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More poor judgment by the White House's newest pet lobbyist

October 24, 2010 - Mike Maneval
A few weeks ago I looked at the White House's choice for National Security Adviser, Thomas Donilon, and found the lobbyist's work with one client to be very questionable.

As I noted at the time, Donilon had fought tougher oversight for mortgage agency Fannie Mae, making his judgment, for many, suspect. But two other clients of Donilon's I only mentioned in passing, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs, raise further questions.

Two days after I questioned Donilon's judgment, it came to light that Citigroup faces a lawsuit from five women who either work for the financial firm or had worked for Citigroup in the past. The women allege, according to a Bloomberg News report, "systemic and pervasive discrimination and retaliation" in the hiring, retention and compensation for female employees and staff. Bloomberg's David Glovin also observes that Goldman Sachs is being sued for similar allegations by three women.

Of course, these lawsuits have just been filed in the past seven weeks, and it remains to be seen if the courts agree with the female plaintiffs or the financial firms, who insist the allegations are without merit. Yet it should raise concerns for all that of Donilon's three most prominent clients, one may well be resistant to transparency and oversight, with his blessing, and the other two may not believe in equal opportunity, with little examination yet of how complicit Donilon himself was in what the Citigroup plaintiffs call an "outdated boys club."


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