Over on the main site, we just posted a my story based on an analysis of SEC filings, showing that Nancy-Ann Min DeParle, who President Obama appointed as director of the White House Office of Health Care Reform on Monday, took home at least $2.4 million in 2006 and 2007 from serving on the corporate boards of health-care companies whose businesses she would be in a position to affect in her new position.
White House press secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed concerns about her extensive board service yesterday, saying, “No. I mean, obviously, the White House has confidence in her and her abilities as part of the health care reform effort here.”
But this demonstrates the untenable nature of the Obama administration’s position on the revolving door between Washington and corporate America. Either you have the philosophy that you want to tap the best available candidates for any given job, regardless of whether they have ties to large corporations, or you limit yourself to picking career civil servants who never left the public sector. But trying to have it both ways – to grant top positions to people with deep ties to big business while saying you’re doing something different – truly takes chutzpah.
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