Payback: Obama Nominates Major Campaign Fundraiser to Head Homeland Security

Posted: Oct 18, 2013 2:00 PM
Payback: Obama Nominates Major Campaign Fundraiser to Head Homeland Security

Now that former Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is on the west coast fulfilling her new duties as the president of the University of California, President Obama has nominated major campaign donor Jeh Johnson to take her place.

Federal campaign finance records show that over the past decade, Johnson has contributed more than $100,000 to Democratic candidates and groups.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, Johnson donated more than $33,000 to Obama's campaign, federal records show. Obama's campaign website listed Johnson as a member of the then-candidate's national finance committee and an adviser to Obama's foreign policy team during the 2008 election.

Like most of Obama's nominees, Johnson comes with controversy. In a statement Friday morning, Texas Senator John Cornyn slammed Johnson as someone who has little experience when it comes to border security and framed the nomination as a payback for fundraising to get Obama elected.

"Rather than selecting someone who knows the unique dynamics of our Southern border, the President has tapped one of his former New York fundraisers. Senator Cornyn slammed the President, saying that Texans “need someone at DHS who knows how to secure our border, not dial for dollars,” a statement on Cornyn's website said. "With this Administration’s failure to secure the border, Texans expect a nominee with serious management and law enforcement experience – not a liberal Money Man being rewarded for helping Barack Obama win the White House.'"

Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions also released a statement about Johnson's nomination, saying he is unfit to run one of the most mismanaged departments in the federal government.

“DHS is the most mismanaged department in the federal government. Department policies have collapsed enforcement and destroyed the morale of our officers. Immigration officers have been forced not to perform their duties. ICE officers even filed a federal lawsuit against DHS in an effort to regain their ability to enforce the law. It would appear that the President plans to nominate a loyalist and fundraiser to this post. This is deeply concerning. This huge department must have a proven manager with strong relevant law enforcement experience, recognized independence and integrity, who can restore this department to its full capability,” Sessions said.

Last year, a House subcommittee looked into major violations of DHS ethics policies and allegations of corruption.

Johnson's nomination comes just as President Obama wants immigration reform back on the table for debate.

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