White House "ethics czar"
Norm Eisen is moving on to serve as Ambassador to the Czech Republic, and the
White House is not replacing him — suggesting instead that White House counsel
Bob Bauer will add Eisen's full-time job to Bauer's already paper-filled desk.
Interestingly, President Obama in
May offered a limited
ethics waiver to Bauer himself given his previous job as the president's personal lawyer, as well as counsel
to the Democratic National Committee.
Good government groups
are alarmed with the decision to not replace Eisen, especially
in light of super-lobbyist
Tony Podesta's remarks to the New York Times that
Eisen's departure "is the biggest lobbying success we've had all
MoveOn.org is asking its members to
let the White House know that the White House Ethics Czar post should be
"President Obama needs to hear
directly from the people that we want strong ethics protections and
enforcement," reads the email to MoveOn members. "He was on the right
track with the Ethics Czar and we want to make sure he stays on it. Will you
call the White House and ask President Obama to keep ethics a top priority in
his administration make sure that shifting the staffing doesn't diminish the
focus or authority that Obama gave to his Ethics Czar in the first place?"