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Time to clean up Sestak mess, part II

With the battle over the Joe Sestak mess continuing to rage, Jon Chait and Steve Benen both have posts up pushing back hard on the growing chorus of criticism and on the notion that this is any kind of scandal.

They both make strong cases. But I still think some firepower needs to be directed in the direction of Sestak and to a lesser extent the White House. Because even if you accept that there's nothing to this scandal, the failure to say anything about it still makes it harder to push back against Republican attacks, and risks hurting Sestak and the Democratic Paty.

Benen's post skewers the developing meme that the Sestak mess shows Obama played "party boss," pointing out that it's hardly uncommon for party leaders to exert behind the scenes influence over their party.

And Chait takes issue with the whole "scandal" at a conceptual level, pointing out that Obama's promise of transparency doesn't mean he's obliged to reveal the contents of every single private conversation anyone in the administration ever had.

Digby, meanwhile, points out that there may be no percentage in Sestak telling us what happened, because Republicans will keep attacking no matter what he says.

All true. But still, presuming that there's nothing deeply sinister to this scandal, if Sestak and the White House told us what happened it would make it possible to push back on the attacks with some actual information.

By saying nothing, this just allows Republicans to make the story about a generalized "coverup" and "lack of transparency," rather than about whether what did actually happen is in fact scandalous or untoward.

Yes, Republicans will still demand prosecution no matter what Sestak and the White House say. But if Dems had a set of facts at their disposal, at least they could try to turn this into a factual argument over what actually happened.

Does putting out the facts constitute letting Republicans "win" or "frame the argument' or what have you? Perhaps, but saying nothing does the same thing -- and arguably plays into the GOP's hands even more by keeping the argument in the realm of the fact-free, putting Dems at an even greater disadvantage.

Saying nothing is simply not helpful in any way -- it only makes it less likely that this story will go away. If there's really nothing to this scandal, better to put the facts on the table now and battle it out over them.

UPDATE, 12:33: Kevin Drum gets it right, saying the best way forward is to put the facts on the table:

So the White House either offered Sestak a job or they didn't. If they didn't, they would have said so. So presumably they did. If they and Sestak just fessed up to this, wouldn't the story go away almost instantly? If the White House announced, say, that Sestak had indeed been under consideration for a position in the Navy Department last summer, but Sestak turned them down, then that's the end of it. It's not even good campaign fodder. All Sestak has to do is confess that in the heat of the campaign he got a little carried away and characterized it badly.

What the hell am I missing here? I just see no downside to this.

By Greg Sargent  |  May 27, 2010; 11:54 AM ET
Categories:  2010 elections , Joe Sestak , Political media , Senate Dems , Senate Republicans  
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Next: Obama does right thing, vows official response on Sestak

Comments

Greg: There is nothing here. Political parties have been promising jobs to partisans since the Federalists. That is how politics works, always has, always will. That said, I wish Sestak had kept his mouth shut. BTW: Tweety actually made a valid point the other day. God forbid the GOP takes the House; there will be nothing but subpoenas and investigations until the cows come home. Repubs will have been given a more effective vehicle for sabotaging Obama's presidency.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

O/T: The preliminary word is that the "top kill" procedure is going well. Fingers crossed they can cement this thing and plug the d*mn hole.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

wbgonne, the fact that there's nothing here makes putting the info on the table more imperative, not less, because currently the battle is being waged in the realm of the fact free, which helps Republicans.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I agree with Digby that no matter what happens the R's will not stop. They have NOTHING else. What accomplishments or achievements do the R's have to point to?

But I take your point as well Greg. Sestak could simply call a Press Conference and say. The Obama administration told me they would like me to serve as ???. There was nothing said about the Pennsylvania Senate race...ergo no quid pro quo.

Why is this any difference than the position they offered to Republican Senator Judd Gregg. Don't most people believe that at least PART of that motivation came from getting Gregg out of the R Caucus and disturbing R politics?

One Press Conference with a conclusion that goes...that's it..I've addressed it...It's over!

