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Project on Government Oversight

Open Government Groups Support Cautious Approach Of Senators Levin And McCain On William J. Lynn Nomination

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January 23, 2009

Today the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) joined a coalition of good government groups in sending a letter to Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin and Ranking Member John McCain to commend their decision to further evaluate the nomination of William J. Lynn III, a former Raytheon Company lobbyist, to the position of Deputy Secretary of Defense.  The groups have also asked the committee to reject the nomination of Mr. Lynn.

POGO joined a coalition that included the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), Government Accountability Project (GAP), and Public Citizen.  The groups are concerned that Mr. Lynn's confirmation will undermine the intent of President Obama's Executive Order that enacts new revolving door restrictions requiring appointees to recuse themselves from work related to their former employer or clients, as well as from matters or issues for which he lobbied. 

"This letter is not to suggest that Mr. Lynn is not qualified for the position," wrote the groups in the letter.  "However, given that the new pledge required by President Obama is written to preclude any appointee from participating 'in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment,' or accepting 'employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment,' the undersigned groups believe that Mr. Lynn simply could not effectively serve as the Deputy Secretary of Defense."

"We strongly support the President's determination to restore integrity and good governance by instituting restrictions on the Washington tradition of 'revolving door' appointees," said Danielle Brian, executive director of POGO.  "It is for that reason that we do not want those standards undermined or compromised by the confirmation of Mr. Lynn."

Founded in 1981, the Project On Government Oversight (POGO) is a nonpartisan independent watchdog that champions good government reforms. POGO’s investigations into corruption, misconduct, and conflicts of interest achieve a more effective, accountable, open, and ethical federal government.

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