Democrats and the liberal mainstream media are already pointing their accusing fingers at White House Social Media Director and Assistant to President Trump, Dan Scavino for violating the Hatch Act. Scavino has been chastised by the Office of Special Counsel for a tweet he sent on April 1. In that tweet, Scavino called on the #TrumpTrain to defeat a Republican congressman running for re-election. The congressman in question had been ultra-critical of Trump.
If they persist, someone needs to ask them why the Hatch Act only applies to Republicans in President Trump’s administration and not for Democrats that were part of Obama’s administration?
In 1939, the Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities was passed by Congress and became federal law. The act prohibits federal employees from being involved or holding membership in any political organization which advocates the overthrow of the constitutional form of government. (Say, isn’t that what the Democratic Party has been doing with the help of Barack Obama and former Attorney General Eric Holder?)
The main aspect of the Act, later called the Hatch Act after New Mexico Senator Carl Hatch, is to prohibit federal civil servant employees in the executive branch from taking part in partisan political activity. It also forbids them from participating in political campaign activities and from intimidating or bribing voters. They are also not allowed to use public funds for political campaign purposes.
In February 2012, Kathleen Sebelius, then Secretary of Health and Human services, attended a taxpayer funded campaign event in North Carolina. While participating in the event, Sebelius publicly endorsed Obama’s bid for re-election along with Walter Dalton’s bid for re-election as Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina.
According to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, (OSC), Sebelius violated the Hatch Act on more than one account. The OSC also states that an:
“Employee who violates the Hatch Act shall be removed from their position, and funds appropriated for the position from which removed thereafter may not be used to pay the employee or individual.”
There is a provision that offers an alternative to termination for violations of the Hatch Act. Those federal employees that aren’t appointed to their position by the president or approved by the Senate can be given a punishment that allows them to retain their position if:
“The Merit Systems Protection Board finds by unanimous vote that the violation does not warrant removal, a penalty of not less than a 30-day suspension without pay shall be imposed by direction of the board.”
But, Sebelius is a presidential appointee that was confirmed by the Senate, so she is not eligible for review by the Merit Systems Protection Board. President Obama has been informed by Special Counsel Carolyn Lerner that Secretary Sebelius:
“Violated the Hatch Act by making extemporaneous political remarks in a speech delivered in her official capacity.”
“The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election. A federal employee is permitted to make partisan remarks when speaking in their personal capacity, but not when using an official title or when speaking about agency business.”
“Secretary Sebelius and the Department of Health and Human Services reimbursed the U.S. government for all costs and expenses associated with her travel to the February 25, 2012, event. HHS subsequently reclassified the trip from official to political and issued a statement to that effect. OSC found no evidence that Secretary Sebelius made any other political statements in her official capacity.”
In October 2012, Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, appeared at a campaign event being held for Barack Obama in Montrose County, Colorado.
At the event, he was introduced as Secretary of the Interior before he told the audience:
“I am here to represent Barack Obama and to tell you he needs Montrose County this November. The truth is Colorado is right in the spotlight of the nation and the world in this election.”
A former associate counsel to President George Bush, Scott Coffina commented on Salazar’s violation, telling The Daily Caller:
“The violation is the use of his title in a political setting. You’re not allowed to use your official title or influence to affect the outcome of an election.”
“Technically they would both be subject to termination for what are very different violations, because the way the law is set up, the presumptive penalty is termination. I’m not saying that’s fair, but that’s the law.”
Americans for Prosperity in Colorado Deputy Director Sean Paige also commented on Salazar’s indiscretion saying:
“There seems to be a double standard, where if you’re just a run-of-the-mill government worker and you get caught politicizing the job, you get fired, but if you’re a Cabinet-level official and your boss is in a tight election, anything goes.”
Yet, nothing was ever made public about the two serious ethic infractions. None of the mainstream liberal media aired anything about the violations, unlike the constant barrage they are using to discredit Conway and Trump. Worse yet, nothing was ever done to either Obama Cabinet member in relation to their violation of the Hatch Act. Neither received any form of discipline. They both kept their jobs, their pay and never missed a day of work.
Obviously, the Hatch Act only applies to Republicans in Trump’s administration but did not apply to Democrats in Obama’s administration. Double standard?