Obama Names Second U.S. Attorney From Same NC Law Firm

Today President Obama announced the nomination of Ann Tompkins for U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. She's a partner in the law firm Alston & Bird.

A few weeks ago, Obama nominated Thomas G. Walker to be U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina. He's also a partner at Alston & Bird.

Open Secrets says Alston & Bird is a lobbying firm that made $8.1 million in lobbying fees in 2009. Here are their health care clients. [More...]

Tom Daschle is a former advisor to the firm. Robert Dole is still there. Through 2008, firm employees contributed $62,000 to Obama's campaigns. The firm's PAC contributed $118,000 to congressional candidates in the 2007-2008 election cycle.

The U.S. Attorneys' job has always been a political plum that goes to lawyers who have helped (or whose firms have helped)the political party making the appointment. Which isn't to say either of the N.C. appointments aren't qualified or deserving of the job. But would either have been picked, but for the political clout of their firm? I tend to doubt it.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Best gov't money can buy! (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by oldpro on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 01:49:00 PM EST

    It has been so (none / 0) (#3)
    by Zorba on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 01:53:09 PM EST
    for a very long time, I'm afraid.  Doesn't seem to matter which party is in power.

    exactly (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 01:54:51 PM EST
    In case anyone thought we might get something different.

    Heh. I'd say those who bought the (none / 0) (#9)
    by oldpro on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 08:09:22 PM EST
    hopey/changey thing thought there was a possibility when they voted for Obama.  Not only that, most of them still don't know they were wrong and they intend to do it again at the very next opportunity!

    Notorious. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Salo on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 01:45:42 PM EST
    Seems like the stlye on the turn. The airlock between the ship and space...the revolving door itself.

    how interesting.

    How long (none / 0) (#4)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 01:54:27 PM EST
    have either of them been with Alston & Bird? It's not clear to me whether they acquired their experience and influence at the firm or before they joined it.

    one since 2003 and one since 2005 (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 02:00:42 PM EST
    Walker since 2003 and Tompkins since 2005.

    Their experience was derived before, both are former AUSA's. Their influence? You decide.


    What I'm suggesting (none / 0) (#7)
    by Steve M on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 02:24:18 PM EST
    is that powerful and influential people tend to gravitate to these firms, it's not just a case of the firms having the power to make insignificant little nobodies into a job.

    A number of these high-powered law firms, Williams & Connolly being the most famous one I can think of, basically served as hosts for the "government in exile" over the past eight years while Republicans controlled the executive branch.


    Did Obama ever ask for (none / 0) (#10)
    by hairspray on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 11:36:10 PM EST
    Bush appointed US attorneys to resign when he came into office?  Are they still there?

    The return on investment (none / 0) (#8)
    by cal1942 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:03:07 PM EST
    just keeps on growing.