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There’s one Top 10 list featuring President Obama that the White House apparently has ignored.
The issue came up during a White House news briefing today when Les Kinsolving, the third-ranking White House beat reporter in seniority and WND’s correspondent there, asked about it.
He started by noting the number of questions White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs allowed another reporter.
“After you gave 13 questions to one reporter, I just have …” Kinsolving started.
“Who asked 13 questions?” Gibbs demanded.
“… one two-parter,” Kinsolving finished.
“One two-parter. I like your new packaging, Lester. Who asked 13 questions, though?” Gibbs said.
“Wow, that’s awkward, isn’t it?” Gibbs said.
Eventually, Kinsolving was allowed to continue.
“The nonpartisan, nonprofit Judicial Watch has named Nevada’s Republican Sen. John Ensign as one of Washington’s 10 most corrupt politicians for 2009. Does the White House agree with that?” he asked.
“I have not seen Judicial Watch’s list,” Gibbs said.
“They also named the president as one of these. I presume you don’t agree with that,” Kinsolving said.
“I have no basis for which they would come up with something like that,” Gibbs said. “I have not seen their 2009 report.”
“The Obama White House believes,” said the report from the organization that monitors government for corruption, and sues when it chooses, “it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability.”
The report said Obama joined the likes of Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass.; Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner; Attorney General Eric Holder; House Speaker Nancy Pelosi; Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa.; and Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., on the list.
“Even before President Obama was sworn into office, he was interviewed by the FBI for a criminal investigation of former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich’s scheme to sell the president’s former Senate seat to the highest bidder,” the report said.
“Moreover, the Obama administration made the startling claim that the Privacy Act does not apply to the White House. The Obama White House believes it can violate the privacy rights of American citizens without any legal consequences or accountability,” the report said.
“President Obama boldly proclaimed that ‘transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency,’ but his administration is addicted to secrecy, stonewalling far too many of Judicial Watch’s Freedom of Information Act requests and is refusing to make public White House visitor logs as federal law requires,” the organization said.
Others on the list are:
- Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., who also was on the list last year for his corrupt relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for allegedly accepting preferential treatment for himself. In 2009, the report said, the scandals kept coming. He faced an ethics complaint this year for undervaluing a property he owns in Ireland on his federal disclosure forms.
- Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., who might be considered one of the year’s worst offenders for admitting to an extramarital affair with the wife of one of his staff members, who then allegedly obtained special favors from him in exchange for his silence. “It looks as if Ensign misused his public office (and taxpayer resources) to cover up his sexual shenanigans,” Judicial Watch said.
- Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., who is being investigated by Judicial Watch in connection with a $12 million TARP cash infusion into the Boston-based OneUnited Bank. He was the congressman who infamously in 2003 announced, “the two Government Sponsored Enterprises we are talking about here, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are not in a crisis.” The comments came as he worked against GOP efforts to rein in the GSEs, which later created an economic tidal wave through the economy because of their financial losses.
- Another is Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner, who admitted to failing to pay $34,000 taxes he owed on his lucrative salary at the International Monetary Fund.
- Attorney General Eric Holder also is on the list. His record includes obstructing an FBI investigation of the theft of nuclear secrets from Los Alamos Nuclear Laboratory; rejecting multiple requests for an independent counsel to investigate alleged fundraising abuses by then-Vice President Al Gore in the Clinton White House; undermining the criminal investigation of President Clinton by Kenneth Starr in the midst of the Lewinsky investigation; and planning the violent raid to seize then-six-year-old Elian Gonzalez at gunpoint in order to return him to Castro’s Cuba, Judicial Watch said. He also has dropped a voter intimidation case against the New Black Panther Party stemming from members’ actions on Election Day 2008.
- Joining the others is Illinois State Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr., who was in the center of the scandal in which Blagojevich reportedly tried to sell Obama’s vacant Senate seat. “According to the Chicago Sun-Times, emissaries for Jesse Jackson Jr., named ‘Senate Candidate A’ in the Blagojevich indictment, reportedly offered $1.5 million to Blagojevich during a fundraiser if he named Jackson Jr. to Obama’s seat.”
- Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is named for her “sense of entitlement,” which is “at the heart of the corruption problem in Washington,” Judicial Watch said. “Politicians believe laws and rules (even the U.S. Constitution) apply to the rest of us but not to them. Case in point: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her excessive and boorish demands for military travel. Judicial Watch obtained documents from the Pentagon in 2008 that suggest Pelosi has been treating the Air Force like her own personal airline.”
- Also, Rep. John Murtha, D-Pa., who “made headlines in 2009 for all the wrong reasons.” Judicial Watch said Murtha was under investigation for his relationship with the now-defunct defense lobbyist PMA Group. That was founded by a former Murtha associate and had been his largest campaign contributor.
- Also, Rep. Charles Rangel, D-New York, who has been unable to explain how he forgot to pay taxes on $75,000 in rental income, or how his congressional office was able to raise funds for his private Rangel Center by reportedly swapping a tax loophole for donations. Further, he’s accused of making financial donations to other members of Congress who are assigned to investigate his actions.