Bill Lynn Will Probably Be Confirmed Now, Cravenly

By
Friday, January 23, 2009 at 5:00 pm

So much for consistency in the application of the executive order on lobbying. Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) just sent out this statement lifting his hold on Raytheon lobbyist/deputy defense secretary-designate Bill Lynn’s nomination, which the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee put on yesterday:

“The Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has removed an obstacle to the confirmation of Bill Lynn to be Deputy Secretary of Defense by waiving the provisions of President Obama’s Executive Order on Ethics Commitments that would have precluded Mr. Lynn’s service.

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to insist that Mr. Lynn comply with a strict set of ethics rules that we apply to all nominees, including the requirement to recuse himself, for a period of one year, from any decisions involving his prior employer, unless specifically authorized to participate by an appropriate ethics official. The decision of the Administration to impose an additional set of requirements, and then waive them for this nominee, does not change the standards to which we hold all nominees.

“I support Mr. Lynn’s nomination and look forward to prompt consideration by the Senate.”

Just absolutely craven. Why put this rule out if deputy cabinet secretaries are exempt from it? Appropriately, this release was sent out at 4:46 p.m. on a Friday. Change we can believe in!

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Comments

21 Comments

MNPundit
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 3:39 pm

What a scummy move.


Jim
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 4:04 pm

The new rule is apparently “No lobbyists! Unless we say so…”

Ridiculous.


Bur
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

One wonders…what's so special about Mr. Lynn that it's a “must have” for a Deputy Secretary of Defense. Are there not other candidates? Can they not use Mr. Lynn in a different part of the administration? Rules were made to be broken, but not over commodities (there are more than enough operators and bureaucrats to go around). This is quite a display of unnecessary flexible ethics and I consider myself someone who likes Obama.


Cruella Wasilla
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 5:53 pm

Pipe down, wingnut peanut gallery. Until you have ALL the facts surrounding this situation, your jealous, whiny bleating is asinine.


norman arkin
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 8:53 pm

the network, the tightly woven fabric of political and commercial elites as they jump so adroitly from position to position, from government official to lobbyist – to think tank –so effortlessly, it makes one ponder the real meaning of this —is there, possibly some grand plan some super structure above the represent ative democracy and constitution that we are supposedly ruled by? Looking over the relatively minor or not so ethical gliches in the attempt of Obama to fill some of his cabinet posts, leads one to believe that unless we are willing to down grade virtue to luke-warm, we might have to settle for -I don't know what! Norman Arkin


billmitchell
Comment posted January 23, 2009 @ 9:05 pm

What is that old saw about consistency?


Linda Emerick
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 5:36 am

Hmmm. Craven? Just read in Friday's Washington Post the quote in which Robert Gates says he's the one who asked for the waiver. Does that make Gates craven? His reason was that Lynn was the best for the position. So it's not Levin or the administration that's “craven”, it's Gates–according to you.


M. from SC
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 6:40 am

The author of this article seems to enjoy stirring up trouble like an old hen picking on pecking order in a hen house, sorry. Many lawmakers on BOTH sides of the aisle have professed that Obama’s strict “no lobbyist” policy has some problems. They admit that it is nearly impossible to separate the two entirely and he is unrealistic.

All I can say is if that’s the WORST he has to offer our country, a small and measurable exception in a bi-partisan cabinet, I will forgive him. I will forgive him for attempting to set the bar of standards of ethics so high, even he cannot attain them. Maybe if every president aspired to this value, our country would be so much better off.

I think there will be a new generation of Republicans who will eagerly and astutely recognize that they have something more to offer than dissent and criticism. It may take a while, but it will be interesting to see what they have to offer in a real way, this article is just nonsense and more of the past.

~M. from SC


Dee
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 9:36 am

This guy was the Comptroller in the Pentagon a few years ago. He understands the funding, unlike any other candidate for that slot. I say give him the waiver. You're gonna need someone to understand the Pentagon's funding intricacies… so you can cut some of them later.


frontstreet
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 10:20 am

Isn't there someone, anyone that can fill that post other than Lynn, so that the President can maintain his integrity? I just don't like giving detractors a gift. Which is what this is. I can't defend this decision.


herewego
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 11:52 am

Same with Geithner. “He's the only one who can do the job.” The catch all excuse for letting this one – and only this one, mind you – pass. Lets face it, Obama's a politician – a damn good one, but a politician none the less and he will act politically. He will use the language he needs to get what he needs and he seems to need this guy. I never drank the kool aide so I'm not surprised by the convenient waiver, I just want Obama to do well.


