RUSH: Byron York from the DC Examiner: ‘Norman Eisen, the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with investigators on the staff of Republican Sen. Charles Grassley at Grassley’s offices Wednesday morning. The investigators wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. According to Grassley, Eisen revealed very, very little, refusing to answer many questions of fact put to him. And now Grassley has written a letter to the White House counsel asking for answers. … Grassley says that since Eisen refused to answer the questions in person, Grassley would submit a dozen of them in writing. Here they are: 1) Did the [Corporation for National and Community Service] Board communicate its concerns about Mr. Walpin to the White House in writing? 2) Specifically, which CNCS Board members came forward with concerns about Mr. Walpin’s ability to serve as the Inspector General? 3) Was the communication about the Board’s concerns on or about May 20, 2009 the first instance of any communications with White House personnel regarding the possibility of removing Mr. Walpin? 4) Which witnesses were interviewed in the course of Mr. Eisen’s review? 5) How many witnesses were interviewed?’ And it goes on.
Do I need to repeat the details? Okay, Kevin Johnson, the mayor of Sacramento, former NBA star, Phoenix Suns, he has a charitable foundation in Sacramento called the St. Hope Academy, and it’s a place for inner city kids to go after school so they don’t get involved in gang activities and drugs. It’s been on hard financial times for quite a while. It received a grant of $800,000 from AmeriCorps. Now, AmeriCorps has some ties with ACORN, by the way. This stuff is so insidiously intertwined. They got a grant of $800,000 from AmeriCorps. Mr. Walpin is the inspector general for the agency that runs AmeriCorps, and it’s his job — one of them — to determine whether the money is being used properly, whether any chicanery is going on, and Inspectors General are above politics, they are not political, not supposed to be, in theory, anyway. It turns out that he found much misuse of the federal funds by Kevin Johnson and the St. Hope Academy.
So he documented the evidence, he presented to the US attorney in Sacramento who is interim, sitting in until Obama appoints somebody because the Bush US attorney there quit after the inauguration. The interim US attorney in Sacramento said, screw this, there’s nothing here. That made Walpin mad so he went to other areas to try to get something done, and in the process, a settlement was negotiated between AmeriCorps and Kevin Johnson’s St. Hope Academy, where nobody admitted guilt of anything but they sent 400 grand back. Now, some of the allegations were that Johnson was using some of the federal funds for personal reasons and personal uses, and other people at the St. Hope Academy were doing the same, this is what Gerald Walpin documented. The inspector general was then fired by the Obama White House in a phone call. He was given an hour to either resign or be fired. The law says it takes 30 days to fire an inspector general. They’re really supposed to be untouchable. Forty-five minutes after being given an hour, the White House counsel called back and demanded his answer. Walpin said I’m not quitting. So they began the procedure to fire him.
In the process, they have impugned his character, they have said that he’s senile, that he was out of control in meetings, typical kind of stuff the Clintons said about the travel office people that they canned. So that’s where we are, and Charles Grassley, even Claire McCaskill — and Obama wrote the law, by the way. He cosponsored the law and voted for the law that sets up the way inspectors general have insulation from the normal political back and forth and what it takes to fire one and what the process is. He violated his own law, plain and simple, blatantly broke his own law. Gerald Walpin is fighting back. Gerald Walpin is not acting out of fear which is what the White House counts on everybody doing.
John Hinderaker today and our buddies at Power Line: ‘Fired Inspector General Gerald Walpin has responded aggressively to new claims by the Obama administration that he was fired from his job because he was ‘confused,’ and, perhaps, senile. Byron York records Walpin’s response, which is, to say the least, coherent, much more than we can say for Obama’s ever-shifting stories about why he fired an Inspector General who caused trouble for a prominent supporter of the administration. Byron himself notes that Walpin exhibits no sign of any ‘confusion:’ The White House suggestion that Walpin, who is 77 years old, is somehow mentally not up to his job and cannot perform his duties has caused great skepticism among Republicans on Capitol Hill. GOP investigators have talked to Walpin and found him entirely sharp and focused. ‘He has been collected and coherent,’ says one investigator. ‘What the White House described is not the experience that we have had in dealing with him.”
