This is like a Deja Vu from the days of Hurricane Katrina-- a whitehouse boosted, political, partisan appointee, this time, in the Justice Department, is SOOO bad, her aides have resigned en masse.
It appears that before Gonzales, Rove and company engineered the firings of the eight Justice Department US attorneys now referred to as the "attorneygate" firings, they tried out an experiment in Minneapolis, leaning on an obedient Republican US attorney, getting him to resign... which he did. They replaced him with a rabid, bible citing, apparently obnoxious, partisan insider who was unable to manage. This "Michael Brown" (in the spirit of Bush appointee incompetence) apointee is U.S. Attorney Rachel Paulose.
It's gotten so bad that three career justice department attorneys have not quite resigned, but, to get away from Paulose, they've taken lower status, lower paying jobs within the justice department.
"This is another example of the proud corps of U.S. attorneys being deprofessionalized," Schumer said. "We wonder in how many other offices the same lack of confidence is taking its toll. Attorney General [Alberto] Gonzales has a responsibility to see that the finest people are put in these positions, not simply cronies."
Apparently, US Attorney, Thomas Heffelfinger resigned to make room for Paulose. He denies being asked to resign.
The article reports,
A second federal attorney, also speaking on the condition of anonymity because of worries about job security, described an office environment in Minneapolis in which lawyers and support staff felt that they would face retribution from Paulose if they disagreed with her."Disagreement is treated as disloyalty," the attorney said.
Although there is nothing illegal about it, Paulose came in with priorities that minimized protecting victims, while accentuating targetting sexy, mediagenic crime that fit with right wing policy, as the Star Tribune article reports, Paulose has clearly defined her prosecution priorities: guns, child porn, immigration enforcement, public corruption and methamphetamine trafficking.
As a result, some enforcement programs have been scaled back, one attorney said. Among them: going after landlords who have not removed lead paint from their properties, easing up on enforcement of laws protecting people with disabilities and health care, that source said.
There's more to this than meets the eye. The justice department is being stacked with extreme right wing, underskilled, partisan media theater types who are taking American Justice down an anti-immigrant, theocon road that will lead to weaker protections for the most vulnerable in society, while taking the heat off of corporate perpetrators and wealthy landlords.
Is the Minneapolis case part of the bigger attorneygate? That's something that congressional hearings should and will explore. Even if it is not clearly shown, this look inside the Bush/Gonzales justice department is ugly and shows the further deteriorization of government-- a problem that has become systemic, throughout, it seems, all levels of national government infrastructure. The brazen insertion of underskilled, incompetent partisans is weakening America and putting the nation at risk. When Grover Norquist said he wanted to starve government so it was so small he could drown it in a bathtub, we did not have the intimations that government would also be poisoned by toxic, incompetent managers as well. I guess it's easier to kill a weakened creature, and that's what the right wing leadership, under Bush is perpetrating.
As long as Bush is in charge, this will continue, as evidenced by the three interim appointments he made this week of people the congress had already rejected.