Patterico's Pontifications


Walpin Firing Details Emerge

Filed under: Government,Obama — DRJ @ 1:20 pm

[Guest post by DRJ]

It appears the Obama Administration has been less than candid about the firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin. Byron York at the Washington Examiner has the details:

“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. On June 11, less than 24 hours after Walpin received the call from Eisen, the board held a conference call. The next day, Ranit Schmelzer, who is part of the corporation’s press office, sent an email to board members giving them talking points to use if contacted by reporters seeking information about the matter.

“Indicate that you support the president’s decision to remove IG Walpin,” was Schmelzer’s first instruction to the board. Then: “If asked why he was removed, indicate that the president lost confidence in Mr. Walpin.” And then: “If the reporter continues to press, say that you can’t get into details on a personnel matter, but you understand there were some performance-based issues.” Finally, Schmelzer advised the board to avoid “getting into any specifics about IG Walpin’s performance-based issues. The WH has stayed away from this and has counseled us to do the same.”

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air sums it up:

“The new information shows that Obama fired Walpin for political purposes, not for cause. The White House also broke the law, at least initially, by not giving Congress the proper notification before terminating Walpin (they adhered to the regulation after being called on this violation by postponing Walpin’s termination date). The firing appears to have been motivated to protect an Obama ally (Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson) from having allegations of using federal funds to pay off employees and avoid sexual harassment charges exposed. The White House essentially smeared Walpin with completely unsubstantiated allegations of senility to undermine his credibility, once Walpin went public. One might think that the national media would take an interest in this, but as York also notes, their interest has never been very intense at all.

Inspectors general exist to check abuses of power and corruption, regardless of the party in power. An attack on them, especially one so nakedly political and potentially corrupt as Walpin’s firing, is an attack on accountability and citizen government. This case should be headlining major media outlets — and if the current president was a Republican, it no doubt would be.”

Too bad the media isn’t willing to teach the Obama Administration a valuable lesson about the downside of political patronage and coverups.


28 Responses to “Walpin Firing Details Emerge”

  1. I’m sure the Obama administration is puzzled by all of the attention given to this–this is just SOP in Chicago–the Land of Patronage.

    Rochf (ae9c58)

  2. The question is: who is the controlling legal authority?

    The media isn’t going to make a stink over this. Neither is Congress.

    Who is in a position to follow this up? If there isn’t anyone, they’ll get away with it, just like Al Gore breaking campaign finance laws.

    JayC (557200)

  3. JayC, if the GOP can take the house, much can be made of this. other than that, Holder will continue to protect his clan.

    Dustin (cf255c)

  4. Can’t Walpin sue over the nature of his firing? Do I recall that he already has? Too bad it will cost him a bundle to take on the “Justice” Department….

    Gabby (8c4f90)

  5. Walpin has filed a lawsuit demanding his job back.

    gahrie (9d1bb3)

  6. The media isn’t going to make a stink over this. Neither is Congress.

    Comment by JayC — 11/23/2009 @ 1:24 pm

    Henry “Can you believe I’m the Congressman from Beverly Hills?” Waxman was all over AG Gonzalez’s rump for “questionable” firings, but he’s going to pretend there’s no stink about Walpin’s firing (even though that schnozz of his would make a bloodhound jealous).

    L.N. Smithee (b048eb)

  7. I agree with #3. If the House changes next year, a lot of this stuff will get more play. If not, same old same old.

    Mike K (2cf494)

  8. If the Republicans get control, they have to be careful how they proceed. The MSM will go 24/7 painting them as having no agenda but trying to get Obama.

    They can’t sit on their hands and let Obama skate, but 2012 is the real prize, both for the presidency and to build on any gains they make next year. If a new Rep controlled Congress goes bull-in-a-china shop, 2010 could be one and done.

    Matador (e01f85)

  9. JayC, if the GOP can take the house, much can be made of this. other than that, Holder will continue to protect his clan.

    Comment by Dustin — 11/23/2009 @ 1:39 pm

    Don’t be so sure.

    What’s frustrating as the Dickens is that when there WAS a GOP majority in the legislature, GOP committee chairs were go-along-to-get-along types like Arlen Specter and Tom Davis, who gave Henry Waxman a long leash when he was the ranking minority member on the House Oversight Committee and got a choke chain in return when Waxman took over.

    I’ll never forget how Davis alone was present for the GOP in 2007 when Waxman, shortly after taking the chair with the Dems’ 2006 victories, corralled all (or at least, most) the Dems on the committee to fawn over lying spy Valerie Plame and vilify Bush, Cheney, and Victoria Toensing.

    Now working as a consultant, Davis recently had some dismissive words about the tea party movement.

    L.N. Smithee (ecc5a5)

  10. Oh, I agree not to hold one’s breath. but much can be made of this if the GOP chooses. The House Judiciary’s ranking member has been pretty zealous in attacking Obama’s corruption.

    I don’t know what to say about results, though. The damage has already been done. IGs were supposed to be independent, and now this spectre has permanently damaged that reputation. you can’t just rebuild this kind of thing.

