Politics as usual.

President Obama’s chief of staff Rahm Emmanuel used former President Bill Clinton as a go-between to see if Representative Joe Sestak would drop out of Pennsylvania’s Democratic Senate primary if given a prominent, but unpaid, advisory position, the White House said. Sestak turned down the offer and defeated Senator Arlen Specter in the Democratic primary.

Democrats argue that this is business as usual in politics, this goes back to President George Washington. Maybe so, Republicans say but the administration has already forgotten its promise of transparency in government and a new ethics. A "government of and by the people" the President promises, but does not deliver.

Crime? You decide. The law was amended in 1972 during the Nixon Presidency and, again amended during the Clinton administration. The statute is section 600 of 18 U.S.C..

Sec. 600. Promise of employment or other benefit for political

Whoever, directly or indirectly, promises any employment,
position, compensation, contract, appointment, or other benefit,
provided for or made possible in whole or in part by any Act of
Congress, or any special consideration in obtaining any such
benefit, to any person as consideration, favor, or reward for any
political activity or for the support of or opposition to any
candidate or any political party in connection with any general or
special election to any political office, or in connection with any
primary election
or political convention or caucus held to select
candidates for any political office, shall be fined under this
title or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.

Read Fear and Loathing: On the Campaign Trail '72  a collection of articles covering the 1972 presidential campaign written by the gonzo journalist Hunter S Thompson.

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