Obama cronyism: Going after AmeriCorps IG on behalf of contributor; Update: A Michelle Obama connection?

posted at 8:47 am on June 12, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

David Freddoso tried to explain that the only change Barack Obama would bring to the Beltway would be an introduction of the Chicago Machine politics that made him successful to the Beltway.  The Inspector General of AmeriCorps, one of Obama’s pet projects, has discovered this the hard way.  The independent investigator got fired for peeking too closely at an Obama contributor:

President Barack Obama says he has lost confidence in the inspector general who investigates AmeriCorps and other national service programs and has told Congress he is removing him from the position.

Obama’s move follows an investigation by IG Gerald Walpin of Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson, who is an Obama supporter and former NBA basketball star, into the misuse of federal grants by a nonprofit education group that Johnson headed.

Walpin was criticized by the acting U.S. attorney in Sacramento for the way he handled an investigation of Johnson and St. HOPE Academy, a nonprofit group that received hundreds of thousands of dollars in federal grants from the Corporation for National Community Service. The corporation runs the AmeriCorps program.

Initially, the White House called Walpin and told him he had an hour to resign or get fired, as Byron York reported.  Senator Charles Grassley shot back a warning to the White House last night:

After last night’s call, Walpin got in touch with Congress, and it appears the White House has backed off, at least for now.  This afternoon, Republican Sen. Charles Grassley, who is something of a guardian angel for inspectors general, fired off a letter to the White House about the affair.

“I was troubled to learn that last night your staff reportedly issued an ultimatum to the AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin that he had one hour to resign or be terminated,” Grassley wrote.  “As you know, Inspectors General were created by Congress as a means to combat waste, fraud, and abuse and to be independent watchdogs ensuring that federal agencies were held accountable for their actions.  Inspectors General were designed to have a dual role reporting to both the President and Congress so that they would be free from undue political pressure.  This independence is the hallmark of all Inspectors General and is essential so they may operate independently, without political pressure or interference from agencies attempting to keep their failings from public scrutiny.”

Grassley said he was “deeply troubled” by the Walpin matter and closed by asking the president “to review the Inspector General Reform Act you cosponsored and to follow the letter of the law should you have cause to remove any Inspector General.”

In fact, regardless of the commentary from the US Attorney, Congress gave IGs this level of protection precisely to avoid this kind of action by the White House.  Obama doesn’t want IGs investigating his cronies and political allies, and the evidence for this is rather clear from the way the White House handled it.  Instead of going to Congress, which the lawyers in the White House should have known was the correct procedure, they attempted to intimidate Walpin out of his job first.  Apparently they didn’t have a good enough case for the proper procedure.

Gee, does that sound (cough-cough Chrysler) at all (cough-cough GM) familiar (cough-cough AIG)?  It’s more of the madman theory of the Presidency — and once again, it involves abuse of power.

Will Congress stand up to the executive branch and protect the Inspectors General?  Or will they roll over and allow Obama to accrue even more power to protect his buddies and to allow corruption to run rampant?

Update: The boss has much more on this, including a connection to the other Michelle

First Lady Michelle Obama’s chief of staff, Jackie Norris, is being sent to the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) in what is both a White House shake-up and an indication of the first lady’s sway over the corporation that oversees AmeriCorps, Serve and Learn and the Senior Corps.

Observers believe Norris, whom Obama came to know early in the Iowa caucus campaign, was forced out of the White House so that long-time Obama friend Susan Sher could take over. But those same observers see her appointment as senior adviser to the corporation as an overall win for CNCS, believing that Norris still will have a straight line to the White House.

CNCS remains without a CEO after the withdrawal last month of Nike vice president Maria Eitel, even before her nomination went to the Senate. Although the corporation’s CEO must be nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate, Michelle Obama reportedly has taken the lead in selecting the nominee.