    Dustin (cf255c)

  11. If a new Rep controlled Congress goes bull-in-a-china shop, 2010 could be one and done.
    Comment by Matador — 11/23/2009 @ 4:14 pm

    As it should be. If they can’t get it together after the townhalls, TEA parties, and (as L.N. Smithee just noted) the different standards used when the GOP is the minority, they don’t deserve to be in charge. I agree that usually “the perfect is the enemy of the good”, but sometimes the lesser evil just isn’t good enough. That’s a large part of why John McCain never really inspired the conservative base and why the GOP elite are just not cutting it. I’ll vote for conservatives, especially moderate conservatives… I won’t vote for “relatively conservative” candidates without conservative principles. I certainly won’t vote for anyone just because of the letter after their name.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  12. But at what point would a hypothetical GOP investigator enter dumbass levels of scrutiny?

    I think it’s just plain expected for bloviating congressmen to grill jackasses on CSPAN. Do voters base their decisions on those hearings? Not really. But if Obama’s administration is forced to admit they did this, or are caught perjuring themselves, it makes a dent in its electability.

    When they decided to impeach Clinton, it was handled very badly, was redefined in the media as puritanical meanness, and they didn’t finish the job. That didn’t kill the GOP congress. Not by a longshot. So what will? I think investigating the democrats for ACORN nonsense, the rampant corruption in our stimulus, lying to us, all the lack of transparency on lobbyists in the White House, and the rest of an already endless list, won’t hurt the GOP at all. Just drag people up to the hearing chamber, and ask ask ask ask about this stuff.

    Whether the GOP lives or dies will depend on their willingness to be ethical protectors of the national wallet, and the economic future of our nation. That’s about it.

    Dustin (cf255c)

  13. the Obama Administration has been less than candid

    there’s a phrase that can be applied to anything they’ve said or done. they are lying scumbags, one and all, from the slime at the bottom, to the first floater at the top.

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  14. #8: another RINO herd from….. “please don’t upset the apple cart, we might not get our share…. can’t we all just get along?”

    the MFM will lie about everything, no matter how meek and mild your kind waters down any inquiry.

    as the sign reads at the tea parties “It Doesn’t Matter What This Sign Says, You’ll Claim It’s Racist”… i say its better to be shot for a flock of sheep than to live as a member of the flock.

    “If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude than the animated contest of freedom, go from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains sit lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen!” Sam Adams

    redc1c4 (fb8750)

  15. redc1c4, I didn’t read it quite that way. I think it’s wise to have your ducks in a row rather than be blindly contrary. Take the bad things apart according to their priority, explain why they’re bad, and offer effective alternatives according to conservative principles if real change is warranted. Just tearing stuff apart because the other party did it would not convince anyone that the GOP “gets it”. Maybe that wasn’t how Matador intended it and I read too much into it, so I’ll just speak for myself… the Republicans have to prove themselves before I’ll give them any support at all. I don’t think I’m alone and don’t really care if I am. If they want my support they have to walk the walk and act according to what they now only give lip-service to.

    Stashiu3 (44da70)

  16. The entrenched GOP leadership opposes allowing Conservatives to have a voice in policy making and candidate selection with even greater vigor than Democrats oppose Sarah Palin.

    The GOP doesn’t like Palin, or any of the protesting grassroots people either, and would rather lose in 2010 than accommodate the New Right.

    If Conservatives are going to win, we’re going to have to do it ourselves. Likely against even our former keepers too.

    ropelight (1f2c98)


    The Chicago thug shows his true colors.

    Illegally fire someone. Then smear him.

    It’s unfortunate that America no longer has an independent media.

    Terry Gain (1664b9)

  18. Interestingly the Sacramento NBC affiliate KCRA did a piece about Kevin Johnsons problem including some hot quotes from his accuser about what Ol Kev is alleged to have done. They also mentioned the public funds hush money They didn’t however mention the Walpin firing or the Obama connection. I’m thinking that they are trying to make KJ resign without involving the Pres. As a point of interest KCRA was so far in the tank for Johnson (and Obama) that some of their reporters haven’t been seen since. One of their segments before the election was basically a campaign ad.

    glenn (757adc)

  19. Amer-IG-ate
    It’s got sex, a cover-up and a “IG” in the middle.

    Neo (7830e6)

  20. “they have to walk the walk and act according to what they now only give lip-service to.”

    Too true. Sadly, I place my faith in the GOP to regain government and be pretty conservative for a couple of years, and then those who are more receptive to corruption will grow more powerful than those who are not, and the GOP will start setting up more and more pork programs. They aren’t likely to spend as much as Obama has, or threaten as much freedom, but they lost their way after being so clearly aware of what the way was supposed to be.

    The GOP taking the house is a solution to the problems of a one party rule. The corruption we see in many areas, but well shown in Walpin’s firing. But the GOP taking power is not a solution to the ridiculously unsustainable path we are on with regards to energy, money, industry, or liberty. It’s just dem-light.

