Fired U.S. Attorney Bogden Gets His Job Back

Is rehiring Daniel Bogden, one of the fired U.S. Attorneys, really a good idea? Some think not. From the Las Vegas Sun:

President Barack Obama’s nomination of Daniel Bogden as U.S. attorney for Nevada was met Friday with initial disappointment from defense attorneys and prosecutors who had questioned his leadership abilities.

....“Many people within the U.S. attorney’s office do not see Bogden’s appointment as the type of ‘change you can believe in’ that Obama promised,” one prosecutor said. “But we’re hoping that Bogden has changed as a result of his experience under the Bush administration and will demonstrate a greater commitment to diversity in hiring and promoting within the office.”

Other complaints by Nevada attorneys about Bodgen included his reputation for lack of cordiality when dealing with defense attorneys and the media.

The U.S. Attorney's job has always been a political plum, almost always reserved for people within the President's party. Obama has been slow to replace Bush's appointments, and now, he's appointed one who is a Republican. I don't call this progress or change.

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    The entire appointments process (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by andgarden on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:34:05 PM EST
    has been slow IMO. And this is puzzling.

    Maybe Obama can't find enough (5.00 / 3) (#2)
    by MO Blue on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 10:44:38 PM EST
    Republicans to fill the positions. :)

    How about the fellow from Arizona? (5.00 / 1) (#40)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:06:53 PM EST
    I think his name was Iglesais.  He refused to prosecute non existant voter fraud and certain Democrats.  Now that is a Republican or Independent worth looking at.

    Comparison (5.00 / 2) (#3)
    by squeaky on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:23:23 PM EST
    At the 100 (week of April 25) day mark Obama had more appointees confirmed than both Clinton and both Bushes. Only Reagan surpassed him. According to FOX he had 74 confirmed.

    As of today he has 198 confirmed. Here is a super nifty interactive regularly updated chart.

    The chart is interesting. (5.00 / 1) (#20)
    by dk on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:47:05 AM EST
    What stuck out to me first is that men outnumber women over 2 to 1.

    Thanks (none / 0) (#13)
    by cal1942 on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:32:54 AM EST
    great link.  A keeper.

    This One Is Good Too (5.00 / 1) (#28)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:40:55 AM EST
    These are ALL appointees. Not specifically (none / 0) (#41)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:10:52 PM EST
    attorney generals.  Clinton asked for all of their resignations, as did Bush, within weeks of taking office.  Obama has not done that.

    U.S. attorneys (5.00 / 1) (#45)
    by gyrfalcon on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 01:22:47 PM EST
    not "attorney generals"

    Sorry. Thats what I meant. Hurrying. (none / 0) (#50)
    by hairspray on Tue Aug 04, 2009 at 02:14:51 PM EST
    Bush went out of his way to populate (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Radiowalla on Sun Aug 02, 2009 at 11:36:15 PM EST
    the government with his ideological soul mates.  Obama seems to be going out of his way to demonstrate his open minded and non-partisan fairness.  Must be disappointing to those who thought Obama would bring real progressive change to government.

    Breakdown (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:18:08 AM EST
    Out of the 198

    94 Former Clinton appointees
    58 Attended Harvard
    15 Associated with labor Unions
    12 Veterans
    9 Close to the Obamas
    6 Affiliated with the Kennedy Family
    6 Close to the Clintons
    5 Affiliated with Center for American Progress
    3 Affiliated with Thomas Dashle
    3 Affiliated with Al Gore

    Do you think that this list is as conservative as Bush or more conservative than Clintion?

    According to the nifty sortable spreadsheet from the WH there are 343 nominations.


    But I'm only referring to U.S. Attorneys (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:45:34 AM EST
    Holder is trying to bring about some improvement in DOJ policy and the U.S. Attorneys are supposed to follow his agenda, e.g. in crack cases and regarding medical marijuana raids. I'd feel better if we had more U.S. Attorneys in office who were Democrats and agreed with the changes. Same for the judicial vacancies.

    Sorry (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 01:30:01 AM EST
    Got off track in response to andgarden. Yes I agree that we need as many progressives US attorneys, in the DOJ as we can get.

    Not to mention in the DOJ itself. (none / 0) (#10)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 02:11:29 AM EST
    Let's not forget how little experience Obama had at the federal level, limiting his personal knowledge of many applicants for appointment.  That means he must rely heavily on the recommendations of his closest and most trusted advisors...some of whom will think of the political advantages to be gained by appointments.  The ambassador to China, for instance.

    I believe that Obama was able to fill (5.00 / 1) (#42)
    by hairspray on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:15:24 PM EST
    many of his appointments because there were Clinton holdovers available.  When Clinton arrived in 1993 Demcrats had been out of higher offices for 12 years and the pickings were lean.

    I quite agree. (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:33:38 PM EST
    One of the reasons (one of many) that I favored Hillary in the primaries was her knowledge of so many people across the political landscape...first the eight years of Bill's presidency and then her own years in the senate.  That exposure made for wide acquaintence on who could be trusted and who couldn't...who would do their job and who wouldn't...who had produced and who had failed...and why.

