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August 18, 2007

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Down the Hatch!

Or, to be specific:

[...] these federal and D.C. employees may not:
* use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
* solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
* solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by federal labor or other employee organizations)
* be candidates for public office in partisan elections
* engage in political activity while:
o on duty
o in a government office
o wearing an official uniform
o using a government vehicle
* wear partisan political buttons on duty
Italics mine.

I could be wrong, but I think all these briefings are at least as bad as wearing a partisan political button while on duty.

Fouled the link; here it is.

yeah, well, whatcha gonna do about it ? anyone here have the authority to bring charges ?

no?

then that's that.

But, didn't Gore use the phones?

Obviously, the Dems are just as bad.

But really, the problem people have with the GOP is that they're so committed to laissez-faire, small government libertarian principles....

*rolling my eyes*

EOC, what's the problem? The Hatch Act is clearly an example of burdensome regulation that must be eliminated for true competition between the political parties.

Well, I'd be all for eliminating the Hatch Act... once we have so few federal employees that it doesn't matter. ;-)

There was a big controversy at Treasury during the 2004 election when certain folks there were asked to analyze Kerry's economic plan (can't remember if they were also asked to critique it), causing a big investigation into whether that violated the Hatch (no, of course).

"yeah, well, whatcha gonna do about it ? anyone here have the authority to bring charges ?"

Well, that isn't possible, which brings up a newly crucial point:

[...] Violations of the Hatch Act are treated as administrative, not criminal, matters, and punishment for violations ranges from suspension to termination. The administration has not taken any action against Doan.

Even so, the Hatch Act "is an important statute and it needs to be enforced," said James Mitchell, spokesman for the Office of Special Counsel. "One of the effects we hope our investigations will have is to deter violations during the upcoming election cycle."

This crowd is so politically corrupt, that new penalties have to be invented that were previously unnecessary. Obviously, violations of the Hatch Act must now be made criminal acts, punishable by fine and jail. Congress should move immediately.

Individual violations of the Hatch Act are sensibly treated as administrative matters. But massive, systematic flouting? Doesn't that at some point reach the point of criminality?

Well, what it is, is impeachable.

Treasury also caused a minor flap in 04 when at the bottom of its pages there was a line encouraging visitors to the site to vote to continue the economic policies that were having such a positive effect on the country.

Long follow-up: How Rove Directed Federal Assets for GOP Gains.

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