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Obama Is Giving More Embassy Jobs To Donors

From the UK’s Guardian:

US diplomats cry foul as Obama donors take over top embassy jobs

By Dan Roberts | 10 July 2013

Barack Obama has rewarded some of his most active campaign donors with plum jobs in foreign embassies, with the average amount raised by recent or imminent appointees soaring to $1.8m per post, according to a Guardian analysis.

The practice is hardly a new feature of US politics, but career diplomats in Washington are increasingly alarmed at how it has grown. One former ambassador described it as the selling of public office.

As the (radical leftwing) Guardia points out later, appointees to a set of 10 embassies raised at least $5m for Obama in 2012. Compared to $1.3m for Bush in 2004 and $800,000 for Bush in 2001. And Obama is giving far more embassies to his donors than Bush or any previous President has ever done.

On Tuesday, Obama’s chief money-raiser Matthew Barzun became the latest major donor to be nominated as an ambassador, when the White House put him forward as the next representative to the Court of St James’s, a sought-after posting whose plush residence comes with a garden second only in size to that of Buckingham Palace.

As campaign finance chairman, Barzun helped raise $700m to fund President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. More than $2.3m of this was raised personally by Barzun… even though he had only just finished a posting as ambassador to Sweden after contributing to Obama’s first campaign.

State Department veterans are increasingly concerned about the size of donations raised by political supporters who go on to take up top foreign postings. Thomas Pickering, who recently led the investigation into lethal attacks on the US embassy in Libya and represented the US at the United Nations, claimed the practice had become nothing more than "simony" – the selling of public office…

Susan Johnson, president of the American Foreign Service Association (AFSA), which represents career US diplomats, added: "The giving of ambassadorships to people who have raised a lot of money for the campaign has increased and that’s a concern to us in particular.

"There was some thought that with Obama being such a ‘change agent’ that he might really do things differently – but it has just been a bigger let down."

Where has Obama changed anything for the better?

Obama has made a clutch of foreign appointments recently. The 16th century Villa Taverna in Rome has just gone to John Phillips, a Washington lawyer who raised at least $500,000. John Emerson, a Los Angeles fund manger, will get to meet future contacts as ambassador to Germany after he raised $1.5m. Jane Stetson, heiress to the IBM fortune, is tipped as frontrunner for Paris after she raised $2.4m for Obama.

In total, nine sought-after postings in Europe, the Caribbean or Asia have been given to major donors in recent weeks, with a further three in France, Switzerland and Hungary earmarked to come soon…

Official campaign finance records give only minimum figures for how much each donor raised among friends and family (a process known as bundling). Even using the published ‘minimum’ donations declared for these bundlers, the amount raised by donors rewarded with foreign postings has soared. The appointees to those same 10 embassies raised at least $5m in 2013, compared to a minimum of $3.3m in 2009, at least $1.3m under George W Bush in 2005 and at least $800,000 for Bush donors in 2001…

That is a huge increase in cronyism. But where is the outrage? In fact, where is the reporting on this, apart from the UK press?

This article was posted by Steve Gilbert on Friday, July 12th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Obama Is Giving More Embassy Jobs To Donors”

  1. The term Pay To Play originated in the sex work trade in Europe

    That’s how we know how this term came to be used so liberally by this Administration. I’m thinking Obama’s staff and the minions he’s sent among us … to quote our Declaration … He has erected a multitude of new offices, and sent hither swarms of officers to harass our people, and eat out their substance … have experience with the ‘sex trade’.

    Bath House mentality

  2. Liberals Demise

    After the Benghazi fornication up, I’m pleased these country rapers will take their unqualified asses
    to foreign shores. Getting a first hand look at dingleBarry’s foreign policy.
    Up close and personal like.

  3. bousquem25

    The stink of cronyism is overpowering the usual nausea inducing smell that is normally Washington DC. I guess being an ambassador is no longer about being a good envoy and diplomat with alot of experience in that part of the world but simply a paid vacation at the tax payer’s expense. The vacation is a reward for electing a thug to the white house. I wonder if there was a brochure that went out to the top donors showing the funding levels one needed to funnel into the Dems and especially Barry’s coffers to get an ambassador posting. Raise X amount and get a 3rd world country, raise Y amount and get your choice of a smaller european country or a nicer place somewhere else. The top donors get their choices of the best European countries, work not really required. The top money man gets Great Britain with a near palace to live in, all on the tax payers’ dime.


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