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Thursday, February 09, 2006 

Another Lame Attack By Jason Willett

It looks as if Willett is doing anything he can to take the heat off of Mike Beebe...

FYI Jason: It is not working!

We at The Truth applaud what you are doing because it makes the Democrat party look very childish. Keep on running yourself in the ground, guys...


Response to attack from campaign spokesman David Kinkade:
"When Asa left the Department of Homeland Security, he carefully observed all ethical guidelines and relevant laws, both in letter and spirit. The Department has confirmed as much. He's focused on his message of growing more and better-paying jobs for Arkansas, and we're simply not going to respond to repeated accusations and questions with no basis in fact."

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SOMETHING DOESN'T SMELL RIGHT
FIVE NEW QUESTIONS ARISE IN CASE OF HUTCHINSON'S
LOBBYING ON GOVERNMENT PAYROLL


Little Rock – Five more troubling areas of ethical concern have arisen regarding Republican lobbyist Asa Hutchinson's response to recent questions about his potential ethical violations while negotiating his current position as a lobbyist but still working on the government payroll, according to Democratic Party Chairman Jason Willett.


"Serious concerns about the ethical nature of Mr. Hutchinson's actions have arisen from his response yesterday to the simple questions about his effort to recruit a job as a Washington lobbyist while still on the taxpayer's dime. Something doesn't smell right," Willett said.
"Concern is growing deeper for the millions of dollars in taxpayer money he oversaw at DHS. Hutchinson has ethical issues floating out there that need to be quickly and judiciously resolved."


Willett pointed to five new areas of concern arising from Hutchinson's response.


Was Hutchinson's production of a letter of recusal an admission that he did not seek the ethics waiver required by Title 18 U.S.C. 208 (a)?
Did the White House Counsel's Office approve Hutchinson's recusal and/or exemption from the ethics rules and procedures as required by the Bush White House?
**[see memo from White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card below]


If Hutchinson believes the recusal excused him from the ethics laws, who at the White House Counsel's Office approved his exemption to following the same ethics rules other government appointees are required to follow?


Hutchinson said that under his agreement with DHS Secretary Tom Ridge, he "had a special assistant review all matters involving outside entities to determine whether they involved either [lobbying] firm.
Any issues involving either firm were given to the chief of staff without Hutchinson's knowledge, the letter said." -- AP, 2-9-06
Who was the special assistant? Was it someone on Hutchinson's staff?
How is that not a conflict of interest? Did the staffer take a pay cut or did taxpayers pay for their time devoted to allowing Hutchinson's negotiations for a private sector job as a lobbyist?


Who made the final decision on what Homeland Security matters Hutchinson would refuse to work with – the assistant or the chief of staff? What recommendations were made? Were all recommendations followed?


If while Department of Homeland Security undersecretary, Hutchinson had to recuse himself of working on certain Homeland Security issues, did he reduce his taxpayer funded salary accordingly? Or, was he getting paid for work that he did not do?


** Andrew Card's Memo: Senate-confirmed Administration Officials Must Have White House Approval to Negotiate Post-Government Employment.
"When a Presidential appointee confirmed by the Senate intends to negotiate outside employment and agency ethics advisors contemplate granting a waiver of a criminal conflict of interest law to enable the appointee to proceed, serious Administration policy interests arise.
These interests are not just technical and legal considerations, but also involve a balancing of the individual's need for the waiver in order to seek post-Government employment against the propriety of allowing one of our most senior Administration officials to take action on a matter where his loyalty to the Government is subject to question. To ensure these policy interests are completely considered, effective immediately, agency personnel are prohibited from granting waivers under 18 U.S.C. 208(b)(1) to Senate confirmed Presidential appointees for the purpose of negotiating for outside employment unless agency personnel have first consulted with the Office of the Counsel to the President." [Andrew Card, Memorandum for the Heads of Executive Departments and Agencies, "Policy on Section 208(b)(1) Waivers with Respect to Negotiations for Post-Government Employment,"
1/6/2004; emphasis in original].
http://www.citizen.org/documents/WH_ethics_waiver_memo.pdf

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