundraising and support from Washington, although party activists attending the state party assembly last month favored the challenger by a margin of 60 percent to 40 percent. The primary is Aug. 10.

Bennet was appointed by Gov. Bill Ritter to fill out the final two years of the term of Ken Salazar, who resigned to become interior secretary.

Romanoff's campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to questions. (Associated Press Writer Kristen Wyatt in Denver contributed to this report.)

Oh dear - seems the White House has backed the wrong horse - again. Sestak beat Specter, and Romanoff is favored over Bennett. Then there was that Brown fella who beat Coakley, and I could go on, but you get the idea.

But wait - it gets even better. Apparently, Romanoff finally, in his own way, came to that realization, too, as this Politico article highlights, "Andrew Romanoff: W.H. Offered Three Jobs." Oops:
Colorado U.S. Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff confirmed Wednesday that Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, suggested three administration jobs that would be available to him last September if he dropped his plans to run against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who had the support of the White House.

Romanoff said he informed the White House that he would stay in the race. The revelation comes days after the White House confirmed that Rep. Joe Sestak was approached about an unpaid position in the administration if he dropped his campaign against Sen. Arlen Specter. But in this case, Romanoff was offered paid positions in the administration, a clear difference from the Sestak case.

In a statement to the media, Romanoff attached an email from Messina – dated Sept. 11, 2009 – listing the three jobs, two at USAID and one as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, with a page-long set of job descriptions.

Earlier, the White House had confirmed that administration officials had “conversations” last year with Romanoff about possible positions inside the administration. But the White House didn’t confirm which jobs were involved, or that Messina was the emissary to Romanoff.

Um, yes - I would say "dangling" three different jobs in front of Romanoff's face as "conversations." No doubt, you can guess what is coming next:
Republicans have already seized on the Sestak job offer to call into question Obama’s claims to be a Washington reformer – seizing on the fact that it was chief of staff Rahm Emanuel who dispatched former President Bill Clinton to make the offer of an unpaid advisory position to Sestak in hopes of clearing him out of a primary against Specter, the five-term veteran who had Obama’s backing.

The Romanoff case seems likely to step up Republican calls for a full investigation of the White House political operation. Seven Republicans from the Senate Judiciary Committee have already asked the Justice Department to open an investigation into the Sestak matter.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) who has spearheaded the charge for an investigation into White House actions, said the revelation has "irrevocably shattered" the Obama brand.

"Clearly Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff aren't isolated incidents and are indicative of a culture that embraces the politics-as-usual mentality that the American people are sick and tired of," Issa said in a statement.

In his statement, Romanoff said that in September 2009, shortly after the news media first reported his plans to run for the Senate, he received a call from Messina. “Mr. Messina informed me that the White House would support Sen. Bennet. I informed Mr. Messina that I had made my decision to run,” the statement said..

“Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina’s assistance in obtaining one,” Romanoff said.

Later that day, Romanoff said he received an email from Mr. Messina containing descriptions of three positions. “I later left him a voicemail informing him that I would not change course,” Romanoff said. “I have not spoken with Mr. Messina, nor have I discussed this matter with anyone else in the White House, since then.”

Both the White House and Romanoff say no job offer was made to Romanoff, the former state House speaker, and the White House said it was Democrats in Colorado who promoted him for a position.

“Mr. Romanoff was recommended to the White House from Democrats in Colorado for a position in the administration. There were some initial conversations with him but no job was ever offered,” said White House spokesman Adam Abrams, before the Romanoff statement was released. (Click HERE to read the rest.)

I think that Abrams' comment might now qualify as an "oopsie daisy" - I bet they just hate it when there are actually paper trails involved. Pretty hard to dismiss this one out of hand, don't ya think?

Well, we suspected where there was smoke, there was fire. Sure enough, this is a fire. Republican, Independent, or Democrat, one has to acknowledge this is not good for Obama. Even more, this Chicago style of politics is not good for the country. And THAT is why this needs to be investigated fully, and not just by the White House. No time like the present, wouldn't you say?

UPDATE: The White House has given this excuse for their job offers to Romanoff. They aren't denying they offered them to him, and that is the issue. I don't think this really changes anything, do you?


SFIndie said...

Obama and his Gang of ButEveryoneDoesIt's should have a sign made up and hung in the Oval Office for all to see:

"Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive."

So, let's see how they are, or will try to, spin it. If you offer someone an unpaid job that they aren't eligible for anyway, it's not illegal. If you dangle a job or three in front of someone, that's okay, too. If you leave a paper trail, you can throw one person under the bus by saying it was done without the knowledge or approval of the administration. If you involve Bill Clinton it's okay because everyone still really likes him. You can be the biggest incompetent in the country and surround yourself with lesser, but still dangerous, incompetents, but if you're bi-racial and can read off a teleprompter, then it's no problem.

Makes my head spin so much I do stupid things. Like read the most recent post by LJ at NQ. Why oh why did I do that to myself???

Is it December yet?

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Hey, SF -

I have friends visiting from Baton Rouge, and hadn't seen NQ this afternoon until now. Well, one thing abt NQ is that we don't all agree on everything. But I can see how/why it made your head hurt. Sorry, friend.

SF, you are absolutely right abt Obama and his minions. It is just astonishing that Transformational Messiah is trying to pull the "well, everyone ELSE did it!" meme. Um, no, they all didn't. And if they did, they were wrong, too, so there's that...

Again, how is what Obama is doing all that different from what Blago allegedly did? Just wondering. (And like we didn't know the Chicago thugs were in on that one...)

Yeah, I'm ready for Dec. too...

Mary Ellen said...

Well, we tried to tell them, Obama would be making the dirty Chicago politic, national, as soon as he moved to Washington. The thing is, Obama doesn't know what ethical or honest politics is since he's never engaged in such a thing. He's always surrounded himself with the lowest of the low, anyone who would advance his career even if it meant doing it in the most under-handed way possible.

In Illinois, Obama was all about eliminating the competition before they could run against him. That meant challenging their petitions, signature by signature or digging into sealed divorce papers to make them public.

Here's just a small sample of Obama and his dirty politics of the past. It's obvious after reading it, that he hasn't changed one bit.

Think about the way he went after Hillary...the same tactics. Why Bill Clinton or Hillary are protecting him is beyond my comprehension.

SFIndie said...

They're all doing the same thing, but since they've always done it they think it's okay to keep doing it. Like a bunch of little kids....but mom, everybody does it!

I thought their excuse for Romanoff was hilarious: "...if he was still interested in a position at USAID, or if, as had been reported, he was running for the US Senate."

Do they REALLY want us to believe they were just checking in to see if the "rumors" were correct? Hey, buddy, are ya really running for the Senate? Or do you want this job we didn't want to give you before?

It's like a kid with a cookie in his hand trying to tell you he didn't take a cookie. I guess we know what Chicago has been living with all these years!

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

Yes, Mary Ellen - that is so true. It is so hard to keep all of his shenanigans in mind. I forgot for a minute how he got everyone knocked out of races in which he ran. What a piece of work.

And that goes for the Chicago politics writ large across the nation. Sheesh.

Thanks for the link, too, ME. Wow.

Who could ever forget how he treated Hillary? Not us, that's for sure. And I cannot imagine why in the hell Bill and Hillary are carrying his water. Astonishing.

Rabble Rouser Reverend Amy said...

SFIndie, I know - isn't it REMARKABLE the way they are trying to spin this Romanoff thing? I realize there are some mighty gullible people in this world, but holy smokes, it is just beyond laughable. If it weren't illegal, that is...

Yes - the cookie jar analogy is perfect, SF.