Obama's pledges of open, clean government increasingly look like smoke and mirrors. My column explores the latest:
Mark Ernst, in December 2007, was chief executive officer of H&R Block, the nation's largest tax-preparation company. Thirteen months later, once President Obama took office, Ernst was named a deputy commissioner at the Internal Revenue Service, where he would spend his first year drafting new regulations for tax preparers -- regulations that H&R Block welcomes and market analysts say will benefit the company.
With Ernst in mind, recall Barack Obama's campaign pledge: "No political appointees in an Obama administration will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years."