According to Politico, the former worldwide head of lobbying for Google, former Berkman Center poobah and now former White House technology advisor Andrew McLaughlin is moving on. Yes, days before Congressman Daryl Issa takes over the chair of the House Government Oversight Committee but still during the statute of limitations, coffee critic McLaughlin is leaving the White House.
Recall that McLaughlin got sideways with Issa over emails sent from his personal Gmail account to lobbyists, Free Press people and others that sure looked like the improper conduct of government business to a number of people. Also recall that the only reason anyone knew about it was that those following McLaughlin on Google Buzz was inadvertently disclosed publicly and some fast acting person grabbed a screenshot of it that set off the whole brouhaha and subsequent FOIA request.
The Politico story says, “McLaughlin drew heat earlier this year when it was discovered [through the FOIA request] that he used his personal Gmail account to consult with [approximately two dozen] former colleagues at Google [including Google lobbyists] — a breach of the ethics pledge initiated by President Barack Obama that prohibits White House employees from directly engaging their former employers and clients for at least two years. McLaughlin was reprimanded for the incident, but the White House has maintained that the limited number of e-mails [if you think that the volume of disclosure in two separate FOIA requests is “limited”] had no influence on any federal policy decisions. Given Google’s interest in several policy issues — net neutrality, in particular — McLaughlin’s communication with the Internet giant [and secret meetings in coffee shops near the White House] raised some concerns that Google had extra influence over the administration as it handled the hot-button issue.”
Politico doesn’t mention that McLaughlin’s email also shows meetings arranged at coffee shops near the White House (presumably to avoid showing up in the White House visitors logs available under a Creative Commons license at whitehouse.gov). You know, that place down where the guy did that thing, across the street from where the other thing happened that time near that bookie’s house. With a skinny grande macchiato.
So where might McLaughlin end up? Perhaps there’s some room with the Poker Prof teaching ethics back at Harvard.
See also: Grande Prosecutor Macchiato Redux