And in Youth Today, a hint of what may really have triggered the IG’s termination:

The inspector general (IG) of the Corporation for National and Community Service is being removed by President Barack Obama, a week after the IG questioned the eligibility of the largest and most expensive AmeriCorps program, and while the IG was contesting the “propriety” of a settlement made with a mayor for alleged misuse of AmeriCorps funds.

Funding for the largest AmeriCorps program – the Teaching Fellows Program, run by the Research Foundation of the City University of New York – is in abeyance pending resolution of widespread problems identified in a recent audit. Although Walpin recommended that funding be curtailed and that previous funds (perhaps as much as $75 million) be repaid to the corporation, the corporation has said it will take no action on that matter.

Walpin concluded that nothing was being gained by the grants to CUNY and that the money was simply being used to subsidize an existing and funded program.

The boss says this looks a lot like Travelgate.  When will the show trial of Walpin start, so that the Obamas can take political cover?

Update II: Don’t forget the RAT in the stimulus.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2 3

Yoop on June 12, 2009 at 9:57 AM

I think you’re correct that Blue Dogs will start bolting, but my sense is that it will happen later, rather than sooner. The Blue Dog Democrats are a minority within their party, they may still be sucking in the benefits of Porkulus, and they may well be intimidated by Obama’s Chicago thug tactics, the MSM’s continued Obama worship, and Obama’s continuing high personal approval ratings. Finally, there aren’t yet enough Republicans to give them cover even in the Senate, let alone the House.

If Republicans put forth good candidates who are untainted by corruption and have good track records of conservatism on fiscal and national security policies, and the early to mid 2010 polls show that we are likely to make significant gains in Congress, that’s when the Blue Dogs may start separating themselves from Obama to protect their own election chances. And if Republicans regain the Senate or come close, and significantly reduce the Democrats’ majority in the House, that will be when moderate and conservative Democrats will be crossing the aisle on many issues.

So, we simply must get good Congressional candidates. Keep your eyes on the prize: 2010!

Loxodonta on June 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM

ErinF, no your not it baffles the mind does`nt it!

LSUMama on June 12, 2009 at 11:31 AM

Obama is ignoring, even encouraging, the growing threat of terrorism which could come from a number of countries. He is paving the way for the next attack on the US. Once that happens, he will have his excuse to seize absolute power.

maryo on June 12, 2009 at 11:11 AM

Nah, lets trust him based on his record… Oh wait, he’s spending a million dollars in campaign donations and using DOJ lawyers to hide that record……
Glad to see somebody else has that nagging feeling in the pit of their stomach. Bombing of the reichstag sound familiar?

allahallahoxenfree on June 12, 2009 at 11:33 AM

In all seriousness, am I the only person in the world who thinks this many is totally unattractive?

I would answer but I don’t want to be called a racist. ;)

Seriously, the man is unattractive.

stlkel on June 12, 2009 at 11:36 AM

This is yet another example of the abject corruption that was already in Washington and what the Obama’s brought with them. ACORN has the same problem and yet they got billions of tax payer dollars that their higher ups are able to pilfer.
Barney Frank and Chris Dodd were put in charge of writing TARP. It’s like putting Dracula in charge of the blood bank. This administration’s corrupt tenticles are wide and deep. We haven’t even discussed the corruption in the House and Senate from the leaders on down.
We have an Attorney General that is willing to clamp down on any resistence. He is as corrupt as they come. This is just the tip of the iceberg. This is starting to get very ugly. The list is growing.
I’ve never been a fan of Grassley, but if he is willing to speak out on this, good on him. Apparently taking America down the Marxist way isn’t good enough for any of the Republicans in Congress. Maybe corruption is.
Back in the day we had a boss that was totally out of control. She was boarderline nutso. The only way we were able to get rid of her was to proove to the school board that she was stealing furniture from the school. It took about three years. I don’t think we have that long.

BetseyRoss on June 12, 2009 at 11:37 AM

Man, that’s a hell of a picture of B.O. on the homepage. In all seriousness, am I the only person in the world who thinks this many is totally unattractive?

ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Yeah and he’s always got that freakish bony finger sticking in your face. This freak looks like skeletor. (Although, one thing he does have in common with Lincoln is the Marfans.)

JiangxiDad on June 12, 2009 at 11:41 AM

reshas1 on June 12, 2009 at 9:37 AM

That is a great quote, but for the record Snopes says it does not come from Pamela Geller (although she said she wished she’d written it). The writer is still a mystery, although Snopes tracks it to a commenter at Pat Dollard’s blog.

Buy Danish on June 12, 2009 at 11:45 AM

Did anyone really believe Michelle when she said her job was to be mom in chief?!

She’s in charge of building/funding the base.

PattyJ on June 12, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Al Capone has become president of the United States.

The only thing missing is, the Baseball Bat.

So far

franksalterego on June 12, 2009 at 11:53 AM

Man, that’s a hell of a picture of B.O. on the homepage. In all seriousness, am I the only person in the world who thinks this many is totally unattractive?

ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

heh. No, Erin, you are NOT. I am the first to say, objectively, I love the way Michelle Obama dresses and their kids are gorgeous…I also have no raaaaaaaaaaaaaacist issues with interracial relationships so that is out of the question. Obama has a really nice smile sometimes and I think, “well, he is kind of cu…” and then the magic ends and he looks sort of like he needs more oxygen in his face. I don’t like the shape of his mouth or the lightbulbish shape of his head. So, yeah…

Mommypundit on June 12, 2009 at 11:56 AM

no, this is not Al Capone come to Washington. Al Capone was a capitalist.

kelley in virginia on June 12, 2009 at 12:03 PM

To One and ALL with little ones:

I weep for you. The battles you are about to face I cannot fathom, and I can assure you that many of us are very concerned about you, and your families.

I say this because ours are about to go off to college. We were able to have the freedom to homeschool for 16 years. We believe they are armed and ready for what they are about to face. But they are not little ones, the most vulnerable in the conditions being created by this Administration.

As an aside, we are hiring a contract lawyer to carefully examine all the scholarship and student loan papers. We want to make sure the college did not put in anything connected to Ameri-Corp. This Ameri-Corp is incredibly daunting, and full of fascists implications. If you read the fine print, kids that sign up for Ameri-Corp, and accept funding affiliated with paying for college are not allowed to participate in political events, (unless of course it is Dem), speak their minds about religious issues, or in general be connected to anything Republican or Conservative.

But what we face as parents of 18 year olds is nothing compared to all of you who have children which are younger. Our prayers for the safety of your families, and please know there are parents out here who are down for the struggle to fight for your children’s futures. Having an empty nest leaves us with some spare time you guys do not have. LOL! Ah, the days of being covered in pooh, snot, or food particles!

freeus on June 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Did anyone really believe Michelle when she said her job was to be mom in chief?!

She’s in charge of building/funding the base.

PattyJ on June 12, 2009 at 11:49 AM

Well, you are all his children now, aren’t you?

OldEnglish on June 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM

ThackerAgency on June 12, 2009 at 9:11 AM

What can they do? I read that insurance agencies rather like part of the plan O wants to initiate. If gov. will mandate every employer to provide health insurance to every employee, isn’t that a plus for their industry?

Mommypundit on June 12, 2009 at 9:17 AM

Sorry I left this thread and didn’t respond. The point is that Insurance companies will only get behind a plan that they benefit from. They’ll torpedo anything they don’t benefit from ‘Chicago style’.

Remember Blue Cross nearly bankrupting Wake Forest Baptist (and others) during their contract ‘negotiations’? Remember how that played out in the press?

By the way. . . the radio spots you have been hearing were for my brother. We are both in the same industry. I ran some radio spots years ago, but the spots you are hearing now are from my brother’s operation.

ThackerAgency on June 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM

The point is that Insurance companies will only get behind a plan that they benefit from. They’ll torpedo anything they don’t benefit from ‘Chicago style’.
ThackerAgency on June 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM

And stick it to their employees by moving operations offshore to “cut costs”.

