President Obama may have placed some limits on lobbyists serving in the White House, but he has had no problem continuing the timeworn Washington practice of doling out coveted diplomatic posts to big-money backers.
Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine, may be the latest luminary to reap the rewards of directing millions Mr. Obama’s way. The president is considering nominating her for an ambassadorship in Britain or France, according to a Bloomberg report.
As a major bundler for Mr. Obama’s re-election campaign, Ms. Wintour co-hosted a star-studded fundraising event at actress Sarah Jessica Parker’s home in early June and helped out with a line of Obama merchandise that brought in $40 million for the campaign.
Reid seeks out Warren for banking committee
BOSTON — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid wants Massachusetts Sen.-elect Elizabeth Warren to join the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee.
A Senate Democratic official confirmed Tuesday that Mrs. Warren’s appointment was likely, but cautioned nothing was final until the Democratic Caucus approves the move. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because no announcement has been made.
A favorite of the party’s liberal wing, Mrs. Warren’s likely committee assignment is already winning praise from progressive groups. The Senate banking panel oversees the implementation of the so-called Dodd-Frank financial-system overhaul and other banking regulations.
Mrs. Warren defeated Massachusetts Sen. Scott P. Brown, a Republican, and takes office in January.
Officials recover $5 billion from bogus claims
The Justice Department has recovered a record $5 billion in the past year from companies that filed false claims against the government.
Acting Associate Attorney General Tony West said Tuesday that the federal False Claims Act is the most powerful tool in the government’s legal arsenal for protecting the integrity of government programs, such as Medicare and defense contracting.
Fraud against the government involves a risk of harm to a wide range of Americans, including homeowners victimized by abusive foreclosure practices, children and seniors taking medication for uses that were marketed by pharmaceutical companies but not approved by regulators, and men and women in the armed forces relying on defective products sold to the military.
It’s “an epidemic that really reaches every aspect of our daily lives,” said Stuart Delery, principal deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
Funds available until spring for Superstorm Sandy victims