06:10 PM EST
Just a quick post to advise that we granted an authorization under Section 3 of the President’s Ethics Executive Order to Senior Advisor Valerie Jarrett to lead the White House's effort to support Chicago's bid to secure the 2016 Olympics.
As I have previously noted on this blog, the availability of waivers in appropriate cases has been praised by ethics experts and commentators alike:
- Norman Ornstein, a Resident Scholar at the American Enterprise Institute stated that "This tough and commendable new set of ethics provisions goes a long way toward breaking the worst effects of the revolving door. There are many qualified people for the vast majority of government posts. But a tough ethics provision cannot be so tough and rigid that it hurts the country unintentionally. Kudos to President Obama for adding a waiver provision, to be used sparingly for special cases in the national interest. This is all about appropriate balance, and this new executive order strikes just the right balance."
- Thomas Mann, Senior Fellow of Governance Studies and the Brookings Institution said that "The new Obama ethics code is strict and should advance the objective of reducing the purely financial incentives in public service. I applaud another provision of the EO, namely the waiver provision that allows the government to secure the essential services of individuals who might formally be constrained from doing so by the letter of the code. The safeguards built into the waiver provision strike the right balance."
- The Washington Post editorialized that the President had "adopted a tough ethics policy . . . sweeping in time and scope." The editorial board wrote that "The president's rule ensures that any conflicts will be carefully watched, and his flexibility despite certain criticism signals an ability to make hard but reasonable calls."