WASHINGTON, D.C./Feb. 13, 2018 – The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) today issued Hatch Act social media guidance for federal employees in a clear, easy-to-understand format withreal world examples and a new quick reference tool. OSC also announced a 50-day suspension without pay of a U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee for partisan political Facebook postings while on duty, conduct that occurred shortly after the employee received Hatch Act training. Continue reading
For at least the second time this year, a Trump administration official has hit trouble via Twitter—and in this case it’s not the president himself.
Nikki Haley, the Trump ambassador to the United Nations, is the subject of a complaint filed with the Office of Special Counsel by the nonprofit Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington claiming a violation of the Hatch Act.
Haley, whose Twitter account has 369,000 followers and is labeled with her job title, last week retweeted a President Trump comment on the June 20 House election to fill the seat of Trump Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “Ralph Norman, who is running for Congress in SC’s 5th District, will be a fantastic help to me in cutting taxes,” Trump wrote to his 33 million followers on June 19. He added a second tweet in the string to say a Norman victory would also help with “getting greater border security and healthcare.”
Something we’ll probably be seeing a lot more of now that Donald Trump has been “elected” president- a pro-Trump radio station is targeting several postal workers for exercising their rights as American citizens.
Jerry Bader, a right wing radio talk show host in Sheboygan Wisconsin, posted this on his web site, in classic Trump “fake news” fashion: Continue reading
From the US Office of Special Counsel, the agency that enforces the Hatch Act:
A U.S. Postal Service employee in Colorado displayed a “Make America Great Again” – the slogan of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign – behind the desk at the post office. OSC contacted the postmaster of that facility and advised that the Hatch Act prohibited display of the sign. OSC confirmed that the sign was immediately removed from the post office.
Source: Office of Special Counsel
It’s election season (when is it not?) which means it’s time for the Hatch Act! From the Lancaster, Pennsylvania LNP:
Tomas Strouhal just wanted to openly support Donald Trump.
The 23-year-old Quarryville resident put a Trump bumper sticker on his 2003 Chrysler Sebring and hung up a newspaper clipping inside his locker at the Leola post office, where he works.
But Strouhal’s employer took issue with them. Citing the Hatch Act, which governs political activity by federal employees, his supervisor said the “Trump: Make America Great Again” bumper sticker must go if his car is parked in the post office parking lot.
Strouhal says he thinks it was his support of Trump that got him in trouble, and claims that “it’s caused his co-workers to treat him differently and have a general ‘attitude’ toward him”.
Strouhal says he’s hoping to vote for Trump in November, but there’s one slight problem.
Strouhal is not a US citizen.
The LNP story says he emigrated from the Czech Republic in 1997, and hopes to become a naturalized citizen by election day so he can vote for the notoriously anti-immigrant Trump.
The story doesn’t indicate whether or not Strouhal is aware of Trump’s opinion on foreigners coming to the US and taking “American” jobs, but his knowledge of his favorite candidate seems sketchy at best:
“(Trump) is not a politician,” Strouhal said. “He’s a normal, working-class American, and my views are just like his.”
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!