Obama Takes Heat for WH Meeting With Wall St. Execs

Tuesday, 21 Jun 2011 04:24 PM

By Dan Weil

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President Barack Obama is drawing retroactive heat for a March 7 meeting with key political backers from Wall Street. Good government advocates and a Bush administration ethics official are after him, saying the gathering seemed to bring fundraising activity to the White House, Politico reports.

The controversy has arisen because the Democratic National Committee (DNC) invited the 20 or so Wall Street heavyweights who showed up to discuss financial policies. “It’s obvious that the DNC is going after these people for money, not just for their thoughts,” said Richard Painter, who served as White House ethics counsel for President George W. Bush from 2005 to 2007.

“I think that violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the Hatch Act,” the federal law limiting political activity and fundraising by federal employees, Painter said. “If that had been run by me, I would have said, ‘No. Have the meeting someplace else.’”


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