WTF? Obama to appoint staunch Republican to U.S. Attorney? | Buzz Blog

Monday, August 9, 2010

WTF? Obama to appoint staunch Republican to U.S. Attorney?

Posted By on August 9, 2010, 8:23 AM

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A coalition of Utah conservatives and liberals are demanding answers from President Barack Obama regarding his appointment of a "staunch Republican party operative" to be the new U.S. Attorney for the district of Utah.---

It's customary in the search for U.S. Attorneys across the country for the president to tap the local-knowledge of elected Congresspeople from that state. Traditionally, it's expected that these appointments are done with some level of partisanship, meaning local loyalists to the party in power get the nod. So, when it was learned that Obama is vetting former Iron County prosecutor Scott Burns, this new coalition's curiosities were poked.

Signed by former "Citizen's Candidate" Claudia Wright, who challenged Rep. Jim Matheson in this year's Democratic primary, and conservative radio personality Mills Crenshaw, the coalition sent out a press release containing the following questions:

  • Was there a deal? If there was a deal, what was the quid pro quo?
  • Who were the deal-makers and who knew about any agreement?
  • It is common knowledge that Scott Burns was helped to a responsible Washington, D.C. job in the Bush administration at the behest of his friend Orrin Hatch. Did the Senator use his considerable Judiciary committee influence make a deal with the current White House to get his friend the U.S. Attorney’s job?
  • Did the White House check with Congressman Jim Matheson? What does it say about Matheson’s influence with the White House if he knew nothing about such an important appointment? What did Congressman Matheson know about the Burns appointment? If there was a deal, was Matheson in on it?
  • Why no questions from Utah Republican party chair Dave Hansen on what deals his friend Orrin Hatch may be making? What promises to the Democrats may Hatch have made? Why has Democrat state party chair Wayne Holland been silent, as a partisan Republican has been named by the Democrat President to an important post in Utah?

These development come after the long-delayed appointment of David Schwediman, who was the heir apparent--basically--the night Obama was elected. Why his appointment crumbled is anyone's guess. Schwediman would have taken over for former U.S. Attorney and Bush-appointee, Brett Tolman, who knew that tradition would demand his replacement eventually, resigned almost one year ago.

The coalition says their efforts are not meant to tarnish Burns, or any other appointees. "These are questions for the White House, Senator Hatch, and Congressman Matheson as well as for the party leaders of the State of Utah."

The coalition will hold a press conference tomorrow at 2 p.m., at the Sweet Library.

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