Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Recently, I did a couple of posts concerning the firings of three Inspectors General. The first, Gerald Walpin, was fired after filing two reports showing misappropriation of AmeriCorps funds by an academy run by former NBA player Kevin Johnson, an avid Obama supporter. Shortly thereafter, two more Inspectors General, Neil Barofsky and Judith Gwynne, were fired for also doing their jobs. Walpin has now called for a Congressional hearing into his firing, according to worldnetdaily.com.
"The best way to handle that – aside from President Obama admitting that he made a mistake – is to have a congressional hearing so that all facts can be put out for the public to see," Walpin said.
U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., have already sent letters to the administration, demanding facts, records and explanations for its questionable dealings with the inspectors general. But Walpin believes only a congressional hearing will reveal the whole story.
Sen. Grassley's investigations and the subsequent media coverage have already brought to light several suspicious circumstances surrounding the controversy that some have labeled "Walpingate":
* Prior to his dismissal, Walpin had been calling for action against Kevin Johnson's St. HOPE Academy, which, it has been learned, misappropriated hundreds of thousands of dollars in AmeriCorps funds. Johnson, a former NBA star, was an outspoken celebrity supporter for the Obama campaign.
* Even closer to his dismissal, Walpin filed a report critical of what he called "the largest" AmeriCorps project authorized by the Corporation for National and Community Service – a fellows program at the City University of New York – with a price tag, he estimated, of over $80 million. Calling such a large program waste, the Washington Times opined, could not have sat well with the Corporation's chairman, Alan Solomont, who contributed more than $800,000 to Obama's campaign and inauguration.
* The CNCS (Corporation for National and Community Service) is also expected to welcome this week a new senior adviser, Jackie Norris, who since January has been serving as chief of staff for Michelle Obama.
"I am very concerned about the appearance that the IG's communication with my office about this matter may have contributed to his removal," wrote Grassley, referring to the reports Walpin had filed with Congress over the Johnson and CUNY cases. "Inspectors general have a statutory duty to report to Congress. Intimidation or retaliation against those who freely communicate their concerns to members of the House and Senate cannot be tolerated."
Also as WND reported, an FBI investigation has been launched into the St. HOPE affair, now that allegations have surfaced in the Sacramento Bee from Rick Maya, former executive director with St. HOPE, suggesting a member of the charter school's board had deleted e-mails from Johnson during the federal investigation.
"All of this suggests that the purported White House mistreatment of independent inspectors general is a scandal that might have real legs," writes an editorial in the Washington Times. "As well it should."
Amen. The Dems were all up in arms when Bush fired a few federal attorneys (Clinton fired 99 out of 100), but they have remained eerily silent on this issue. Why? Because Dear Leader is up to his eyeballs in this crap. Let's hope someone in Congress has the stones to not let go of this.