Annietxgrl on June 12, 2009 at 12:15 PM

Ah, the days of being covered in pooh, snot, or food particles!

freeus on June 12, 2009 at 12:08 PM

Then you must know how much I am looking forward to “date night” tonight! We call the “food particles,” ” crunchies” at my house…and they are ubiquitous…on the floor, in beds, in our hair, under furniture, in furniture…It doesn’t matter if I’ve vacuumed, mopped, swept. Crunchies make me crazy.

ThackerAgency on June 12, 2009 at 12:10 PM

I kind of remember that…but remind me about the press. So, you’re saying that the insurance co.s will get behind anything that serves their bottom line but will be ruthless against anything that bankrupts them? Do you see how confused I am about the Obama/dem proposal, then? They mandate all biz to provide insurance=good for insurance companies. But, the government plan seeks to eventually swallow up the private insurance co.s=bad for them. It seems contradictory.

Mommypundit on June 12, 2009 at 12:20 PM

“You ain’t seen nothing, yet…”

Long wait for 2012.

Harry Schell on June 12, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Q – What do you get when you cross a kleptocracy with a thugocracy???

A – The Obama Administration

bullseye on June 12, 2009 at 12:24 PM

The liberal reaction:

You didn’t object when Bush was having millions of Iraqis tortured to death, so why object now?

This is just one aspect of Obama’s grand design to restore faith in government. You conservatives just don’t understand his complex plans.

He’s so sassy!

You just hate him because he’s black!

When are conservatives going to take responsibility for von Drumm and all other crimes committed by anyone, anywhere?

Americans want a strong executive who’s willing to cut through the red tape and do the right thing!

Hey, look at that cat!

It’s all lies!

Did I mention how sassy he is?

JohnJ on June 12, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Man, that’s a hell of a picture of B.O. on the homepage.
ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Not at all! Whenever I see this picture pf Meine Fuhrer, I always feel the temptation to give a more proper arm-salute. That, and it gets me to sit up a little straighter, and march, er, walk as if Meine Fuhrer is watching me.

Well, either that, or I start callin’ everyone Comrade….

dmh0667 on June 12, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Man, that’s a hell of a picture of B.O. on the homepage. In all seriousness, am I the only person in the world who thinks this many is totally unattractive?

ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Don’t let Chris Mathews hear you say that – or he’ll bite you.

HondaV65 on June 12, 2009 at 12:50 PM

Our president in training strikes again.

This whole administration is a blaterhing pack of idiots.

“to review the Inspector General Reform Act you cosponsored and to follow the letter of the law should you have cause to remove any Inspector General.”

Ha. This only means BHO signed an X where it said to sign your name. Doubtful he even read it…..

Ohh well fortunately this is an easy fix for the chosen one, just appoint another czar.

StockOption on June 12, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Are we ready to secede yet?

Daggett on June 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM

In all seriousness, am I the only person in the world who thinks this many is totally unattractive?

ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

Nope! I don’t see the alleged hotness either. He gives me the shivers, but not the kind the media (male and female) apparently get.

KateinCo on June 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Heh. From Byron York’s story on the firing of Walpin:

The 30 day requirement is important because last year Congress passed the Inspectors General Reform Act, which was designed to strengthen protections for IGs, who have the responsibility of investigating allegations of waste, fraud and abuse within federal agencies, against interference by political appointees or the White House. Part of the Act was a requirement that the president give Congress 30 days’ notice before dismissing an IG. One of the co-sponsors of the Act was then-Sen. Barack Obama.

Buy Danish on June 12, 2009 at 1:02 PM

Would the Obama suck-ups in the news media go after this firing story as they did the firings of several attorneys in the Justice Department? What are the congressional republicans doing about this? The Democrats in the congress were screaming bloody murder and demanding Gonzales,Miers ,and Rove to go up before committee to testify.

bayview on June 12, 2009 at 1:03 PM

Are we ready to secede yet?