Posted by: rukidding7 | May 27, 2010 12:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

It is a state race. Let Sestak deal with it, in Pennsylvania, where it may or may not matter. All you are doing is stoking the fire, on a national basis, for the Republicans. Give it a rest.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

you're the only one who makes sense, Greg, because you are relentlessly focused on the facts, rather than the arguments.

To me, Chait's argument makes no sense. His logic eludes me.

He says:

"There's no such thing as offering somebody a job in return for them dropping out of a Senate race."

Yes, there is. If an Administration official offers a candidate a job so that they will drop out of their race, that official could very well be guilty of unduly interfering with or affecting a U.S. election.

As I have commented to Chait and on other blogs, Title 18 Section 595 of the U.S. Code prohibits this:

18 U.S.C. § 595: Interference by administrative employees of Federal, State, or Territorial Governments
http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/uscode/18/I/29/595

Whoever, being a person employed in any administrative position by the United States... uses his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting, the nomination or the election of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential elector, Member of the Senate, Member of the House of Representatives … shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.


Of course, it would depend upon what was said, what was offered or not, and, crucially, any written evidence or testimony supporting the idea that the official's motive was, in fact, to persuade Sestak to drop out of the race. And even if there was some such evidence, a prosecutor might feel it's too thin.

And the scope of the law seems unclear. It may be that only actions *materially* affecting "the nomination or the election of any candidate..." are contemplated. Something like a WH official calling up a state party chair right before a convention and pressuring them to make sure their delegates nominate candidate X and not Y.

In any case, as far as I can tell, this law would ONLY apply if the conversation(s) in question happened AFTER Aug. 4, 2009, the day Sestak officially announced his candidacy. Sestak has been vague about when this "offer" took place, but it sounds like he's referring to the time in April and May just after Specter switched parties, and Sestak was making lots of noises about running. If that's the case, I have no freaking clue why either he or the White House haven't said that the conversations in question occured *long before* Sestak was ever a candidate, and are therefore perfectly legal and, in fact, quite common. End of story.

That would seem to me to be the obvious way to fix this. So... maybe the conversation(s) actually did happen after Aug. 4? That fundamental, still-unreported chronology is something I think everyone needs to know before we can intelligently opine any further.

Posted by: andrewlong | May 27, 2010 12:09 PM | Report abuse

Maybe they really have nothing else to add?

Could it be that simple?

What do you think they could add to the story that would make the Republicans drop what they are ultimately getting at, and that's trying to tie this President into judicial knot?

Remember how Republicans framed any attempt at Democrats to discuss torture was a partisan witch hunt? Throw the charge back at them. Ask them why they are willing to divide this nation even further?

Why do they want our Govn't in turmoil?

If they at that point say they just want transparency then ask them if we should start looking into if Bush and Cheney broke international laws and should be tried in the Hague for war crimes for approving of torture.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Mike, I thought I clearly said that NOTHING would get Republicans to get it drop -- and that precisely BECAUSE of this, Dems need some facts to fight this battle. Right?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

This White House offered Congressman Rahm Emanuel a job.

They also offered Republican Senator Judd Gregg a job.

Get a grip people. It is SOP. Much ado about nothing.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:12 PM | Report abuse

"The fact that there's nothing here makes putting the info on the table more imperative, not less, because currently the battle is being waged in the realm of the fact free, which helps Republicans."

Greg: You may well be correct. If thee thing hasn't gone away by next week, Sestak should probably deal with it at least to get it off the table (for the sane people anyway).

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 12:16 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Seen the latest on the journo renting the house beside Palin? Turns out the owner sought him out specifically to stick it to the Palins over a monetary dispute. Kills the whole stalking meme all together

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 27, 2010 12:20 PM | Report abuse

You did. I have reading comprehension failure.

If I were the Dems, I'd aggressively flip this back on the Republicans as a partisan witch hunt. The result would be a more deeply divided nation.

But who knows, maybe they are keeping quiet because they know there is absolutely nothing they did wrong and are allowing the Republicans to get into a frenzy over nothing to make them look like the fools they are.

