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Federal Eye
Posted at 07:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

White House staffing up to deal with GOP oversight

The Obama administration is staffing up yet again to deal with the possibility of Republican-led Congressional oversight investigations, recruiting a former top Democratic Party spokesman to work in the West Wing.

Eye Opener

Eric Schultz , a former spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, confirmed Wednesday night by e-mail that he joined the White House this week as an associate communications director. He’s expected to focus primarily on oversight-related issues.

Schultz joined up during a busy week — Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, threatened to subpoena Office of Management and Budget Director Jacob J. Lew . Lew had declined to appear before the committee Thursday to discuss news of a draft executive order that would require prospective government contractors to disclose their political donations. Lew said he declined because the executive order is still in draft form.

In Lew’s absence, the White House said Daniel Gordon , OMB’s top official for government contracting, will appear at Thursday’s hearing.

Issa’s committee is also investigating whether the ATF had any connection to the weapons that killed a U.S. border patrol agent traveling in Mexico; the White House’s use of social media and how it might conflict with the presidential records act; and a host of hearings on other, less visible issues.

After the midterm elections, the White House hired more lawyers in anticipation of these and other hearings, and Schultz will now deal with related media inquiries.

He comes with a reputation among reporters as being quick to respond and has worked for some of the Democratic Party’s biggest stars, including Sens. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.). He also served as a spokesman for the presidential campaign of former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) and handled press inquiries regarding Edwards’s extramarital affairs.

News of his hire was first reported by the Huffington Post on Wednesday.

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By  |  07:00 AM ET, 05/12/2011

Categories:  Eye Opener, Oversight, Revolving Door, Administration

 
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