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Obama appointee lauded NAMBLA figure

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Politics,Beltway Confidential,Mark Tapscott

Kevin Jennings, President Obama's Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Safe and Drug FreeSchools at the U.S. Department of Education, is in hot water this week for having failed to report that a 15-year-old sophomore student in his school had told him of having sex with an older man.

But failure to report what appeared to be a case of statuatory rape of a child may be the least of Jennings' worries. Lori Roman of Regular Folks United points to statements by Jennings a decade or more ago when he praised Harry Hay of the North American Association for Man-Boy Love Association (NAMBLA), which promotes the legalization of sexual abuse of young boys by older men.

Roman provides damning details and links here. She also notes that Jennings wrote the forward "to a book called Queering Elementary Education. And another fellow you may have heard of wrote one of the endorsements on the book jacket—Bill Ayers." Ayers, of course, is the Weather Underground bomber from the 1960s who is just an "acquaintance" of Obama. 

Every presidential administration ends up with scandals inspired by controversial appointees, but typically those tend to revolve around financial improprieties, conflicts of interest, or some other form of white-collar misconduct. For Obama, the scandals seem to be develping in a pattern of disclosures revolving around radical left ideology that raises questions about their fitness for any job in government.

And that in turn raises the inevitable question: Is nobody minding the White House personnel store?

UPDATE: Who was Harry Hay?

Folks at Media Matters are agitated by the above post and others pointing out Jennings' praise of Harry Hay and the latter's link to NAMBLA. Hay was not an employee or official of NAMBLA, but was during his later years, according to his entry on Wikipedia, a frequent defender of the group, including this 1983 statement: "[I]f the parents and friends of gays are truly friends of gays, they would know from their gay kids that the relationship with an older man is precisely what thirteen-, fourteen-, and fifteen-year-old kids need more than anything else in the world."

MM has a point - Jennings praise of Hay was not specifically in the context of the latter's support of NAMBLA. Readers will decide for themselves whether it is appropriate for an individual who publicly praised an advocate of pedophilia to be appointed Assistant Deputy Secretary of Education for Safe and Drug-Free Schools.     

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Mark Tapscott

Executive Editor
The Washington Examiner