But, in the event Republicans still aren't willing to drop this Partisan Witch Hunt® they should hint at opening up the books on torture prosecutions which is something I surprisingly haven't heard much more about. I remember Holder saying he'd let the chips fall where they will and if there appears to be criminal findings, they would pursue them.

F the Republicans if they continue to push this. This is no laughing matter and not gotcha politics. This is trying to remove Obama from the WH through impeachment.

Who's surprised to be honest though.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 12:21 PM | Report abuse

If this were a Republican administration and a Republican Senatorial candidate this would be front page news every day in the Post and the Times. You know, I know it, everybody who's not in a left-liberal political bubble knows it. The administration's stonewalling on what seems suspicious on its face ought to provoke even greater scrutiny, and it would in a world where the major media outlets were independent and nonpartisan.

Posted by: qaz1231 | May 27, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

You are dead wrong. What you are saying is that Democrats must always play defense, and Republicans get to always attack.

That is absurd. Democrats should be framing the terms of what is debated, and they are still woefully inept at that.

Wouldn't it be great if the milk carton pictures actually found Tim Kaine, so that he could be restored to DNC leadership, and Democrats became the aggressors. Wouldn't that be just great. I know; I am just dreaming of pie in the sky. It will never happen.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Liam -- it's not playing defense. It's going on offense -- with ammunition in the form of factual information.

and SG where was that?

and understood Mike, though I dont know that it will blow back on GOP. I think it would be more likely to blow back on GOP if the facts were known and the attack were then proven to be absurd, y'know?

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Teabaggers in Utah did not even allow voters a chance to vote for or against a sitting Republican Senator, in a primary race.

Pay attention Greg, and the DNC. There is plenty of unused ammo there. Use it.


Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

"If this were a Republican administration and a Republican Senatorial candidate this would be front page news every day in the Post and the Times."

Not sure about that. It did make front pages but speculation doesn't make a story be fretted about daily.

The US right now has a bigger oil encased fish to fry right now that is overwhelming all news agencies and rightfully so.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Since whatever happened between Sestak and the White House --- facts which we don't yet have or may never get --- "happens all the time in politics," of what use is the Federal Statute that criminalizes this seemingly acceptable behaviour?

Should we just do away with the law, and put bribery out in the open as perfectly acceptable?

Or should we actually observe and enforce a pretty well thought out, relatively simple piece of legislation needed to insure we operate a civil society?

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | May 27, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I agree with you. Sestak and Obama should have nothing to hide here. There's no reason the both of them can't issue a statement saying the idea was vaguely discussed, they never went into specifics, and nothing was promised. How hard can that be?

Posted by: SDJeff | May 27, 2010 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Greg,

It is keeping The Republican attack alive. You really are naive. Every time the Democrats would respond, it would keep it alive for another 24 hour news cycle. Then the Republicans would flog it some more, and then you would write another three threads about how the Democrats need to respond to the latest RNC criticism.

Republicans want to keep the issue alive, on a national basis, because then the local media, in PA will run the clips on their local news shows.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

I don't think anyone outside of PA or the Beltway cares about this story. Also, I love you Greg, but you cite Dibgy waaaay too much. It's the echo chamber, can you not find any other sources than some anonymous lady in California? (this comment is harsher than I want it to sound)

Posted by: adammc123 | May 27, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Neither political party is immune from sleazy self-serving tactics. For all of you who mimic the Irish street cop's stereotypical line ("Move it along, nothing to see here."), ask yourself what your honest reaction would be had the roles been reversed, and that the George W. Bush Administration had announced that they had looked into it internally, and found that nothing was amiss. Would you buy it? Of course not.

I feel for those people who are completely invested in the GOP or Dems like a rock star groupie, and who buy into their talking points hook, line and sinker like a bunch of lemmings. A little critical thinking, a little skepticism - it's not really a bad thing, is it?

Posted by: coffeetime | May 27, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

All, Kevin Drum just weighed in. See update.

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 12:40 PM | Report abuse

Congressman Sestak; would you be interested in taking a position in this Administration?

Reply: No I would not, I am going to run for the Democratic nomination for US Senator.

And he did.

Case closed.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

@Greg

Ben Smith has the update

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 27, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Greg, I agree. It's time for Sestak to mop up his mess.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Drum nailed it!

