Skip to comments.Expansive Role of White House Staffers Undermines Good Government
Posted on 10/18/2011 5:20:30 AM PDT by Kaslin
In April of 2009, President Obama made a key decision to dramatically expand and extend the role of White House Staffers, giving them the power and responsibility to intervene in just about every decision throughout the federal government. Though hardly noticed at the time, Obama directed that Office of the White House Public Liaison be renamed as the Office of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs, headed by his friend and political confidant, Valerie Jarrett. The many new Liaisons were recruited from the most fervent young campaign workers, all of whom were fervent Obama supporters, but who had limited experience in government or in the work of the many agencies in which they would be imbedded.
Inevitably, these new, young and inexperienced White House Liaison officers too often redirected the work of career government servants to meet more expedient political needs of the Obama Administration. The result has been a disaster.
Greg Nelson, White House Liaison, has his fingerprints all over the Solyndra deal, including emails between him and Solyndra executives regarding President Obama's trips, the half a billion dollar federal loan and meeting with Carol Browner the Energy Czar. Denise Gitsham, former White House liaison at DOJ, now a lobbyist and D.C.based executive at Sapphire Energy which received over $100 million in federal government loans and announced by President Obama and DOE Secretary, Steven Chu. You can also bank on the fact that as the investigations move forward, further examination of email correspondence would likely show a more detailed connection and knowledge of activities of the DoE White House Liaison in bypassing normal the normal review process under the control of career government servants, in a forlorn attempt to gain some political benefit by rewarding Obama supporters and helping friends.
The congressional inquiry into Fast and Furious also has at its core who and what the White House did or did not know. In the emails released so far, Kevin O'Reilly, a White House Liaison for North American National Security issues, is drawing increased attention from Congressional Oversight committees regarding his role in unraveling the disingenuous statements being made regarding who knew, what and when.
Clearly, Obama's new young White House Liaison Officers seem to be the critical players in so many of the scandals now erupting. Obama's White House Liaison officers, working under the direct control of Valerie Jarrett and embedded into every single federal agency are, for the most part, unqualified and inexperienced. Worse yet, unless the decision to empower these young White House Liaison Officers with the ability to disrupt and intervene in agency decisions is revoked, more scandals seem inevitable.
To understand just how far the Obama White House has extended the role of White House Liaisons, some background is required. White House Liaisons work in each federal agency, reporting back to the White House on agency activities, ostensibly to improve communications between the White House and the Senate-confirmed agency leaders.
Each executive Branch agency has a White House Liaison / Office of Public Engagement staff member, typically, the liaison tends to be a young-ish person who worked hard in the presidential campaign, has some ties close to someone who is close to the president, is unwilling or unable to pass the security checks or congressional scrutiny required for senior jobs within the agency, and spends most of his or her time reporting back to the White House on agency activities. White House Liaisons are usually picked for their ideological purity and almost blind faith in the President.
Supposedly, White House Liaisons are embedded within the federal executive agencies to improve the collaboration and communication between the President, the White House advisors, such as czars and the Senate-confirmed agency leader and. But, more often than not, the Liaison inserts yet another layer between the President and his Senate-confirmed Cabinet. Worse yet, White House Liaisons are given the authority to directly intervene in agency decision-making, subverting political goals for good government. In short, the liaisons represent a shadow government that diminishes the effective running of a government agency by the Senate confirmed leader.
As Americans watch Congressman Issas probe into the Department of Justice, ATF and Fast and Furious or Congressman Uptons inquiry into the Solyndra debacle, there is almost certainly White House Liaison involvement close to the center of the controversies.
The sad truth is that the president rarely meets with his Cabinet, preferring instead to get guidance from the plethora of czars and junior White House staffers who surround him and insulate him from public opinion or any close reliance on factual data that might affect the president's decisions. Most interactions occur through surrogates. Given this kind of scenario, miscommunications are bound to occur.
It is also important to understand that this kind of problem isn't unique to the Obama White House. The White House Public Liaison has been a persistent, clearly identified White House staff specialization since the Ford administration. The recent Bush Administration had a cornucopia of problems with its White House Liaisons. Youth, ambition and huge amounts of power left unmanaged create a dangerous cocktail in any administration.
Unfortunately, President Obama made the disastrous decision to push White House Liaisons even further into inappropriate political decision-making and, like a noxious virus, these inexperienced political hacks, under the direct control of political advisor Valerie Jarrett, are corrupting good government and the mostly honest efforts of career government officials.
It is time for White House Liaisons to be recalled and dismissed. Congress should no longer tolerate the existence of a shadow government, that has the goal of politicizing virtually every decision, while simultaneously hiding behind executive privilege to further cloud responsibility when things, inevitably go wrong.
President Obama shouldn't tolerate it either.
..tolerated?..he's behind it
what did he know and when did he know it, drip...drip...drip...
So much for the - "No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration."
Source: Obama ethics plan
As person in charge of these WH liaisons, it looks like Valerie Jarrett’s name is now being pulled into some of these scandals.
From what I’ve seen anybody that is connected to this administration is involved in all the scandals.
Correct, and that incluces Jarrett. However, she’s pretty much managed to avoid the spotlight. Now we see how she could be directly implicated.
