Federal Eye: Federal Employees Donate to Their New Boss

The Obama-Biden Transition Project has earned $1,170,937.44 since it began accepting donations on Nov. 15 and among the 1,776 people that have donated, 35 are federal employees or members of the military. They have donated $5,925 basically to help their next boss, Barack Obama, prepare for his new job. All appear to be rank-and-file types and at least three work for the State Department, three for the Social Security Administration and three for USDA. (You can review the full list after the jump.)

These people donated as private citizens, not in concert with their work as Federal employees, but the Eye thinks it is interesting to see who is, essentially, kissing up to the new boss by helping him and his staff get ready for Washington.

The Transition Project is responsible for performing agency-by-agency reviews, picking government appointees and includes staff in Chicago and Washington, D.C. It does not accept financial contributions from corporations, labor unions, and political actions committees and caps donations at $5,000. Registered federal lobbyists and registered foreign agents also cannot donate.

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I feel kind of bad for the employees that got named. While public record I wonder how their bosses reacted today. You never know with this type of stuff.

Scott Horvath

In this day and age, no matter what you, what you say, who you say it to, or how you say it…it all comes out eventually. Unfortunately there may be many silver linings with the ability to leverage technology as we do today, but there’s always a consquence for doing so.

Adriel Hampton

@GovLoop Agreed. Political donations are always an easy hit. Lots of data, lots of ways to interpret. We got a guy in SF who took a bunch of money from strip clubs a few years back, which looked bad, but was pretty innocuous – he just knew one of the owners of the same ethnicity. Story got picked up by the WSJ based on titillation factor.

Scott Horvath

@Bryan: Although it doesn’t show that information there’s pretty simple ways to get it without spending more than a few minutes per person. But that is true that everyone needs to be cognizant of their actions and statements.

I think what will be an interesting trend is 10, maybe even 5 years from now, what people say on the web and the actions they take will probably have less importance to many people (specifically Gen Y and some of Gen X). Even for high level offices, I don’t think it will be as important as it seems to be today.

The current generation doesn’t judge their peers based upon what they say on Facebook or MySpace; what pictures they upload to Flickr; what videos they upload to YouTube….because everyone does it. It’s common place. The more that people grow up in an “open” environment the more that people become desensitized to it…the less important it really is.

I think we’ll see a big change in the next 10 years as the size of the generations change.