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 12:47 PM | Report abuse

O/T back to Palin for a second....

The house next door that the journo is renting was from 2005-08, a halfway house for paroled male drug addicts. But I guess she felt safe then, and that was no need for a fence or that her kids were being watched.

from The Mudflats...the best Alasksa blog

http://www.themudflats.net/2010/05/27/sarah-palin-takes-up-fencing/

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Look it, if the WH/Sestak don't answer on this then it makes it easier to paint Obama as being "just another politicians" and Dems as being "no better than Repubs". The biggest problem Dem's face this election cycle is the enthusiasm gap and staying silent does nothing to help that. There is no downside to coming clean, only upside. It won't convince folks who were already dead set against Pres Obama and Dems that it wasn't "corrupt" or in some way "illegal". But for all those first time voters who came out for change believing in the Pres it helps them to move past their cynicism. For the folks who were against Sestak because the Pres backed Specter it helps them to get over it. And guess what, though the GOP/wingnuts will still scream and holler about it, it totally gives the power back to Sestak and the Dems. Sestak gets to run on his integrity of turning down the WH and the WH doesn't have to keep saying "no commment" when asked about it. Just release a joint statement and lets move on for pete's sake. Ain't no got d@mn Overton Window in all of this either before somebody starts in with that.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla | May 27, 2010 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"bribery"

Bribery? Evidently you don't know what bribery is. There must be an improper inducement and an improper goal. Neither is present here. The Dem Administration offered another Dem a job. This is exactly how partisan politics works and it always has. You going to start prosecuting George Washington and John Adams next? Gee, do you think St. Ronnie offered anyone a job for political reasons? How about George the Worst? If you want to outlaw political parties that's one thing; but all you are saying is that political parties shouldn't act like political parties. Ridiculous.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

sgwhite: "Look it, if the WH/Sestak don't answer on this then it makes it easier to paint Obama as being "just another politicians" and Dems as being "no better than Repubs". The biggest problem Dem's face this election cycle is the enthusiasm gap and staying silent does nothing to help that. There is no downside to coming clean, only upside."

EXACTLY THIS!

(Liam, this is not about Republicans or what they have to say.)

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Mr. McGinness could not have bought all the free publicity that Palin has given his upcoming book on her.

People who would never have heard about the book, will now be eager to purchase it, to see what he has uncovered about Quitter.

The more Palin goes public about the issue, the more first edition copies the publisher will order.

Now Mr. McGinness will have invitations from every morning show, etc, to come on a discuss his book. Palin handed him a gold mine, and she is doing all the digging for him.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

The larger point, I think, is a valid one. There is a dearth of information coming out of this Administration on any number of topics. I realize that Obama hates the MSM because the MSM is just like the GOP: pathetically ill-informed and uninterested in real subjects, only out to play gotcha games and looking only for the next 24/7 newscycle. But the White House MUST find a way to get its message out on a regular basis. The Gulf Oil Spill is yet another, far more important example, of the White House's inability (or unwillingness) to put itself in front of the cameras. You can't ignore the MSM: you must feed the beast. Or else the beast eats you.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Sestak said that he was approached about taking a position in the Administration. He said he turned down the offer.

What more do people need to hear about it? This is absurd nonsense, and a non story that is being pushed by the RNC, and sites like this are being their useful idiots, by continuing to echo the RNC feigned outrage about nothing.

Posted by: Liam-still | May 27, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

wbg: "But the White House MUST find a way to get its message out on a regular basis. The Gulf Oil Spill is yet another, far more important example, of the White House's inability (or unwillingness) to put itself in front of the cameras."

I agree. I think they should have appointed an articulate spokesperson to give a update of facts, every single day, at an appointed hour. There would have been no way that CNN, MSNBC, Fox and all the broadcast channels wouldn't have been there.

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 1:10 PM | Report abuse

wbg: "I realize that Obama hates the MSM because the MSM is just like the GOP: pathetically ill-informed and uninterested in real subjects, only out to play gotcha games and looking only for the next 24/7 newscycle."

