Dr. Tara O’Toole – Another Obama Oops?

Via HotAir:

The Washington Times reports that Barack Obama’s appointee for Undersecretary of Homeland Security – Science and Technology has forgotten to mention that she worked for a firm that lobbied Congress on the exact same area that she will now run.

Does it surprise anyone that someone appointed by the Administration “forgot” to mention substantive information regarding their background?

The Administration that was not going to allow lobbyist to “sit at the table” seems to have a left a huge loophole in their waiver. This seems to be a theme by an Administration of attorneys. Which leads me to believe either they are very bad attorneys or they know exactly what they’re doing – I’m leaning towards the latter.

“There’s no legal existence so she wouldn’t have to disclose it,” said Robert Coyle, an ethics official for the Department of Homeland Security.

In legalese – if there’s no paper trail, there’s no need to mention it.

If you dig deeper into this story, there’s another connection – to Congressman John Murtha according to Harper’s Magazine:

Also of note about O’Toole are her ties to the Democratic Party and Congressman John Murtha. Since 2003, she has contributed a total of $8,300 to the Democratic National Committee, as well as a number of Democratic presidential candidates, including John Kerry, Wesley Clark, Hillary Clinton, and most recently Barack Obama. The only member of congress to whom she has contributed is Murtha. In 2004 and 2005, immediately before and after Murtha earmarked money for her center under the Strategic Biodefense Initiative, she gave him $1,750.

As I’ve noted before, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center — O’Toole’s center is one of its projects — retains as its lobbying firm Ervin Technical Associates, which has close links to the congressman. UPMC’s PAC and employees have donated heavily to Murtha, including $192,500 in 2006. That was the year after Murtha won an $8.5 million earmark for UPMC -– lobbied for by Ervin Technical -– for a communications network. Ervin Technical is also seeking to win support for a dubious UPMC project which is looking for funding to develop and manufacture biodefense vaccines.

Add this to the fact that O’Toole has a reputation of dangerously overhyping the bioterror threat in order to secure additional funding.

Then there is the question of O’Toole’s longtime partner, Dr. Liza Solomon who has also contributed to John Murtha campaigns and joined ABT Associates on August 5, 2009 as a principal associate in its Domestic Health Division. ABT Associates is a PMA client……………..

It would seem that there are alot of questions that need to be asked. Will they be asked?


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