With public attention focused on the GOP primaries, the White House quietly promoted another self-dealing lobbyist to serve as President Obama's top domestic policy adviser. Promises? What broken promises?
Cecilia Munoz, the current director of intergovernmental affairs at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., will now serve as head of the Domestic Policy Council. She'll wield heightened influence at Obama's daily morning briefings and expand her reach from immigration issues to education, health care and beyond.
Gushing headlines heralded the advancement of Obama's top Hispanic civil rights "advocate" as a win for the "middle class." But Munoz is a veteran member of the Beltway lobbyist class whose former organization is reaping a taxpayer-funded windfall as she climbs the government ladder.
Before joining Team Obama, Munoz spent two decades as chief registered lobbyist for the National Council of La Raza ("The Race"). Whose "middle class" does The Race represent? I've tracked the radical identity politics-driven group for years as it promoted drivers' licenses and in-state college tuition breaks for illegal aliens; opposed cooperative immigration enforcement efforts between local, state and federal authorities; and opposed a secure fence along the southern border.
Under Munoz, The Race advised the Mexican government on how to lobby for illegal alien amnesty in the United States. Mexico's Institute for Mexicans Residing Abroad rewarded her with its Ohtli Prize for her service to the country. Their country, not ours.
The Race vehemently protested post-9/11 homeland security measures and joined a failed lawsuit to block immigration information-sharing between the feds and local police. The group also has called for TV and cable news networks to keep immigration enforcement proponents (including yours truly) off the airwaves, in addition to pushing for Fairness Doctrine policies to shut up their foes.
Most recently, The Race and other open-borders groups pressured the White House to deliver the DREAM Act illegal alien student bailout by executive fiat — after it was defeated repeatedly by bipartisan majorities on Capitol Hill. Obama started issuing the amnesty waivers last August. This week, the White House announced an even wider expansion of waiver status to illegal aliens claiming "hardship."
Who has benefited from Munoz's Beltway lobbying? No, not the American middle class. The biggest beneficiary has been La Raza's coffers. According to analysts at nonpartisan Judicial Watch in Washington, The Race raked in $4.1 million in federal subsidies in 2009 and more than $11 million in 2010. Much of that money came straight from the Obama stimulus boondoggle, and much of it went to mortgage counseling.
As a result of "strategic partnerships" with Wachovia and Bank of America, The Race has succeeded in lowering mortgage application requirements and watering down documentation standards. Illegal aliens have secured countless federal and private home loans over the past decade thanks to the lending industry's version of "don't ask, don't tell."
In addition, Munoz's group collected a $1 million Democratic earmark that funded "community development" projects. And the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services kicked in $25,000 to co-sponsor the group's annual conference in 2010.
Munoz's multi-culti armor has shielded her radical lobbying from scrutiny. You'll recall that the Obama administration made a lofty vow to end lobbyist conflicts-of-interest as we know them. The declaration was crystal-clear: "No political appointees in an Obama-Biden administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years. And no political appointee will be able to lobby the executive branch after leaving government service during the remainder of the administration."
But something got lost in translation when the White House brought registered lobbyist Munoz aboard — to work on the very open-borders agenda she pushed at The Race. Team Obama invoked a shady "public interest" exemption to waive the lobbyist ban because, it determined, "Ms. Munoz's knowledge and expertise are vital to the functioning of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs."
Has Munoz recused herself on any of the myriad public policy issues she has advised the president on over the past two years? Who knows? The most transparent administration ever refuses to disclose recusal orders involving the nearly 100 lobbyists and ex-lobbyists on its payroll. Obama's "Razist" revolving door isn't a victory for "civil rights" or the 99 percent. It's a triumph of politically correct business as usual.
Michelle Malkin is the author of "Culture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies" (Regnery 2010). Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.