That appears to be the case according to The Weekly Standard.
Tonight, Barack Obama will host ten House Democrats who voted against the health care bill in November at the White House; he's obviously trying to persuade them to switch their votes to yes. One of the ten is Jim Matheson of Utah. The White House just sent out a press release announcing that today President Obama nominated Matheson's brother Scott M. Matheson, Jr. to the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Congressmen Matheson has opposed Obamacare from the beginning. He voted against it in Energy and Commerce Committee, he voted against it on the House floor. But now, just days before it was announced that President Obama has appointed Congressmen Matheson’s brother to a life long judgeship, Matheson is “undecided” on how he will vote on the reconciled health care bill.
This isn’t the first time the Obama administration has been accused of felony ethics violations.
Just last week we told you about accusations made by Democrat U.S. Representative Joe Sestak, who stated that the Obama White House offered him a “high-ranking” government appointment if he would drop out of his Senate primary race in Pennsylvania.
On another occasion, the Denver Post reported that Andrew Romanoff, another Democrat, was offered a high level appointment in the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) if he would drop out of his Colorado Senate primary bid.
Rep. Bachmann (R-MN) appears to be the first to call for a full investigation into the allegations:
A big question that has to be addressed right now… is what in the world is going on in the White House? Because today, the president offered a judgeship to the brother of a member of Congress. Tonight, the president has that same member of Congress at the White House pressuring him to change his vote on health care. We really need to have an independent investigation into this matter. Because we've seen the Cornhusker Kickback, the Louisiana Purchase, the union loophole and now the big question is, is the White House trading health care votes for judgeships? This is a pretty serious issue...
The White House and Rep. Matheson were quick to dismiss the charges as “absurd” and “patently ridiculous”.
We guess we’ll have to wait to find out what the truth is when Rep. Matheson casts his vote. If he votes yes, based on his prior objections to the bill, one can only be left to infer that a deal had indeed been struck to trade a federal judgeship for a health care vote.