The Corner

Obama’s DOJ Bucks

The other day, I wrote about a silly article in The Nation on the Bush administration’s DOJ. It suggested that ruthless Republicans had seized control of the civil-rights division:

Republicans at the Justice Department became so zealous in the pursuit of their political aims that competence went out the window, along with any sense of caution. Instead of simply correcting a perceived imbalance, they ripped up the professional integrity of the department like no presidential administration in memory and hobbled its much-prized independence…

Reality check, courtesy of Neil Munro in the National Journal:

Republicans have evidently failed to pack the Justice Department with cronies. According to Federal Election Commission data, DOJ employees are donating to Sen. Barack Obama’s presidential campaign over John McCain’s by more than 2-to-1. In this cycle, Justice employees have given Democrats at least $186,000, including $112,000 for Obama. Republicans received at least $105,000, including $47,000 for McCain. Obama donors include Mark Kappelhoff, a former ACLU lawyer who runs the criminal section of the civil-rights division. He donated $2,000 to Obama. Among McCain’s donors is Diane Humetewa, the U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, who donated $2,000 to the state’s senior Senator last year. Surprisingly, DoJ rules say that campaign donations don’t count when gauging possible conflicts of interest.

John J. Miller is the national correspondent for National Review and the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. His new book is Reading Around: Journalism on Authors, Artists, and Ideas.

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