“As Americans watch Congressman Issas probe into the Department of Justice, ATF and Fast and Furious or Congressman Uptons inquiry into the Solyndra debacle, there is almost certainly White House Liaison (Jarrett) involvement close to the center of the controversies. “
W.H. aides debated politics of Solyndra visit
That same day, DoEs stimulus point man, Matt Rogers, defended Solyndra in an email to Klain. The going concern letter is standard for companies pre-IPO, Rogers wrote, adding, the company should be strong going into the fall with their new facilities on line.
Rod OConnor, who was Energy Secretary Steven Chus chief of staff at the time, also chimed in to Klain. Bottom line is that we believe the company is OK in the medium term but will need some help of one kind or another down the road, OConnor wrote.
Klain then sent the two comments from the DoE officials to Jarrett with a recommendation that Obama participate in the event at Solyndra.
Sounds like there are some risk factors here but thats true of any innovative company that POTUS would visit, Klain wrote. It looks like it is OK to me, but if you feel otherwise, let me know.
Im comfortable if youre comfortable, Jarrett replied.
Klain responded, The reality is that if POTUS visited 10 such places over the next 10 months, probably a few will be belly-up by Election Day 2012 but that to me is the reality of saying that we want to help promote cutting-edge, new economy industries.
Democratic sources: Biden chooses chief of staff
Nov 13 07:15 PM US/Eastern
By LIZ SIDOTI
Klain is a former partner in the Washington law and lobbying firm O’Melveny & Myers.
Senate lobbying records show that at the firm, Klain’s lobbying clients included Fannie Mae, U.S. Airways, Time Warner and the Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, a business group that sought government help resolving asbestos lawsuits. However, the most recent lobbying Klain appears to have done was in 2004 for Fannie Mae and Time Warner.
He was involved in both of Clinton’s presidential campaigns, and was Gore’s top aide in the vice presidential office for several years. He later had a senior role in Gore’s 2000 campaign, including the Florida recount and Supreme Court standoff that ultimately tipped the election to George W. Bush. Actor Kevin Spacey played Klain in the 2008 HBO film “Recount.”
In 2004, Klain was among several veterans of the Clinton-Gore political campaigns who advised retired Gen. Wesley Clark in the Democratic primaries. He backed Biden, whom he had known from working with Senate committees, four years later.
THE PURSUIT OF A DAUNTING ENERGY JOB
Washington Post - Wednesday, January 6, 1993
Author: Al Kamen ; Thomas W. Lippman ; Steven Mufson ; David S. Broder
Washington lawyer Jamie S. Gorelick, a longtime FOZ (Friend of Zoe’s), has put together a legal brain trust to assist Attorney General-designate Zoe E. Baird at her confirmation hearings before the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Joseph R. Biden Jr. (D-Del.).
The group includes two former Biden chief counsels, Mark Gitenstein and Ron Klain , former staff director Jeff Peck, and Duke Law School Prof. Walter Dellinger, veterans of bitter fights over judicial nominations in the late 1980s who now find themselves working for, not against, committee confirmation.
Jan 5, 2011
Ron Klain, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, is leaving the White House to become the new president of Case Holdings, the investment company of AOL co-founder Steve Case. Klain is leaving his current position later this month and will oversee Cases various holdings including investment firm Revolution LLC, investments in Hawaii including Grove Farm and Maui Land & Pineapple, and Steve and Jean Cases Case Foundation.
We spoke with Case to talk about Klain and the direction of Revolution LLC, which has invested in hot start-up companies such as LivingSocial Inc., which recently raised $175 million from Amazon.com, Zipcar Inc., which is in IPO registration, Everyday Health Inc., and Revolution Money Inc., which was acquired by American Express Co. in 2009 for $300 million.
In early 2011, he was selected by President Barack Obama to serve as Chairman of the Startup America Partnership and named to the President’s Council on Jobs & Competitiveness.
Nov. 8, 2010
The Obama administration is working on streamlining the Department of Energys loan guarantee program, a spokesperson for the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) tells me this morning. The move follows a leaked memo (online here) dated October 25, reported by the Wall Street Journal (and picked up by others), from White House officials to the President that lays out several recommendations for ways to revamp the DOE loan guarantee program. One of the recommendations from that memo was moving the remaining loan guarantee program funds to another renewable energy grant program, basically killing the loan guarantee program.
But instead of reprogramming the loan guarantee program, the Obama administration and the DOE have decided to remain committed to the program and try to make it better and take less time, the OMB spokesperson tells me.
October 25, 2010. MEMORANDUM FOR THE PRESIDENT. F ROM: CAROL BROWNER. RON KLAIN. LARRY SUMMERS. SUBJECT: Renewable Energy Loan ...
Hmmmmmm....very interesting..especially the last bit. Great digging Maggie!
“President Obama shouldn’t tolerate it either.”
Are you kidding me???
See maggief’s Post #9
Expansive Role of White House Staffers Undermines Good Government
Article, and # 9.
Good research, maggief, thanks.
And about time. She’s been one of his handlers from way back.
I get the feeling that Valerie Jarrett is the one actually running things, acting as liaison between Soros and the Chicago Machine, on the one hand, and the "White House Liaisons".
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