Anyone interested in laying odds that Obama gets questioned at his newser today about Palin's charge that he's in bed with big oil?

Posted by: suekzoo1 | May 27, 2010 1:14 PM | Report abuse

"of the White House's inability (or unwillingness) to put itself in front of the cameras."

Remember when the WH used to get in front of the camera's. All the news orgs turned against them and started asking...is the President over exposed?

Be sure to hear that one shortly.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | May 27, 2010 1:16 PM | Report abuse

"What the hell am I missing here? I just see no downside to this."

If it is so obvious that they should "put their cards on the table," and yet they won't - isn't that telling you something? Friday dump forthcoming...

(BTW - if the creep rented the house knowing that the landlord wanted to tweak Palin that just makes the creep look even worse.)

Posted by: sbj3 | May 27, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

The Republicans will remain totally fact-free even if the White House "fesses up." Because the Republican party has become a party predicated on prevarication. There's really no nicer way to put it. They lie out their orifices, and the press eats it up.

Its not up to Sestak or the White House to clean this mess. It's the press's job to tell the GOP their full of crap and to shut up when all they have is lies.

Posted by: RalfW | May 27, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Obama's press conference... he is so solid. Should be interesting to see how the press handles this appearance. He seems focused, knowledgeable, honest. Of course, I expect the press to make it all about optics and visceral anger, but honest reporters should be able to report on the substance, and if they do, public opinion of Obama's handling of the disaster should improve. We'll see how the media handles this...

Posted by: Ethan2010 | May 27, 2010 1:23 PM | Report abuse

The rats are really scrambling.

"The Dem Administration offered another Dem a job. This is exactly how partisan politics works and it always has. You going to start prosecuting George Washington and John Adams next? "

. . . in exchange for not running for Senate. Quid pro quo.

Your defense is that Obama = Boss Tweed.

But federal law seems to say both that federal jobs can't be offered as quid pro quos, and that federal officials may not use their offices to affect federal nominations or elections.

"The Republicans will remain totally fact-free"

Except for Sestak's own repeated claims of a quid pro quo offer, and only as long as the Obama cover up continues.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 27, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

All, Obama says White House will release official response on Sestak:

http://bit.ly/cYz8L1

Posted by: Greg Sargent | May 27, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"Remember when the WH used to get in front of the camera's. All the news orgs turned against them and started asking...is the President over exposed? Be sure to hear that one shortly.


Mike: I think the Administration has let the GOP get inside its head on this. Obama should do monthly pressers. BTW: I think this was part of the GOP strategy that began during the election process: try to turn Obama's strengths into weaknesses. Unfortunately, The White House has let this happen and should take back the narrative: Obama is a magnificently talented communicator and should be out front.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Who gives even one whit about republican attacks? Those blind, America-hating partisans still believe the lies about Vince Foster being murdered. And as all the elections from 2006 onward show, Americans aren't swayed by that nonsense anymore.

If there's anything here at all, it is Sestak owing us real Americans an explanation for his claims. He's accused the White House of trying to tempt him out of the race, so it is up to him to substantiate it. If he can't, then there's nothing there.

As for the republicans, they'll continue to lie and pretend to get the vapors regardless, and when this non-troversy dies down, they'll find a new narrative to lie about. They're safely ignored.

Posted by: edta | May 27, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

""The Dem Administration offered another Dem a job. This is exactly how partisan politics works and it always has. You going to start prosecuting George Washington and John Adams next? "

. . . in exchange for not running for Senate. Quid pro quo."

So what? Sestak could only have one or the other job: in the Administration or in the Senate. The Democratic Party, of which Pres Obama is the titular head, gets to determine its candidates for office. Same for the GOP. Same as it always was and always will be.

I've asked you before to cite the Constitutional provision or Criminal Code section that makes this routine intra-party matter criminal. Unless I've missed it, you haven't responded.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

This article cites three statutes under which Sestak's claims appear to raise very plausible charges.

http://www.wnd.com/?pageId=158617

"So what? Sestak could only have one or the other job: in the Administration or in the Senate. The Democratic Party, of which Pres Obama is the titular head, gets to determine its candidates for office."

