White House defends Obama’s high dollar appointments

Amanda Seitz Contributor
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President Barack Obama has placed some of his friends — nearly 200 of them — in high places.

iWatch News reported Wednesday that roughly one-third of appointments made by Obama were either bundlers who paid out at least $50,000 to the president’s 2008 campaign or spouses of these high rollers.

Nearly 80 percent of the bundlers who raised at least $500,000 ended up in what the White House described as “key administration posts,” the report found.

But, according to  the White House, Obama has been completely blind to hiring candidates who donated money to his 2008 campaign.

“The president made clear that he would make political appointments, as every president before him has, but we have enacted ethical standards and levels of transparency that are unprecedented,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday upon the release of the report.

Carney said the White House stands by every appointment that’s been made.

The iWatch report, however, claims that Obama is not standing by the promises he made during the campaign.

(Obama, Boehner to meet on the green)

When Obama launched his campaign on Feb. 10, 2007, iWatch reported that he was quoted as saying, “(The lobbyists, special interests) write the checks and you get stuck with the bill, they get the access while you get to write a letter, they think they own this government, but we’re here today to take it back.”

Carney continued to insist that the president has every right to appoint former donors.

“It would be wrong if they weren’t qualified,” Carney said. “It’s not a disqualification for office to be a supporter of the president.”

The iWatch report also reveals that many of those donors who were appointed also have associations to companies that received millions in stimulus funds.

Carney denied any wrongdoing, stating that stimulus funds were doled out by a separate entity of the government.

“The vast majority of companies that got stimulus money, a process which is largely done in agencies … the vast majority of companies were not donors,” Carney said.

To prove that not all appointments were made because of hefty monetary contributions to the Obama campaign, Carney pointed to himself.

“I didn’t raise a half-million dollars,” Carney said. “I didn’t raise any money. I’m standing here.”

Carney’s exception-to-the-rule example isn’t that impressive. At the time of Obama’s 2008 campaign he was the chief Washington bureau editor for Time magazine and unable to contribute to political campaigns.