Daggett on June 12, 2009 at 12:55 PM

Well, can’t cause I am battling the democrats here who are doing a MIDNIGHT VOTE to increase NC taxes…..??!?!!?!?!?!?! And, since congress just voted to basically take over NC tobacco industry, um, secession isn’t an option. I guess we could move? I can’t believe it here. I love my state so, so much.

Mommypundit on June 12, 2009 at 1:07 PM

So now we know what happens to whistle blowers in the Obama Administration.

mindhacker on June 12, 2009 at 1:16 PM

ErinF on June 12, 2009 at 11:30 AM

No, you’re not alone. There is nothing attractive about him. All I see is big ears and purple lips that always look oxygen deprived. I still can’t get over how much he resembles this Indonesian man. Where is the African in him again?

macblanegirl on June 12, 2009 at 1:33 PM

increase NC taxes

You’re in North Carolina? I lived there (near Asheville) for about a year. I really miss it. It’s my favorite state. I’ve thought several times about moving back, but it’s too hard to uproot my kids.

Daggett on June 12, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Wow, good for Grassley!

AnninCA on June 12, 2009 at 1:47 PM

This is getting waaaaaaaaaay out of hand. If there are elections again, and right now, I’m kinda starting to doubt there will be….the mess left, is going to require an enormous amount of clean up.

Obama has to be the most blatant, corrupt, and protected criminal, in the worlds history.

capejasmine on June 12, 2009 at 2:02 PM

Keep Chicago Way politics out of my state.

One lesson learned from this is, if a Barry supporter is interrupted in any corrupt activity don’t blow the whistle.

Especially Americorps. I suspect, but cannot confirm this is a major conduit for spreading ACORN money about.

FireBlogger on June 12, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Ya know, I now see Michelle as a Leona Helmsley type. I can see her beating the house keepers for not ironing the sheets.

capejasmine on June 12, 2009 at 2:14 PM

btw, Drudge’s headline link doesn’t connect to this, at least momentarily.

maverick muse on June 12, 2009 at 2:40 PM

Dang.
How does he keep getting away with it? My head is spinning trying to keep track of it all.

Miss Molly on June 12, 2009 at 2:54 PM

If there is a Michelle connection and it’s proven, can we all go after Michelle hard and fast. Maybe a few pointed jokes?

jeanie on June 12, 2009 at 3:17 PM

capejasmine on June 12, 2009 at 2:02 PM

There’s no way there won’t be elections. Military wouldn’t stand for it, not for two seconds.

Note that I make no promises regarding the honesty, openness, or fairness of those elections. This is the crew that’s been taking foreign money in fundraisers and disbursing to street thugs in billion-dollar chunks. But at the very least an election cancelled outright would be the very definition of lawfare. Which is always followed by traditional warfare, as night follows day. And I don’t think anybody but the nuttiest of the nutters is gearing up for that at this point. Thankfully, the nutters are also generally more prone to forting up in the hinterlands than to random acts of douchebaggery (such as that Brunn jackass), too. I still have faith in the American people, that this too shall pass.

Blacksmith on June 12, 2009 at 4:39 PM

reshas1 on June 12, 2009 at 9:37 AM

I have read this and, sadly have to agree. We are on the Titanic or a on a one-way cattle car ride through the gates that say “Arbeit Macht Frei.”

I want to do something NOW – before it is too late and I can’t do a damn thing. Suggestions my fellow passengers?

J.J. Sefton on June 12, 2009 at 5:02 PM

jeannie,
No, you cannot go after Michelle, or THE ONE for that matter. To criticize either makes you “da racist”.

mountainmanbob on June 12, 2009 at 5:16 PM

Chicago Thug Saul Alinsky style of stiffiling opposition is fast becoming VINTAGE OZBAMA. The upcoming census will be Chicago Thug Intimidation Politics on steroids.

The car companies and banks were vintage CHICAGO THUG POLITICS.

