“Fleas on a Dog” Update


Two days ago, I posted an article titled “Fleas on a Dog” regarding the relative lack of coverage in the mainstream media about Rep. Joe Sestak (D-Pa) allegedly being offered a job in the Obama administration in exchange for his dropping out of the race for the Pennsylvania Senate seat currently occupied by Arlen Specter. Sestak eventually ousted Specter in the Democratic primary but the question persists as to who offered what position.

But now according to the White House’s official statement on the matter, former President Bill Clinton was asked by Obama’s Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to speak to Sestak and supposedly offered him an unpaid position on the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.

The claim is that the White House counsel, Robert Bauer, looked at the offer and determined that it was legal according to The New York Time’s Peter Baker:

The office of Robert F. Bauer, the White House counsel, has concluded that Mr. Emanuel’s proposal did not violate laws prohibiting government employees from promising employment as a reward for political activity because the position being offered was unpaid. The office also found other examples of presidents offering positions to political allies to achieve political aims.

If this is true, the key is that it’s an unpaid position as opposed to the previously floated idea that it was for the Secretary of the Navy position, which would likely be illegal. The White House also says that the determination that the offer was legal was made about two months ago. If that’s the case, then why wait so long to release a statement on the matter?

This still seems a bit suspicious to me…Why would a candidate with a good chance to win a Senate seat even consider exchanging that possibility for an UNPAID position on an advisory board? That doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to this individual.

For additional coverage on this issue, I recommend reading Greg Sargent’s “The Plum Line” at the Washington Post’s site.

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