Wednesday, June 17, 2009

IG Fired By Obama RAT Board

Remember waaaaaay back to February? That was when we were talking about hidden provisions in the Porkulus economic stimulus package?

(Newser) – Hidden away in the $787 billion stimulus bill is a lousy provision that threatens to inject politics into the jobs of supposedly independent government watchdogs, writes Byron York of the Washington Examiner. The bill creates something called the Recovery Accountability and Transparency Board—the RAT board to the few who know of it. From now on, inspectors general—investigators who check into wrongdoing at federal agencies—must clear their inquiries with the board.

"The language means that the board—whose chairman will be appointed by the president—can reach deep inside a federal agency and tell an inspector general to lay off some particularly sensitive subject," writes York. "Or, conversely, it can tell the inspector general to go after a tempting political target." It's not clear yet who snuck it in, but signs point to the Obama administration, not Congress.
It sure didn't take long to exercise that little provision, now did it? Inspector Generals are not supposed to be able to be fired without 30 days notice to prevent political tampering. Looks like we got ourselves a smoking gun here.

[Judicial Watch] A government inspector general who has exposed widespread waste in taxpayer-financed community service groups has been fired by Barack Obama after finding that one of the president’s political supporters, a California mayor, misused federal funds.

In violation of a law established to keep the watchdogs independent and free of political pressure or interference, Obama has refused to explain why he got rid of the inspector general charged with investigating the government’s so-called national service programs.

[FoxNews] [Gerald ]Walpin concluded that his firing stems from bad blood between him and the board, as well as with Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson -- an Obama supporter whom he had investigated for alleged misuse of federal funds.

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