Former Karl Rove Staffer Moves to NASA as Mike Griffin's White House Liaison

Editor's 1 Aug update: Jane Cherry is now listed on the NASA HQ organization page. I wonder how long it will be before her official biography documenting her extensive experience (and its relevance to NASA) will be posted.

Editor's 28 July note: The vacant White House Liaisonposition at NASA HQ has been filled with - surprise - a Bush Administration political appointee - Jane Cherry. Cherry is listed on NASA's internal phonebook as being detailed to "Office ID: AA000 - Office of the Administrator". She recently worked in the White House for Karl Rove as an associate director in the Office of Political Affairs

According to (scroll down a bit) "Cherry has worked for Karl Rove at the WH for almost two years. She has been in the USA8 email loop, according to DOJ docs, and probably knows a lot about what has been going on at the DOJ and why. ... Prior to joining Karl Rove's hit squad, Jane Cherry worked for the RNC in Little Rock from 8/03 and 9/04, according to FEC records. She then worked for the RNC in DC from 9/04 to 6/05."

Cherry is named as one of the more prolific email users of an RNC email account whose messages (27, 482) have been retained by the RNC as part of a House investigation of possible presidential records act violations.

Cherry only made $50K working for Rove (up from 30K the previous year). I doubt she will be that cash-strapped now that she's at NASA for the next 1.5 years.

Editor's 31 Jul update: There's more on Jane Cherry here at the Daily Kos. "According to the 2004 Plum Book, pay for the politically appointed NASA White House Liaision is a GS-15 position. So Jane, graduating with a BA in June 2004, will make between $110,363 and $143,471 annually according to the DC pay scales."

Yes, I know, this happens all the time - regardless of who is in the White House. But placing Jane Cherry at NASA this late in a lame duck Administration - so she can cash in - is just blatant political cronyism of the worst kind. First NASA gets George Deutsch, another young political appointee. We all remember what he did. Then FEMA's former Deputy Director Patrick Rhode (a pal of Michael Brown's) is given a hiding place at NASA. Now, an overtly political White House staffer (it was her job to be overtly political) who is under at least one cloud with regard to ethics - suddenly lands at NASA where she gets a $60,000-plus pay raise.

Is NASA turning to a dumping ground for young Bush loyalists of questionable capability? Based on her political shenanigans at the White House, what could she possibly bring of value to NASA? Right now NASA needs to be steering clear of politics and focusing on the tasks at hand. Bringing young political hacks to NASA will only create problems.

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This page contains a single entry by Keith Cowing published on July 31, 2007 11:02 PM.

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