    It was good that Huntsman was (none / 0) (#35)
    by MKS on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:51:34 AM EST
    sent on a slow boat to China.  Let the Republicans drift with Mitt and Huckabee....

    Actually (none / 0) (#39)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:03:00 PM EST
    It turns out that Obama is very hands on in many aspects of gov, despite the powerful advisors he has on hand.

    Here are a few, super interesting imo, articles on how the Obama WH is working from the inside view.

    Here, here, and here

    All via laura rozen.


    The List (none / 0) (#7)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:42:05 AM EST
    Identifies affiliations of Obama appointees to date.

    Could you clarify your comment, as I do not see it applying to the list.


    Well (5.00 / 1) (#24)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:37:30 AM EST
    One of the reasons floated was that he did not pursuse obscentiy cases to the likings of the BushCo.

    Also there is this weird fact:

    From Murray Waas:

    But if Dan Bogden was unable to learn from the report why he was fired, he was able to find out something else about the circumstances of his firing: If he had had a wife and kids at home, he might not have lost his job at all.

    Background from Wiki

    Paul McNulty, a senior DOJ official noted, in an email two days before the dismissals, "I'm still a little skittish about Bogden. He has been with DOJ since 1990 and, at age 50, has never had a job outside of government."[5] McNulty's "skittishness" was reportedly due to concern that Bogden would be unable to find employment and care for his family; this was assuaged in a 90-second meeting with Monica Goodling, where he was informed that Bogden was not married; this ended his concern, and the firing proceeded as planned. [6].


    code? (5.00 / 1) (#27)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:40:51 AM EST
    Could that be code for 'possibly gay'? CArol Lam had that going for her too, besides Randy Cunningham investigation.

    I have no doubt... (5.00 / 3) (#29)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:43:49 AM EST
    ...that in the Regent law school graduate mindset, that unmarried at 50 equates to teh ghey.  

    Bingo. My son and my favorite (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:20:17 AM EST
    niece are 50.  Unmarried.  Not gay.

    Sounds legit to me (5.00 / 2) (#32)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:26:51 AM EST
    Candidly, as an employer, it's harder for us to let someone go when we know they have small kids at home.  It's something we would talk about, maybe something where the person would get an extra chance.  I realize that sounds kind of harsh when you flip it around, but it's not like that.

    From what we know of Monica Goodling, I could certainly imagine her agitating for the firing of someone she suspected of being gay, but that's not how the story reads.  It's McNulty who initially brings up the family issue out of concern that he might have a family who would be adversely affected.  No evidence that Bogden's family situation played any role in the process prior to that point.


    To me, not so much harsh (5.00 / 2) (#36)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:52:44 AM EST
    as unfair.  Either the employee needs to be fired or not. Nice to have empathy, but the work place should be neutral on marriage status.

    I agree of course (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by Steve M on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:43:18 PM EST
    it's just hard to be 100% cold and analytical when you're talking about putting someone with 5 young kids on the bread line during a recession.  We're all human.

    True (none / 0) (#44)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 12:58:54 PM EST
    But it's also cold to talk about someone who is the only breadwinner in the house to be put out of work too.  Single people do end up getting $crewed lots of times at work - working late so parents can go to kids' soccer games, and such.

    And yeah - it would be hard to think of 5 little kids at home, but marital / parental status shouldn't matter.


    Yes (none / 0) (#33)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:32:32 AM EST
    Although Goodling was a serious operative, whose job was to cleanse the DOJ, and strategically place and replace other ultra right wing cells in lifetime civil service jobs.

    The reason bandied about for his firing was that he was slow on prosecuting obscenity cases. Which was one of BushCo/ Abu Gonzo's priorities.

    From all I have read he is a very level headed justice seeker, and not a political operative. Also he is not Republican, he is not politically affiliated.


    oops More Coffee (none / 0) (#25)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:38:21 AM EST
    Not sure how all the bolding happened...  oops

    Interesting list but it says nothing (none / 0) (#30)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:47:21 AM EST
    about progressive ideology which was my point.  

    True (none / 0) (#37)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:54:19 AM EST
    According to this list Obama has 343 appointees in various states of waiting or confirmed.

    If I had the time and inclination I would classify them all according to a progressive/conservative checklist. It would be interesting to compare that list to BushCo nominees.

    However disappointed we may be, not to have the ultimate progressive list appointed by Obama, I do believe that there is substantial change in the quality of government along progressive lines from the BushCo years.


    Link Here (none / 0) (#38)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:55:18 AM EST
    Oh, I completely agree (none / 0) (#47)
    by Radiowalla on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 03:47:13 PM EST
    There is NO comparison between what we now have and what we once had.  

    Yeah (none / 0) (#48)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 04:16:36 PM EST
    And I have no illusions about the fact that the US gov is far to the right of where I stand, and that includes Obama's appointees.

    But compared to Bush we are seeing things get progressively better.. lol..

    Also anyone who believes any pol is going to cast the government based on his or her progressive views has drunk way too much kool aid, imo, and is not to be taken seriously.


    Obama did say he thought Repubs had the best ideas (5.00 / 3) (#11)
    by jawbone on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 06:35:31 AM EST
    in an interview with the Reno Gazette in January, 2008. Caused quite a stir among some liberals and Democrats.

