"Is he being fired for doing his job?" asked Rep. Darrell Issa of Vista (San Diego County), ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. To Issa, this episode is reminiscent of the Bush firings of U.S. attorneys -- whom Bush had a right to fire, as they served at the pleasure of the president, but not a right to smear their reputations.
Issa also is concerned that the firing of Walpin may violate the Inspectors General Reform Act, which says, "The President shall communicate in writing the reasons for any such removal or transfer to both Houses of Congress, not later than 30 days before the removal or transfer." The letter Obama sent was incredibly vague -- only later did the administration call into question Walpin's possession of his marbles -- and denied Congress the opportunity to respond first.
The icing on this cake: Obama was a co-sponsor of the bill that included the above language to guard the independence of inspectors general from partisan pressure.
Was Walpin right about CUNY? I have no idea. But he must have been right about St. HOPE, as the Sacto nonprofit and its execs promised to pay back almost half the money.
As Walpin told me, when any group misuses AmeriCorps money for a political campaign or to get a free car wash, "That's like stealing a welfare check from a single mother." And Obamaland thinks he's confused.
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