Republican National Committee blisters Obama on Johnson resignation. Is Holder next? Obama's Burton slapback

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 06/11/2008, 02:51pm

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WASHINGTON–The react From the Republican National Committee on Obama vice presidential vetter Jim Johnson quitting after news surfaced of his sweetheart mortgage and pay deals raised questions about why another vetter, Eric Holder–who played a role in President Clinton granting a controversial pardon to Marc Rich–is “still on his search committee.”

Slapped back Obama spokesman Bill Burton, We dont need any lectures from a campaign that waited fifteen months to purge the lobbyists from their staff, and only did so because they said it was a perception problem.”

Click below for full statements…..

If Barack Obama is concerned his campaigns ties to special interests are distracting from his VP search and message, why is Eric Holder still on his search committee? Why is registered federal lobbyist Steve Farber leading the convention for Obamas supposedly lobbyist-free campaign? Obamas hypocritical attacks show he cant stand up to his own standard and that he just isnt ready to make change. Alex Conant, RNC Spokesman

RNC Research

Johnson Is A Bundler For Obamas Presidential Campaign And Has Committed To Raising $100,000 To $200,000. (Obama For America Website, www.barackobama.com, Accessed 5/19/08)

Eric Holder Was Involved In Sweetheart Deal Which Granted Fugitive Marc Rich A Controversial Pardon From Outgoing President Bill Clinton:

“As Deputy Attorney General, Holder Was The Key Person Who Made The Pardon Of Marc Rich Possible In The Final Hours Of The Clinton Presidency.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

Rich Was Under Charges Of Wire Fraud, Tax Fraud, And Illegal Trading With Iran. “[M]arc Rich, the fugitive billionaire who renounced his U.S. citizenship and moved to Switzerland to avoid prosecution for racketeering, wire fraud, 51 counts of tax fraud, evading $48 million in taxes, and engaging in illegal trades with Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo following the 1979-80 hostage crisis.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

To Obtain A Pardon, Rich Retained Former White House Counsel Jack Quinn, Who Circumvented Formal Pardon Application Procedures. “[R]ich wanted a pardon and he retained Jack Quinn, former counsel to the president, to lobby his old boss. … From the start, the Rich lawyers ignored the government’s established rules for pardon applications. Instead of making a formal application to the Office of Pardons in the Justice Department, Quinn sent the application directly to the White House in late December of 2007.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

Documents Emerged Which Indicated That Holder Had Recommended Quinn, And “Gave Substantive Advice To Quinn Along The Way.” “Two days later, documents in support of the pardon were sent by Jack Quinn to Eric Holder. It was Holder who had originally recommended Quinn to one of Rich’s advisers, although he claims that he did not know the identity of the client. And he gave substantive advice to Quinn along the way. According to Quinn’s notes that were produced to Congress, Holder told Quinn to take the pardon application ‘straight to the White House’ because ‘the timing is good.’ … When Holder received the Rich materials, he did no independent research to determine their veracity and appears to have barely reviewed them.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama ‘s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

* Holder Conducted No Independent Research To Scrutinize Quinn’s Request On Behalf Of Rich. “When Holder received the Rich materials, he did no independent research to determine their veracity and appears to have barely reviewed them. … [H]e never took the time to check anything and simply told the White House that he was ‘neutral to positive’ on the pardons.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

* “Neither Clinton Nor Holder Ever Consulted With The Pardon Attorney.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

“Officials At The U.S. Attorney’s Office In New York Were Understandably Infuriated When They Learned About The Pardon And Accused Rich Of Deliberating Bypassing Their Office.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

“In 2002, A Congressional Committee Reported That Holder Was A ‘Willing Participant In The Plan To Keep The Justice Department From Knowing About And Opposing’ The Rich Pardon.” (Dick Morris and Eileen McGann, Op-Ed, “Obama’s VP Search Mistake,” New York Post, 6/5/08)

Steve Farber, A Top Fundraiser For The Democrat Convention, Is A Prominent Washington Lobbyist:

Steve Farber, Obamas Selection To Run The Democrat National Convention, Is A Federal Lobbyist. While Senator Obama ordered the Democratic National Committee last week to stop taking donations from lobbyists, the co-chairman and lead fund-raiser for the host committee for the Denver convention, Steven Farber, is a lawyer and federally registered lobbyist with Brownstein Hyatt Farber & Schreck LLP, a firm with offices in Denver, Washington, and elsewhere. (Josh Gerstein, Candidates Clash Over Ties To Lobbyists, The New York Sun, 6/11/08)

* Farber Is A Founding Partner Of One Of Washingtons Leading Lobbying Firm. One key fund-raiser for the Democratic convention is Steve Farber, a founding partner of one of Washington’s leading lobbying firms and a major Democratic donor who has played golf with former President Bill Clinton and raised money for his presidential library. (Leslie Wayne, Candidates Forgo Soft Money, But Conventions Rake It In, The New York Times, 6/7/08)

Farbers Current And Former Lobbying Clients Include National Association Of Home Builders And United Airlines. (U.S. Senate Office Of Public Records Website, sopr.senate.gov, Accessed 6/11/08)

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from the Obama campaign….

We dont need any lectures from a campaign that waited fifteen months to purge the lobbyists from their staff, and only did so because they said it was a perception problem. Its too bad their campaign is still rife with lobbyist influence and doesnt see a similar perception problem with the man currently running their own vice presidential selection process, a prominent DC lobbyist whose firm has represented Exxon and a top Enron executive, or their campaign chair and John McCains top economic adviser Carly Fiorina, who presided over thousands of layoffs at Hewlett Packard while receiving a $21 million severance package and $650,000 in mortgage assistance, said Obama campaign spokesman Bill Burton.

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