Connecting the Dots

Looks like the Senate’s investigation into the politicization of the Justice Department might go in an interesting direction.

WASHINGTON — On May 17, 2005, the White House’s political affairs office sent an e-mail message to agencies throughout the executive branch directing them to find jobs for 108 people on a list of “priority candidates” who had “loyally served the president.”

“We simply want to place as many of our Bush loyalists as possible,” the White House emphasized in a follow-up message, according to a little-noticed passage of an internal Justice Department report released Monday about politicization in the department’s hiring of civil-service prosecutors and immigration officials. [Emphasis mine.]

The implication being, of course, that numerous other agencies have been politicized in the same way as the Justice Department. Which we already know (just look at the EPA, for chrissake). But what this article shows is that these weren’t just a bunch of isolated incidents – Monica Goodling making a few political hires here, Cheney squashing a report about climate change there – but instead part of a single, coordinated effort that goes back to the White House. Basically, we’re talking about a return to the spoils system here.

Lucky for us, our ever vigilant White House press corps will probably be all over this.

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