Pay to Play

The most ethical president ‘in history’ rewarded biggest donors with jobs


President Obama has repeatedly claimed to preside over the most ethical and transparent administration “in history.”

Earlier this week, Politico disputed the president’s claims.

On Thursday, the Washington Post scrutinized the administration’s questionable ethics.

Obama campaigned on what he called “the most sweeping ethics reform in history” and has frequently criticized the role of money in politics. That hasn’t stopped him from offering government jobs to some of his biggest bundlers, volunteer fundraisers who gather political contributions from other rich donors.

More than half of Obama’s 47 biggest fundraisers, those who collected at least $500,000 for his campaign, have been given administration jobs. Nine more have been appointed to presidential boards and committees.

At least 24 Obama bundlers were given posts as foreign ambassadors, including in Finland, Australia, Portugal and Luxembourg. Among them is Don Beyer, a former Virginia lieutenant governor who serves as ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

The president appointed 59 ambassadors who were not career officers in the Foreign Service. Of those, nearly half were campaign bundlers.