Hope! Change! Cover Ups! The Chicago Way!

November 23, 2009

Today must be Scandal Day: first ACORN and now evidence that the White House lied to Congress about its involvement in the firing of AmeriCorps Inspector-General Gerald Walpin. According to documents released late last Friday and contrary to the fairy tale the White House told last June, there was no broad consultation or investigation conducted before the sudden decision to get rid of Walpin. Byron York of the Washington Examiner tells the story:

Just hours after Sen. Charles Grassley and Rep. Darrell Issa released a report Friday on their investigation into the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin, the Obama White House gave the lawmakers a trove of new, previously-withheld documents on the affair. It was a twist on the now-familiar White House late-Friday release of bad news; this time, the new evidence was put out not only at the start of a weekend but also hours too late for inclusion in the report.

The new documents support the Republican investigators’ conclusion that the White House’s explanation for Walpin’s dismissal — that it came after the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, unanimously decided that Walpin must go — was in fact a public story cobbled together after Walpin was fired, not before.

Walpin was axed on the evening of June 10, when he received a call from Norman Eisen, the special counsel to the president for ethics and government reform, who told Walpin he had one hour either to resign or be fired.  The next day, congressional Republicans, led by Grassley, objected, charging that Walpin’s dismissal violated a recently-passed law requiring the president to give Congress 30 days’ notice before dismissing an inspector general.

Pressed for the reason Walpin was fired, Eisen told House and Senate aides that the White House conducted an “extensive review” of complaints about Walpin’s performance before deciding to dismiss him.  According to the new report, Eisen told Congress that “his investigation into the merits of removing Gerald Walpin involved contacting members of the Corporation for National and Community Service [CNCS] board to confirm the existence of a ‘consensus’ in favor of removal.” But Republican investigators later discovered that during that “extensive review,” the White House did not even seek the views of the corporation’s board — the very people whose “consensus” purportedly led to Walpin’s firing.

Other than board chairman Alan Solomont, the Democratic mega-donor and Obama supporter who originally told the White House of his dissatisfaction with Walpin, “no member of the CNCS board had any substantive input about whether the removal of Gerald Walpin was appropriate,” according to the report. Only one other board member, vice-chairman Stephen Goldsmith, was even called by the White House, and that was on June 10, a few hours before Walpin was fired.  According to the report, Goldsmith told investigators that “the White House had already decided to remove Walpin and wanted to confirm [Goldsmith’s] support for the action.”

The new documents show the White House scrambling, in the days after the controversy erupted, to put together a public explanation for the firing.

Read the whole thing, as well as a companion editorial that provides a good overview of the shenanigans at play here. Clearly Walpin was not fired because he was becoming senile and unable to discharge his duties -he’s been cleared of those and other  smears– but because his investigations were uncovering embarrassing and possibly illegal conduct on the part of a major supporter of President Obama.  Apparently a determination was made to just get rid of him in contravention of the law regarding IGs, and a rationale cooked up after the fact. A rationale, I might add, that was both a lie to Senator Grassley and Congressman Issa – and a blatant attempt to smear Walpin and ruin his reputation.

The question is, how far up the chain does this go? Who authorized the lies to Congress? Who ordered the illegal firing of Walpin? Who was trying to protect Sacramento Mayor Johnson? Stay tuned for these and other questions (and, one hopes, some answers) in our next episode of Cook County on the Potomac!

LINKS: Reporter Robert Stacy McCain has also done extensive work on what’s being dubbed IG-gate. More from Sister Toldjah and Hot Air.

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Grinding the ACORN

November 23, 2009

Oh, dear. It looks like Breitbart isn’t done beating ACORN like a redheaded stepchild. This time, they’ve been caught dumping thousands of sensitive documents ahead of a possible investigation by the California Attorney-General’s office:

On October 1st, 2009 California Attorney General Jerry Brown announced that an investigation had been opened into ACORN’s activities in California, resulting from undercover videos showing employees seemingly offering to assist the undercover film makers with human smuggling, child prostitution and even tax advice to boot.

Although ACORN has denied any wrongdoing, some of the employees involved were terminated, and ACORN has publicly stated that they would fully cooperate with any investigations that followed.

(…)

Shockingly, we now learn that the ACORN office in National City (San Diego County) engaged in a massive document dump on the evening of October 9th, containing thousands upon thousands of sensitive documents, just days prior to the Attorney General’s visit.

BigGovernment.com has learned that not only did this document dump occur, but the documents in question were irresponsibly and brazenly dumped in a public dumpster, without considering laws and regulations as to how sensitive information should be treated.

(…)

Documents shared with BigGovernment.com include information exposing not only the inner workings of ACORN in California, but also personal, sensitive information belonging to employees, members and clients of ACORN. ACORN and its few remaining defenders insist that the “good” ACORN provides outweighs the transgressions exposed in the recent undercover video sting. But, ACORN’s massive dumping of these documents and the cavalier manner in which it betrayed the trust of its supporters betrays that talking point. (Unlike ACORN, we have redacted sensitive and personal information.)

ACORN’s political agenda is also exposed, with thousands upon thousands of documents revealing the depth of the political machine that is ACORN, and its disturbing ties to not only public employee labor unions but some of the most radical leftist organizations.

Read the whole thing. You’d think they’d at least have learned from Enron to shred the documents they’re illegally disposing of. That they didn’t means this promises to be another bad week for ACORN and its allies, which in turn means more entertainment for us.

Pass the popcorn.