Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Monica Problem

Apparently in the DOJ you could have "a Monica" problem when it came to promotions or hiring and that problem seemed to have involved your politics and possibly religious leanings. There are political appointments and then there are career appointments, and there is a clear line between the two. In career hiring education, experience, and competency are the determining factors and these people are protected by civil service laws and rules. The idea being that having good people in the system outweighs the narrow advantages of partisanship and patronage.

In the case of Robin Ashton, a seasoned criminal prosecutor, she left the Executive Office for US Attorneys after her promotion was nixed because Monica Goodling felt she was a Democrat and couldn't be trusted. Monica Goodling was a relatively inexperienced lawyer, a fairly recent graduate of Pat Robertson's Regency U, who somehow was hired and promoted apparently only on the basis of being an oppo researcher for the RNC in the 2000 election and a Robertson grad. As she moved up the chain her power increased until she was a part of selecting the US Attorneys to be fired.

Some of her hiring interviews questions included questions about which Supreme Court Justice, legislator, and President they most admired or even, "have you ever cheated on your wife." These kinds of questions all imply partisan interests and have had negative effects within the ranks of career Justice employees. This is, apparently, classic BushCo procedure and can create havoc within DOJ for years to come.

The NY Times has more on Monica's moves up the ladder in DOJ and the employees affected by her tenure there. A Federal Judge has now approved Congress' grant of limited immunity to Monica which clears the way for them to force testimony in the face of her 5th Amendment stand. This may be the big appearance that kicks over some significant apple carts.

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