FHere’s the “Smoking Gun” Congressman Issa has been looking for. Tonight Colorado Senate candidate Andrew Romanoff confirmed Wednesday that Jim Messina, President Barack Obama’s deputy chief of staff, suggested three administration jobs that would be available to him last September if he dropped his plans to run against U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, who had the support of the White House. Unlike the Sestak case, Romanoff was offered paid jobs, actually three possible jobs. Also unlike the Sestak case Rominoff has provided the memo he received from Messina to the Press (embedded below)
The Email dated 9/11/09 listed three possible jobs two at USAID and one as director of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency, with a page-long set of job descriptions.
Earlier, the White House had confirmed that administration officials had “conversations” last year with Romanoff about possible positions inside the administration. But the White House didn’t confirm which jobs were involved, or that Messina was the emissary to Romanoff.
Andrew Romanoff’s Statement:
I have received a large number of press inquiries concerning the role the White House is reported to have played in my decision to run for the U.S. Senate. I have declined comment because I did not want – and do not want – to politicize this matter.
A great deal of misinformation has filled the void in the meantime. That does not serve the public interest or any useful purpose.
Here are the facts:
In September 2009, shortly after the news media first reported my plans to run for the Senate, I received a call from Jim Messina, the President’s deputy chief of staff. Mr. Messina informed me that the White House would support Sen. Bennet. I informed Mr. Messina that I had made my decision to run.
Mr. Messina also suggested three positions that might be available to me were I not pursuing the Senate race. He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina’s assistance in obtaining one.
Later that day, I received an email from Mr. Messina containing descriptions of three positions (email attached). I left him a voicemail informing him that I would not change course.
I have not spoken with Mr. Messina, nor have I discussed this matter with anyone else in the White House, since then.
Notice the weasel out comment “He added that he could not guarantee my appointment to any of these positions. At no time was I promised a job, nor did I request Mr. Messina’s assistance in obtaining one.”
Sorry guys, someone doesn’t take the time to send you an email with job descriptions for a Job you might have a possibility of getting if you quit a Senate race. What’s the incentive to quit? If you believe this story, I have a bridge in Brooklyn to sell you.
This Report first broke in September:
On Sept. 27, 2009, Mike Riley of the Denver Post reported that Jim Messina, Obama’s deputy chief of staff offered Senate candidate Romanoff a position if he canceled plans to run for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Sen. Michael Bennet. The paper said the job offer, which specified particular jobs, included a job at USAID, the foreign aid agency (unlike the tale told about the Sestak offer, Romanoff was offered a paid position).
The report claimed Messina contacted Romanoff right after news leaked in August 2009 that Romanoff, would make a primary run against the incumbent Bennet. Romanoff said no and announced his candidacy. Obama immediately endorsed Bennet who was appointed to his senate seat eight months earlier when Ken Salazar became Obama’s secretary of the Interior.
The White House denied that Romanoff had been offered a job. “Mr. Romanoff was never offered a position within the administration,” said White House spokesman Adam Abrams.
Yet several top Colorado Democrats described Messina’s outreach to Romanoff to The Post, including the discussion of specific jobs in the administration. They asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.
Romanoff declined to discuss any such communication and said the only job he’s focused on is “representing the people of Colorado in the United States Senate.”
At the time the post observed:
“The timing of Messina’s latest intervention sparked particular concern — because of the appearance that the administration was trying to buy off a nettlesome opponent, to some; to others, because the timing made the effort appear so ham-handed.”
Until today, the Romanoff report was never investigated by beyond the Denver Post. But it looks as if not Congressman Issa has some real ammo to get the special prosecutor he has been asking for. Buy the big bag of popcorn, this is going to be interesting.