Now, as our Power Line buddies point out: ‘This is classic Obama: an Inspector General investigates how a non-profit in Sacramento uses AmeriCorps funds and finds that the head of the organization, a prominent Obama supporter, used a lot of the money to pay recipients to wash his car, run errands for him, etc. The Inspector General blows the whistle, and promptly finds himself in Obama’s crosshairs. Obama, in his usual bullying way, first demands that he resign within an hour. When Walpin refuses to do so, Obama high-handedly fires him without stating any cause, in apparent violation of the 2008 statute, co-sponsored by Obama, which was intended to assure the independence of the Inspectors General. When Senate Democrats expressed their dissatisfaction with that end-run around the law, Obama invented a whole new story to the effect that Walpin had to be fired because he was senile and incompetent. Now Senate Republicans are pushing back, as Byron also notes, and the Obama administration is retreating in disarray,’ they are retreating.
‘Norman Eisen, the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with investigators on the staff of Republican Sen. Charles Grassley at Grassley’s offices this morning. The investigators wanted to learn more about the circumstances surrounding the abrupt firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin. According to Grassley, Eisen revealed very, very little, refusing to answer many questions of fact put to him. And now Grassley has written a letter.’ What this shows is you don’t know how courageous Gerald Walpin is. We’ve been talking about this all day, about how let them run health care, let them run your credit card company, and your fear that because you’re a Republican they will discriminate against you in health care or salary or other things that the government is in charge of salaries at your business, just that fear, when they actually do that kind of discrimination or not, that fear alone might cause you to shut up, clam upside down, and not criticize Obama or the administration, so you don’t get noticed, so you sail through, and that would have been the easy way out for Gerald Walpin, who’s 77. He could have gone on and split the scene, but he’s fighting back, and now we see that Obama may have painted himself into a corner.
It’s a great example of what can happen when you fight back. And that’s the lesson here. The lesson is also, who are these thugs from Chicago running our country? That’s obviously a lesson. But the other lesson is, look what happens, a great example of what can happen when you fight back. White House is reeling on this. They attempted to impugn the character and reputation of a fine man and he chose not to sit there and take it. And finally he’s getting some backing from Republicans now who are getting courageous fighting this back. So, you know, I’ve often talked here on this program about how fear is basically an agent of paralyzation. Fear can paralyze people, and doing things out of fear — sometimes it’s avoidable, sometimes fear is a great motivator, but when fear is involved in every decision you make, you are bound to make incorrect decisions. In fact, the more fear you have the less action you will engage in, in the first place. It’s a bad place to come from and the way to get rid of the fear is to confront it. It’s a very difficult thing to do the first time, but once you do and you find out you survive, then the fear quotient reduces enormously.
Now, this senile assertion, there’s also age discrimination here. They were trying everything in the liberal handbook to poison everybody’s minds about this guy. I don’t know what the status of this is but Grassley also wants to know what, if any, involvement Michelle Obama had.
RUSH: And the plot thickens, ladies and gentlemen. A mere four minutes ago Byron York posted the latest update on the whole firing of the AmeriCorp inspector general Gerald Walpin at the DC examiner. WashingtonExaminer.com, is the website. WashingtonExaminer.com. ‘A top White House lawyer called the firing of AmeriCorps inspector general Gerald Walpin an act of ‘political courage,’ according to House Republican aides who were in a meeting with the lawyer Wednesday. Norman Eisen, who is the White House Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform, met with staffers for Rep. Darrell Issa, the ranking Republican on the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Wednesday. Eisen, along with another White House staffer who accompanied him, ‘wanted to talk broadly about inspectors general,’ says a GOP aide familiar with what went on at the meeting.