Look, wb, you just aren't acknowledging or aren't grasping the problem. A Senate office was not a "job" for the President to allocate. The Democratic Party is not the federal government. Obama cannot offer federal positions as part of the Democratic Party nominating process or to induce someone not to run.

Can he try to talk someone out of or into running? Sure. But he can't offer a goverment position to induce someone not to run.

I think it is pretty much open and shut if that is what he did, and that is what Sestak says he did.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 27, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

"(BTW - if the creep rented the house knowing that the landlord wanted to tweak Palin that just makes the creep look even worse.)"

Let's put a fine point on this: Sarah Palin is a self-promoting media wh*re and she invites this type of scrutiny. If she wants out of the spotlight I'm sure she can arrange that. Until then, tough sh*t for her.

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:40 PM | Report abuse

"Obama cannot offer federal positions as part of the Democratic Party nominating process or to induce someone not to run."

Says who? Karl Rove? Sean Hannity? Dick Morris? You must be joking, QB. Please tell me you're joking. This has happened countless times throughout American politics and it is how political parties work. Boy, I really hope this backfires on the GOP.

Don't let the GOP get the car keys again! Vote Democratic!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Wb, have you read the statutes? If you were Obama's lawyer, your defense would be convicting him.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 27, 2010 3:38 PM | Report abuse

"your defense would be convicting him."

Yeah, if Hannity, Morris, Rove and you were the jurors. But that doesn't matter because this is a silly nothing (and I suspect you know it) demonstrating yet again that the GOP has no interest in helping to govern the country.

Don't give the GOP the car keys again!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

wb:

QB is being a bit too general in his wording:

"Obama cannot offer federal positions as part of the Democratic Party nominating process or to induce someone *not to run.*"

As you say, of course he can.

But it may be illegal for him or any other official to offer any position, or any other inducement, to get someone to *drop out*, after having officially announced their candidacy. That appears to be what Title 18 Section 595 of the U.S. Code (see my comment above) is meant to prohibit.

Posted by: andrewlong | May 27, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

to be more precise:

That appears to be *one of the things* Title 18 Section 595 of the U.S. Code is meant to prohibit.

Posted by: andrewlong | May 27, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

Either the nominee is a liar or someone in the admin is a crook.

Posted by: standard_guy | May 27, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

andrewlong"

Sorry. What you suggest is absurd. Of course, the President can offer Administration jobs to any one he likes: whether they are in his party or not, whether they are running for another office or not. Makes no difference whatsoever. The courts wouldn't even go near this quintessential political matter. This is a job for Justices Rove, Hannity and Morris!

But don't take my word for it:

"In 1921, in the only instance of a criminal prosecution under this act and its successor statute, Truman Newberry was convicted of violating the expenditure ceiling in his 1918 Michigan Senate primary race. His conviction was reversed and the primary provisions of the Act were overturned as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court because primaries were intra-party affairs, and Congress could not limit expenses therein under article 1, section 4. Newberry v. United States, 256 U.S. 232, 65 L. Ed. 913, 41 S. Ct. 469 (1921)."

Buckley v. Valeo, 519 F.2d 821 (1975).

Posted by: wbgonne | May 27, 2010 5:45 PM | Report abuse

The quotation from the Buckley opinion hardly stands for what you said. Does it?

Whether or not primaries are "intra-party affairs," federal jobs and positions are not.

America is calling the police to get back its stolen car.

Posted by: quarterback1 | May 27, 2010 9:20 PM | Report abuse

"Whether or not primaries are "intra-party affairs,""

They are.

"federal jobs and positions are not"

The President can appoint anybody he likes. YOU could be Attorney General!

Find another way to waste the country's time.

The GOP just drove the country into the ditch and wants to do it to us again. Don't give the car keys back to the GOP! Vote Democratic!

Posted by: wbgonne | May 28, 2010 7:15 AM | Report abuse

Man oh man this is a funnier read then Mad Magazine. The moonbats are laying out scenarios to "get out of it". Crank up that spin machine. You guys are too funny. Oh how the mighty fall.

Posted by: elcigaro1 | May 28, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

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