We’ve already talked to one highly qualified friend this am who is thinking twice about applying after taking a look at this.
It’s a doozy of a “you better come clean” doc. (We just christened that category.) We’re wondering if we can see Rahm’s file. Because given the stuff you have to be upfront about—past controversies, relatives’ behaviour—we kind of get why Rahm hemmed-and-hawed overnight before taking the job.
NY Times: A seven-page questionnaire being sent by the office of President-elect Barack Obama to those seeking cabinet and other high-ranking posts may be the most extensive — some say invasive — application ever.
The questionnaire includes 63 requests for personal and professional records, some covering applicants’ spouses and grown children as well, that are forcing job-seekers to rummage from basements to attics, in shoe boxes, diaries and computer archives to document both their achievements and missteps.
Only the smallest details are excluded; traffic tickets carrying fines of less than $50 need not be reported, the application says. Applicants are asked whether they or anyone in their family owns a gun. They must include any e-mail that might embarrass the president-elect, along with any blog posts and links to their Facebook pages.
The application also asks applicants to “please list all aliases or ‘handles’ you have used to communicate on the Internet.”
…But Mr. Obama has elevated the vetting even beyond what might have been expected, especially when it comes to applicants’ family members, in a reflection of his campaign rhetoric against lobbying and the back-scratching, self-serving ways of Washington.
Looks like sailout recipients need not apply.
…Question 18 of the Obama application asks whether “you, your spouse or any member of your immediate family” have been affiliated with Fannie, Freddie, American International Group, Washington Mutual and any other institution getting a government bailout.
Hope you treated your nanny well, she may have to cover for you.
Under “Domestic Help,” the questionnaire asks the immigration status of applicants’ housekeepers, nannies, chauffeurs and yard-workers, and whether applicants have paid the required taxes for household employees. (Those questions reflect controversies that tripped up President Bill Clinton‘s first two nominees for attorney general in 1993.)
This invasive application may screen out some otherwise great candidates.
“Every transition is cumulative,” said Michael Berman, a lawyer and lobbyist who worked in the transitions of both Mr. Clinton and President Jimmy Carter. After reviewing the Obama application, Mr. Berman added, “I am very happy I am not seeking a job in the federal government.”
They want every résumé, from the past 10 years!
The first question asks applicants not just for a résumé, but for every résumé and biographical statement issued by them or others for the past 10 years — a likely safeguard against résumé falsehoods, one Clinton administration veteran said.
Hope you kept good records over the past decade!
Most information must cover at least the past decade, including the names of anyone applicants lived with; a chronological list of activities for which applicants were paid; real estate and loans over $10,000, and their terms, for applicants and spouses; net worth statements submitted for loans, and organisation memberships — in particular, memberships in groups that have discriminated on the basis of race, sex, disability, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation.
Or, for even longer.
There are no time limits for some information, including liens, tax audits, lawsuits, legal charges, bankruptcies or arrests. Applicants must report all businesses with which they and their spouses have been affiliated or in which they have had a financial stake of more than 5 per cent. All gifts over $50 that they and their spouses have received from anyone other than close friends or relatives must be identified.
Potentially embarassing pasts that could be revealed later are so previous administrations.
Just in case the previous 62 questions do not ferret out any potential controversy, the 63rd is all-encompassing: “Please provide any other information, including information about other members of your family, that could suggest a conflict of interest or be a possible source of embarrassment to you, your family, or the president-elect.”
The answer could duplicate the response to Question 8: “Briefly describe the most controversial matters you have been involved with during the course of your career.”
Um, how much space do you provide?
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