I want to say this is unbelievable, but with Obama nothing surprises me anymore, even overt corruption like this.
The Obama administration issued new guidance intended for defense contractors Friday afternoon, reiterating the administration’s position that the companies should not be issuing layoff notices over sequestration.
The Labor Department issued guidance in July saying it would be “inappropriate” for contractors to issue notices of potential layoffs tied to sequestration cuts. But a few contractors, most notably Lockheed Martin, said they still were considering whether to issue the notices — which would be sent out just days before the November election.
But the Friday guidance from the Office of Management and Budget raised the stakes in the dispute, telling contractors that they would be compensated for legal costs if layoffs occur due to contract cancellations under sequestration — but only if the contractors follow the Labor guidance.
The guidance said that if plant closings or mass layoffs occur under sequestration, then “employee compensation costs for [Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification] WARN act liability as determined by a court” would be paid for covered by the contracting federal agency.
Basically, the WARN act requires layoff notices to be issued in a timely matter. Failure to comply results in hefty fines and legal fees for the offending business. With our nation’s national defense in Obama’s crosshairs via his sequestration scheme, defense contractors must notify thousands of their employees that they’ll soon be out of work. In order to follow the law, the contractors must issue and disseminate these notices right before the election. Obviously, mass layoffs and plant closings are the kind of “October surprises” that would make it more difficult for Obama to keep the focus of his low information voters on Seamus the dog and “Obama phones” rather than his disastrous record.
So what’s a community organizer from the streets of Chicago to do? Easy: apply a little Chicago style corruption. He has his OMB issue a new edict which effectively waves the WARN act requirement for defense contractors affected by promising that the government will cover their legal costs of noncompliance. Think about that for a minute. Sequestration was supposed to be about cutting spending. Now we’re going to cut military spending then use the “savings” to bribe defense contractors into breaking the law by promising to have taxpayers cover their legal fees. In effect, Obama’s shifting taxpayer dollars from our nation’s defense to his re-election campaign. If that’s not corruption, I don’t know what is.
This raises a couple questions. First, will the mainstream media deem this newsworthy, or will they continue to focus on the really important stories like Mitt’s tax rate? Second, will this blatant corruption light a fire under Romney’s *ss and wake up his comatose campaign? If something like this is unable to animate his campaign and get him off his nonsensical “Obama’s an endearing guy” act, nothing will. Sadly, I’m not optimistic about the answer to either of the aforementioned questions.
Update: Ed Morrissey’s take here.