Bernard HP Gilroy
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 7:21 pm

Can they not use Mr. Lynn in a different part of the administration?

If the idea is to give Bill Lynn a job, sure. If the idea is to fill the spot at DoD with the best person to execute it, maybe not so much. Any rule is going to need flexibility in its implementation. The test of Obama will be: How many waivers are granted? And will all the waivers be announced publicly and subject to external scrutiny?

I'm comfortable with him making a small (four?) number of waivers, because I can believe that, 3 or 4 times, the best guy turns out to be in contradiction with the policy.


Larry Senechal
Comment posted January 24, 2009 @ 8:32 pm

Part of the problem with DoD and their egregious weapons acquisition process is that the driver is less what is really needed to meet America's defense needs but more what Defense contractors and their Congressional supporters think they need. The mind set is continually reinforced by ever revolving door of employment of senior retired military to DOD Defense contractors and on the reverse side,ss s appointment of Senior Defense Executives to key DoD leadership positions. Mr. Lynn's appointment is only the latest example, and SADLY on President Obama's watch. It's just more of the same


Jeff Weinberger
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 10:03 am

“A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds,” is the exact quote from Emerson, in “Self-Reliance”, who was not referring to matters of ethical principle when he wrote it. Obama's policy statement regarding lobbyists entering his administration and vice versa was based on a sound ethical principle and it is abhorrent at worst, and shortsighted at best, that days after he enunciated it to the world it was cavalierly being shoved aside. If he was going to allow exceptions to this rule, he should have stated such, and what the criteria might be for allowing such exceptions. Criteria like 1) he's the best candidate for the job and/or 2) he must recuse himself from all matters related to his former private sector relationships, might have been deemed acceptable or might not. But that's not how the deal went down.


Jeff Weinberger
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 10:08 am

I'm very comforted by the fact that we how have a half-wit dominatrix joining the discussion. Can you see Russia from your dungeon?


dahreese
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 11:04 am

“The Senate Armed Services Committee will continue to insist that Mr. Lynn comply with a strict set of ethics rules that we apply to all nominees, including the requirement to recuse himself, for a period of one year, from any decisions involving his prior employer, unless specifically authorized to participate by an appropriate ethics official. “

Why just one year? After all, this is the kind of political/financial connectivity stuff that created the deregulation(s) of Wall Street in the first place. And it smells of Dick Cheneyism; you may not be on the board, but your friends will benefit from their contact with you.


Anonymous
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 6:53 pm

Jeff, It seems to me that you ought to lighten up a bit………


hockeynerd
Comment posted January 25, 2009 @ 4:10 pm

absolutely agree. bad idea by Levin


Former lobbyist could still do business with Raytheon from Pentagon
Pingback posted January 27, 2009 @ 3:10 pm

[...] doorway ban. And with Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin’s (D-Mich.) announcement which he is dropping his hold upon Lynn’s nomination, a trail is right away transparent for Lynn’s [...]


Brad W
Comment posted February 11, 2009 @ 1:39 pm

I just watched two hours of c-span where Senators blasted this Nomination because while Lynn worked in Government back in the 90's he was directly connected to fraud and misuse of taxpayer funds in the DOD. This guy is not the only one who can do the job! For crying out loud I could do the job! The thing we want here is truth and integrity in our Government and we are not getting that at any turn! It is time to STAND UP AND BE NOTICED AND STOP THE MADDNESS!!!! GET THIS BUM OUT OF THERE!


Brad W
Comment posted February 11, 2009 @ 9:39 pm

I just watched two hours of c-span where Senators blasted this Nomination because while Lynn worked in Government back in the 90's he was directly connected to fraud and misuse of taxpayer funds in the DOD. This guy is not the only one who can do the job! For crying out loud I could do the job! The thing we want here is truth and integrity in our Government and we are not getting that at any turn! It is time to STAND UP AND BE NOTICED AND STOP THE MADDNESS!!!! GET THIS BUM OUT OF THERE!


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