    Dustin (cf255c)

  21. We needed a report to know this?.

    This is like someone doing a study on whether or not cats respond to cat nip.

    Mike (ba41eb)

  22. #20, Dustin, if you’re willing to place your faith in the GOP, you got your account in the wrong bank.

    Unless you like where Obama’s taking the country, faith in the current GOP leadership is nothing more that a alternate route to the same destination, just takes a little longer to get there.

    ropelight (3203bf)

  23. ropelight, did you see Beck’s show last night, with the dual coffins? The GOP was nailing the coffin with a hammer as the democrats used a power tool and finished faster.

    As I said, the GOP taking the House is a solution to the problems of one party rule. There will be real benefits to this country of Obama’s party not ruling everything at the same time.

    But I also said that the GOP is not a solution to the unsustainable path we’re on in so many areas. I don’t really see a way out of that box. I have to choose to have my coffin nailed down, basically, to give me more time. I’m open to suggestions, but I don’t expect to hear anything but third party, which I equate to democrats winning.

    Here’s my suggestion: get involved with the GOP at the local level, wherever you are, to help shape the GOP away from corruption. Hopefully some major reforms can also be made, including balanced budget amendments, reform of entitlement programs, maybe even term limits (I don’t like the idea but I know that it’s better than this mess).

    Dustin (cf255c)

  24. Seems like the issue is whether we want to be a nation ruled by law or by popular whim, by principle or what seems right/feels good at the moment, by people of virtue or those who manipulate for their own benefit.

    Seems the need is to help enough of the second group to realize that it will work for them only so long and they better get over to side one. That is quite a task for a society used to sound bites and video games.

    MD in Philly (227f9c)

  25. The Chicago thug shows his true colors.
    Comment by Terry Gain — 11/23/2009 @ 7:51 pm

    Obama is not a Chicago thug. He is what a thug wants for a cellmate.


    Have you noticed how much golf Obama is playing? He knows he’s a non-entity, a figurehead good only for photo-ops and that Axelrod and Emanuel are the Presidency, so he just goes with the flow. Like all the rest of his life.

    nk (df76d4)

  26. #23, Dustin, thanks for your suggestion, it’s a good one, and not only one I fully agreed with, but also one I have taken seriously enough to work to achieve. Here’s another one.

    While you’re working at the local level to reform the GOP, remember to lift your head often and keep a sharp eye on the movers and shakers at the top. Real reform, lasting reform, includes the entire organization top to bottom.

    Money is the mother’s milk of politics, and ground troops get out the votes. Cut off both and the current crop of cockroaches will run for cover, or be run out on rails.

    The people are supreme in our system and it’s long past time for them to take their rightful place at the table. Promises and half measures aren’t enough, RINOs won’t do, promiscuous spending is unAmericn, and undermining the Constitution is intolerable.

    Not in this America, so “No!” is my message to the GOP. No more time, no more donations, no more contributions, no more meetings, no more bumper stickers, no more lawn signs, no more knocking on doors, no more precinct work. Nothing more from me.

    It’s true, Party bosses don’t meet in smoke filled room any more, but it’s also just as true that the same guys who willfully led us into the wilderness just aren’t the ones capable of leading us to the promised land. Obviously, they don’t know the way.

    Now, I’m not ready for a coffin quite yet, but I’m sure as hell willing to put the nails in the GOP’s coffin if they continue to block the liberty and freedom of American citizens. Current GOP leadership has disqualified itself from any possibility of remaining at the head of the Republican Party. We will have leaders and candidates who represent us, or else!

    ropelight (3203bf)

  27. #8: another RINO herd from….. “please don’t upset the apple cart, we might not get our share…. can’t we all just get along?

    Comment by redc1c4 — 11/23/2009 @ 5:51 pm

    Not at all, red. Stashiu3 got me right.

    I want them to upset the applecart, but not at the expense of successfully returning this country to conservative government. This issue is important, but undoing the economic havoc of Obama and this current Congress, and getting at least some influence over the wars we must win, have to be the priorities.

    Clinton lost his Congress because he came right out of the gate prioritizing things like gays in the military. Obama is going to lose his for, among other things, doing healthcare while failing on the economy and Afghanistan.

    They need to get in, prove they can lead and govern conservatively and ethically, and then they will have the credibility to tackle the corrupt Obama machine.

    RINO? Ouch! I was fighting against Milton Shapp when I was 7 years old (my mom and dad were the local committee man and woman), passing out flyers from my radio flyer. I’ve knocked on doors for Pat Toomey, and plan to do so again as we take PA back from Philthadelphia whether it be Specter or Sestak so I would respectfully deny, deny, deny that charge.

    But, I could have made my point more effectively. I’ll work on that going forward.

    Matador (e01f85)

  28. Seems ripe for Glenn Beck, or anyone who bitched about the firing of the US Attorneys. (Note, I am NOT conflating Glenn Beck with the folks who complained about Bush’s lawful dismissal of his US Attorneys.)

    Ira (28a423)

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