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Special Reports Last Updated: Jun 18th, 2009 - 00:25:57

Bush political appointees serving in Obama administration appoint GOP cronies to senior civil service jobs
By Wayne Madsen
Online Journal Contributing Writer

Jun 18, 2009, 00:19

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(WMR) -- WMR previously reported on GOP political appointees receiving appointments in senior civil service jobs during the waning days of the Bush administration to ensure a �stay behind� network would continue to protect the interests of Bush administration officials, particularly former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The burrowing of political appointees into civil service jobs was particularly egregious in the Department of Defense. The Washington Post reported in November 2008 that other burrowing was taking place at the Departments of Interior, Labor, and Housing and Urban Development.

WMR has now learned that a similar burrowing of GOP cronies took place at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in order to sabotage President Obama�s plans for a universal health care system. Moreover, in the case of HHS, it is Obama himself who shoulders much of the blame for GOP appointees receiving permanent GS-15 civil service jobs from their previous �Schedule C� political appointments.

Obama kept on as acting secretary of HHS, Charles E. Johnson, the Bush-appointed assistant secretary for budget, technology, and finance under HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt, the former Republican Governor of Utah. Johnson, WMR has learned, used his tenure as acting secretary, prior to Kathleen Sebelius taking over the department, to ensure a number of Bush political appointees at HHS received GS-15 positions.

Johnson was previously the president of Huntsman Cancer Foundation and vice president of Huntsman LLC, businesses in which Utah Republican Governor Jon Huntsman has a sizeable interest. Obama nominated Huntsman, a potential 2012 GOP presidential candidate, to be ambassador to China.

Washington pundits pointed out that Obama�s appointment of Huntsman cleverly eliminated a potential political rival in 2012. However, given the nexus of two GOP officials, Leavitt and Johnson, the latter a one-time employee of Huntsman, in the politicization of HHS, it appears as if Obama was aiding and abetting in the establishment of a cadre of GOP civil servants at HHS who will ensure that the president�s much-touted universal health care proposal is �dead on arrival.�

Previously published in the Wayne Madsen Report.

Copyright � 2009

Wayne Madsen is a Washington, DC-based investigative journalist and nationally-distributed columnist. He is the editor and publisher of the Wayne Madsen Report (subscription required).

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