This guy and his mafia are truely dangerous.

Michelle is no better. James Brown in drag.

Cleveland Steamer on June 12, 2009 at 5:25 PM

– Don’t underestimate the MICHELLE RHEE connection too:

http://www.dcedublog.com/2009/03/rhee-and-johnson-officially-item.html

…it appears that D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee and Sacramento Mayor (and ex NBAer) Kevin Johnson are out of the closet, romance wise.

– I don’t know if they have played basketball on the newly converted outdoor tennis court, but Mr. Johnson feels it would be a mistake on 0bama’s part. Perhaps this was the bet from a pick-up game?:

http://neswsports.com/2009/01/20/kevin-johnson-said-he-could-skunk-barack-obama-video/

– Could this be an elaborate ruse for Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson to get out of having to attend those online classes in how not to rip off the American taxpayer and get caught?:

http://www.blackamericaweb.com/?q=articles/news/the_black_diaspora_news/8405

Johnson’s St. HOPE Academy must repay nearly $424,000 in return for the government lifting its suspension on future federal grants. Johnson will pay nearly $73,000 of that amount, although the organization will reimburse him when it is able to do so. He also agreed to complete an online class on how to manage federal grants within four months.

FeFe on June 12, 2009 at 9:00 PM

But Michelle Obama has great arms! And wears sleeveless dresses! Who cares?!

varnson on June 12, 2009 at 10:01 PM

Unfortunately, half of the country is still infatuated with “The One”. I just hope it wears off quick enough to save the country.

kam582 on June 12, 2009 at 9:13 AM

THIS freaks me out more than anything! I know that personally in the past I have, at times been a little embarrassed and appalled at American behavior; It would seem like we might be living up to Europe’s rude opinions of us- we eat too much, we’re too invested in pop culture, we think we’re great just because we’re American, (well. yeah) But when I see that Obama has an APPROVAL rating of 62% from FOX news polls! (ARE YOU KIDDING ME??) I want to go ballistic! Who are these people?? What color is the sky in their worlds? To get to 62% he has to have sucked in some of the people who didn’t even vote for him! Are they just oblivious? Do they not want to appear “racist”? I don’t even understand how they can “approve of him personally”, but not like his policies. WTF? HE IS HIS POLICIES! It’s when I see these ridiculous approval numbers that I, NOW seriously question not just my fellow American’s choices, but their sanity!

Rant over.

anniekc on June 12, 2009 at 9:32 AM

There is something wrong with these polls. Has anybody here been polled? Anybody seen the questions? I don’t know how these polls are skewed but they are. I don’t believe it is possible for BO to have this percentage of “popularity.” You have nailed it, anniekc: he’d have to have taken in those of us who didn’t even vote for him. That is just not happening.

winfield on June 12, 2009 at 11:09 PM

Grassley said he was “deeply troubled” by the Walpin matter and closed by asking the president “to review the Inspector General Reform Act you cosponsored and to follow the letter of the law should you have cause to remove any Inspector General.”

Thank you Senator Grassley!!

TN Mom on June 13, 2009 at 12:54 AM

Lies, damned lies, and statistics (in this case, polls). Anything can be skewed to how a person or group wants it to make themselves look good.

Russ86 on June 13, 2009 at 1:02 AM

Be sure to click the York link again as he made several updates during the day.

It turns out Walpin wrote an email documenting the phone call asking him to resign and York published teh whole thing. He also added some more details to the story in general.

KittyLowrey on June 13, 2009 at 2:17 AM

Eek, I did the “teh” thing. Time to sign off!

KittyLowrey on June 13, 2009 at 2:18 AM

To think…64 million people had absolutely no idea that a Chicago politician wasn’t corrupt? Proof of little intelligent life here. Beam me back up Scottie!

Nalea on June 13, 2009 at 11:51 AM

Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat thinking that this was just a very bad dream. Alas, not so.

1921 C DRUM on June 13, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Comment pages: 1 2 3