From National Public Radio:
Meanwhile, Gallup's fighting on another front, too. For the time being, the company has been suspended from winning any new federal contracts. The Federal Emergency Management Agency says it has evidence "indicating a lack of business honesty or integrity."
Earlier this month, Timothy Cannon, a former FEMA official who was set to go work for Gallup, pleaded guilty to a criminal conflict-of-interest charge for steering more than $1 million in work to the company before he left government.
Federal prosecutors built the case with several emails from Cannon and Gallup executives. Cannon is due to be sentenced in April. His lawyer, David Schertler, says Cannon "is looking forward to putting this matter behind him."
Kruse, Gallup's lawyer, said in an email that the temporary suspension is "a normal course of business procedure for the government when allegations arise, even those which are not yet proven in a court of law."
Kruse says Gallup is meeting with authorities to resolve the situation, and he's hopeful the suspension will be lifted soon. Gallup has hired an outside contractor, Debarment Solutions Institute, to evaluate its policies and procedures.
There's a kind of irony in this "Debarment Solutions Institute." Who does Gallup hire to fix the probem after running afoul of the revolving door rules? Sure enough, the Debarment Solutions Institute Web site explains that the institute's "co-founder, CEO, and general counsel" is Robert F. Meunier: "During his 32 years of Federal service, Bob served as a critical person in virtually every important development leading to the comprehensive and uniform Government-wide Federal suspension and debarment system. In his role as Chair of the President's Interagency Committee on Debarment and Suspension under the Office of Management and Budget, Bob coordinated, implemented and monitored the suspension and debarment activities of all Federal Executive Branch departments and agencies,both civilian and military, for contracts, assistance, loans and other benefits. He was the Committee's initial Chairman and served in that position continuously for 22 years until his retirement in September of 2008."
It would be funny if it weren't our own government and our own country where this sort of thing is happening.
Meanwhile, in Massachusetts, the Boston Globe reports that a Democrat from Boston, Martha "Marty" Walz, is stepping down from her elected post as a member of the state's House of Representatives to become the CEO of the Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts. As in the case of U.S. Senator Jim DeMint, who quit to take charge of the Heritage Foundation, we're approaching the point at which the interest group executives are now more powerful and better compensated than the actual elected officials. Neither Mr. DeMint or Ms. Walz is accused of doing anything criminal the way the FEMA-Gallup guy is, but, as Michael Kinsley observes, the scandal in Washington (and in many statehouses) isn't so much what's illegal, it's what's perfectly legal.