An Illinois mail handler has been fired after he ignored warnings that his campaigns for partisan political office violated the Hatch Act. Marcus Lewis, who worked at the Carol Stream IL processing plant, ran twice for the seat formerly held by Jesse Jackson Jr- first in the 2012 general election, and again in the 2013 special election that was called after Jackson resigned his office.
Lewis, a Republican, claimed he had no knowledge of the Hatch Act provision that prohibits most federal employees from competing in partisan elections- despite repeated warnings from the USPS and the Justice Department that he needed to choose between withdrawing from the election, or resigning his job. While Lewis ran as an independent, the elections were considered partisan, making them off-limits to federal workers.
In the 2012 general election, Lewis actually got 40,000 votes- but he was far behind both Jackson, and the official GOP candidate, getting just 13.5% of the vote. What little support he had mostly evaporated in the special election, when he recorded just 1,345 votes, or 1.6%, trailing even the Green Party nominee.
Not surprisingly for a failed GOP politician, Lewis has responded to the loss of his postal job by running to Fox News, which has proclaimed him a true folk hero. The network is attempting to compare Lewis’s firing to the suspension handed out to an IRS worker accused of political activities on the job, ignoring the simple fact that the IRS employee admitted that he had violated the law, and accepted his punishment, while Lewis still claims to be above the law. (Fox also conveniently fails to mention that the law Lewis violated is the 2012 update of the Hatch Act, passed by the GOP controlled House).
Lewis may also consider himself above reality- faced, he says, with the need for a job to support his family, he’s decided to- what else?- run for Congress again!