    "I think it's fair to say that the Republicans were the party of ideas for a pretty long chunk of time there over the last 10-15 years in the sense that they were challenging conventional wisdom," Obama said in an interview with the Reno Gazette-Journal.

    "I don't want to present myself as some sort of singular figure," he continued. "I think part of what's different are the times...I think Ronald Reagan changed the trajectory of America in a way that Richard Nixon did not and in a way that Bill Clinton did not. He put us on a fundamentally different path because the country was ready for it. ... he just tapped into what people were already feeling, which was we want clarity we want optimism, we want a return to that sense of dynamism and entrepreneurship that had been missing."

    Perhaps he was signalling his Inner Republican to the electorate.

    Time will tell us more

    Ronald Reagan (5.00 / 0) (#46)
    by daring grace on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 02:13:21 PM EST
    What that quote says to me is that Obama was noting the game-changer Reagan and his ideology  was to American policy/political culture compared with, for example, two other previous 2 term presidents, Nixon and Clinton.

    If you want to fault the POTUS for anything from that quote, you could interpret it as Obama displaying some hubris proposing he himself and his role in 'these times' as a new visionary, and political culture game changer.

    Other than that, I think he was acknowledging the Repubs have successfully dominated things electorally for most of the last 40 years.


    I tried to think that way...until Obama started (none / 0) (#51)
    by jawbone on Sun Aug 09, 2009 at 10:53:32 PM EST
    doing things BushCo had done. Only Obama says he'll do them "better." Same results -- for example unlimited detention, with slighlty different rationalizations.

    And the list goes on. And on and on.


    It's a political appointment (5.00 / 0) (#12)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:29:30 AM EST
    and President Obama was engaging in politics when he named Bogden.

    He was placating Senator Reid and making a point about Bogden's firing by the Bush Administration.

    You may disagree with Obama's political calculation but it seems to me you are not questioning the use of political calculus for deciding who to name to that position.  

    Heh (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by ChiTownMike on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:52:12 AM EST
    Name me one judicial or US attorney that wasn't a political appointment.

    Harry Reid, Dem majority leader, wanted a Repub (none / 0) (#15)
    by jawbone on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 07:51:31 AM EST
    US Atty for Nevada?

    He wanted Bogden (none / 0) (#16)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:24:37 AM EST
    Not sure he wanted any old Republican.

    Reid sees him as competition? (none / 0) (#17)
    by andgarden on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 08:46:05 AM EST
    If so, it seems to me that this would only strengthen him for later.

    "Sense of fairness" (5.00 / 2) (#19)
    by jbindc on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:31:00 AM EST
    is what Reid said:

    "It was just not fair to have Bogden with this mark on him, this scarlet letter of being a bad U.S. attorney, because everybody acknowledges nothing was bad about him," Reid, D-Nev., said in an interview.

    Reid said he didn't know why Bogden was asked to resign. He speculated that this "was just Karl Rover trying to get back at Nevada I guess."


    "He's an Independent. He's never been a Republican. Maybe that's why he got dumped. I don't know," Reid said of Bogden.

    Reid gave Brower a strong endorsement at his confirmation in 2007.

    "Greg has strong roots in our state and has wide-ranging experience in the military, in elected office and as a prosecutor," Reid said in a statement after the Senate confirmed Brower. "The appointment of Greg Brower is a good first step in restoring the confidence of Nevadans in the Department of Justice."

    No idea what Reid is thinking on this (none / 0) (#18)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 09:01:49 AM EST
    In any way.

    I do know he publically called on Obama to name Bogden.


    Brower Likely to Run Against Reid (none / 0) (#23)
    by squeaky on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:31:46 AM EST
    The names of Brower and U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval have been among those mentioned as possible Republican challengers to Reid in 2010.

    Perhaps that is the way Reid wants it. He believes he can beat Brower.


    I was kind of hoping (5.00 / 2) (#26)
    by Carolyn in Baltimore on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:38:31 AM EST
    that some of the fired USAs would get re-hired by Obama to make a point. Whether this is the best one I don't know. There certainly were some others that were obviously political and unethical firings I might have gone to first. Carol Lam, Iglesias, Cummins, McKay, to name just a few.
    Seems that while being republican many were stand-up USAs, were either prosecting republicans or involved in Native american issues.

    Well, McKay will be replaced by (5.00 / 2) (#34)
    by oldpro on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 11:47:27 AM EST
    a fiftyish 'openly gay' lesbian, Jenny Durkan, who will do a terrific job.

    According to an account (none / 0) (#22)
    by KeysDan on Mon Aug 03, 2009 at 10:13:51 AM EST
    in Atlantic Monthly by Murray Waas (via WSJ Law Blog/Wikipedia), the planned firing of Daniel Bogdan was given a second thought by Deputy AG Paul McNulty out of concern for the wife and kids.  However, after a "90 second conference" with Monica Goodling in which she informed McNulty that Bogdan was a bachelor, the firing proceeded.  No particular reason for the firing has been unearthed, but his single marital status did not seem to have worked in his favor.