-By Warner Todd Huston
Back in the hoary days of the Obama transition Obamaniacs and other sycophants were rushing to the microphones to tell us all that we voters had just hired the most ethical White House ever. Why, White House transition team co-chair John Podesta even claimed that Obama was instituting the "strictest ethics rules ever applied" as Obama prepared to take office. But since Obama's whirlwind campaign we've seen all those sternly announced ethics rules constantly waived for Obama's friends and favorite hires. And just this week we see yet another example of those "strict" ethics rules ignored as the president's own political director somehow forgot to mention that he got a $40,000 payout from a union while he worked for the White House.
Patrick Gaspard was hired away from the Service Employees International Union by team Obama and as he prepared to leave the SEIU for Washington he brokered a $37,071 severance package that Gaspard just somehow forgot to disclose to the White House as he prepared to join Team Obama.
In fact, Gaspard didn't merely forget to disclose the nearly $40,000 package. He went out of his way to check a box on his disclosure form that said he had nothing to declare. Yes, he lied.
So, what's to be done? White House spokesman Bill Burton assured us that it's all taken care of.
"We have made the small administrative change to this year's and last year's forms to indicate that part of the final payment to Patrick reflected their typical severance of one week of pay for each of his nine years of service at Local 1199 of SEIU," Burton wrote POLITICO in an e-mailed statement.
Isn't it interesting how a government official can break ethics rules, skip out on paying taxes, get into all sorts of troubles and travails due to illicit behavior, and everything is just hunky dory when they go back and "correct" a few records. In other words, they act the criminal until they get caught and then they just alter the records to make it all OK again.
So much for the most ethical White House ever, eh?