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September 07, 2009

How Did Van Jones Get Past White House Vetting? Simple, They Didn't Vet Him

The most awesomely competent administration ever strikes again.

Van Jones, the Obama green jobs czar who resigned shortly after midnight Sunday, did not fill out the exhaustive questionnaire White House officials required of every Cabinet-level secretary and deputy-secretary position.

An administration official said special advisers to the president, or czars, are not required to fill out the questionnaire that runs 7 pages and contains 63 questions.

The entire questionnaire, the official said, is reserved for appointees who must win Senate confirmation.

Among the varied topics covered in the questionnaire: history as a lobbyist or other "legislative agent", tax liens, bankruptcies, spousal employment, potential conflicts of interest, domestic help, internet "handles" and Facebook pages, and traffic fines in excess of $50.

They didn't have to vet his ideas because as top Obama aide Valerie Jarrett said, they knew all about him and what he believed in. (see video here, scroll down bellow the fold)

A former Bush administration official doesn't quite buy that story.

During the Bush Administration any White House staffer with policymaking or public responsibilities would have undergone substantial vetting. At a minimum, the potential hire would have been asked the umbrella question "is there anything in your background that -- fairly or unfairly -- might be used to cause embarrasment to you or the President." In, addition, anyone with a West Wing office had to undergo a national security background investigation based on the SF-86 form in order to get a permanent badge. That form includes very detailed questions about associations with anti-government groups. If Jones was asked either set of questions, the information that led to his resignation should have been disclosed.

Gabe laid out part one of the administration efforts to distance themselves (lie, lie and lie some more) and this is part II-"Van who? Yeah, we didn't know much about him.

The really fun thing? If people at Jones' level really weren't vetted that means there's a lot more of this kind of thing to be found on those still there because you just know he wasn't the only nut job they hired.


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posted by DrewM. at 02:38 PM

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