”When we pressed them on specific questions and documents, they said they weren’t prepared to give us information on that.’ In one exchange, according to the GOP aide, the White House lawyers explained that inspector general Walpin was not working well with the board of the Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, and the administration believed that IGs should work well with the leadership of their agencies. Eisen said he knew that removing Walpin might be seen as an action that would raise questions. ‘But (Eisen) said that what they did in trying to fix the situation was an act of political courage — and ‘political courage’ is the phrase they used,’ says the aide.’ Political courage? For the most powerful man in the world to fire a comparative peon is political courage? What’s the political courage? What’s the courage, facing the criticism from a few — 10 to 15 or 20 — people? What political courage? They broke the law that Obama wrote!
RUSH: You know, most people (and I’m one of them) they read 1984, and they were scared. When Obama read it, he started taking notes. This inspector general thing, Dan Riehl, at Riehl World View, posted last night (I guess early this morning) information and documentation on this. It’s not just Gerald Walpin, but three IG firings now are being questioned. By the way, a review by Steve Gilbert at Sweetness & Light indicates that Gerald Walpin is probably a Republican. He donates to Giuliani and Lazio and so forth. This does not surprise us, because there’s a great piece today at the American Spectator blog by Matthew Vadum (I hope I’m pronouncing that right: V-a-d-u-m) and the headline of this piece: ‘AmeriCorp and ACORN Go Way Back,’ and really when you read this story, that is a cancer. That is a cancer and it’s out of control.
‘The cynical, politically motivated, and apparently illegal firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin shocks the conscience. I’m not going to examine here the circumstances surrounding the termination of Walpin but I do wish to remind readers that AmeriCorps has long been ripe for abuse. ACORN took advantage of the federal agency a decade ago. As I wrote previously, ACORN, which is now notorious for its commingling of funds within its network of affiliates, used government resources to promote legislation. A congressional report noted that there was ‘apparent cross-over funding between ACORN, a political advocacy group and ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC), a non profit, AmeriCorp [sic] grantee’ that is a major affiliate of ACORN. The government-funded AmeriCorps, which promotes public service, suspended AHC’s funding ‘after it was learned that AHC,” you get lost in all these acronyms, ”and ACORN shared office space and equipment and failed to assure that activities and funds were wholly separate.”
‘The report noted that, ‘AmeriCorps members of AHC raised funds for ACORN, performed voter registration activities, and gave partisan speeches.’ ACORN Housing Corp. is supposed to be separate from ACORN. It’s a nonprofit. It’s an AmeriCorp guarantee. ‘In one instance, an AmeriCorps member was directed by ACORN staff to assist the [Clinton] White House in preparing a press conference in support of legislation.’ (‘Report on the Activities of the Committee on Economic and Educational Opportunities During the 104th Congress,’ Report 104-875, January 2, 1997) Aware of this kind of abuse, earlier this year Sen. David Vitter (R-Louisiana) tried to block ACORN from using AmeriCorps funding to promote its own political objectives, but ACORN allies, including Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), helped to defeat Vitter’s legislation.’
Matthew Vadum at the American Spectator blog wirtes: ‘Incidentally, as I write this, ACORN donors are celebrating the 39th birthday of the radical activist group at a $250 a ticket gala reception at the National Education Association. Center for American Progress president John Podesta, SEIU union boss Andy Stern, and corrupt former HUD Secretary Henry Cisneros are expected to attend.’ All of these things are happening. It’s incestuous. It’s a cancer. It’s malignant. It’s out of control. It exists strictly to serve Democrat interests, union interests, to grow government, and to punish Republicans like Gerald Walpin. Now, remember, folks, when George Bush fired eight US attorneys. Remember the hell that ensued, from the Democrat Party and State-Run Media at the time. They wanted Karl Rove indicted again. They wanted Alberto Gonzales fired. They did the hearings. They demanded these guys come and up testify before Congress, and of course that was well within Bush’s right to fire US attorneys. They tried to make it political. We have blatant political firings of inspector generals in violation of a law Obama wrote, and the reaction in the State-Run Media is, ‘Ho-hum.’