The Young TurksWill the Hatch Act Finally Get Rove?Fri Apr 27, 2007 20:24
Scott Bloch, U.S. Special Counsel
Scott Bloch, U.S. Special Counsel talks about Hatch Act - what political activities federal employees can and cannot do. Also, whistle-blowers, and other laws that apply to federal employees & current investigations being conducted by the Office of Special Counsel.
4/27/2007: WASHINGTON, DC: 58 min.
Who We Are
The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is an independent federal investigative and prosecutorial agency. Our basic authorities come from three federal statutes, the Civil Service Reform Act, the Whistleblower Protection Act, and the Hatch Act.
• Born: 1958 New York City
• Married, 7 children
• B.A., 1980; J.D. 1986, U. of Kan.
• Practiced law in Lawrence Kan., 1986-2001
• Assoc. Dir., Dep. Dir. and Counsel, Task
Force for Faith-Based Initiatives, 2001-2003
• Nominated by Pres. Bush to office of Special
Counsel, 26 June 2003
Results 1 - 20 of about 1,010 for Special Counsel Scott Bloch
Will the Hatch Act Finally Get Rove?
Posted Apr 27th 2007 10:48AM by Cenk Uygur
Filed under: Politics, Scandal, Elections, George Bush, Young Turks, Republicans, GOP
I'm already on the record as saying that violations of the Hatch Act is what's finally going to do in Karl Rove (I'm sorry, according to some, I didn't say that, I "hyperventilated" it). I don't know if it will be because of the Office of Special Counsel investigation that was recently opened. Some have suggested that there is reason to have a healthy skepticism of that particular investigation (I'll reserve judgment and see what they actually do).
But I do know this -- Karl Rove's office violated the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act prohibits the use of federal resources from being used for partisan purposes. Rove's office set up 20 briefings with 15 different federal agencies to make them aware of Republican electoral prospects in the midterm elections. They showed these government agencies which districts the Republican needed help in and which districts the Democrats were vulnerable in.
Why? Why would the Department of Education have to know which districts have close elections? Will that effect which students need to be educated in that district? I guess it depends on your definition of "education."
Why does the Department of Homeland Security have to know where the Republican Congressmen need help? Would those districts be in greater need of security? Of course not. The only conceivable reason to let them know is so that they can direct federal resources to those districts to help the Republican party win elections. And that is clearly illegal.Remember, this is our tax dollars. Why would any conservative or liberal or any American at all want their tax dollars spent helping one political party over another? Would conservatives be comfortable with a Democratic administration that turns all of the federal agencies into political machines that help them lock up their offices for good? No, of course not. That would be outrageous. And what Rove did here is exactly that.
Now, here we go -- here comes the attack from a conservative blogger who is going to tell me that I am doing some heavy breathing and that you should look away because this is all perfectly innocent. Predictably, they will pull out some Bill Clinton or Jimmy Carter or James Polk administration misdeed that they will say is comparable and that it is no big deal. Nothing to see here folks, look away, go about your business.
To all of you rational folks who value your tax dollars, let me ask you two questions. 1) Are you really comfortable with the federal government spending your money to win elections for one party over another when they are supposed to be spending it on protecting you and providing services? 2) Do you really believe that Rove's office did these power point presentations on tight Congressional races for these government agencies and didn't expect them to help Republicans in those races?
Why else would they even tell them? What would be the point? How does it help the Department of Health and Human Services to do their job to know anything about vulnerable Democratic seats? You know the answer. Even if you are the most hard right-wing guy on the planet, you know exactly what's going on here. The whole point of doing these presentations is to encourage all of these departments to find ways to spend federal resources to help Republicans win seats.
You can read more of the details in this Washington Post article on which departments they contacted, what "information" they presented and how it might be a violation of the Hatch Act. By the way, it's not the job of a journalist to declare Rove and his deputies guilty. They bring us the facts and we can draw our own conclusions. And there should be thorough investigations before anyone takes action against Rove's office.
But I am not a reporter or a Congressman. Damn it Jim, I'm a doctor, not a journalist. Sorry, I channeled Bones there for a second. I'm a commentator and my job is to point out the obvious conclusions that the facts lead us to.
I understand that the jury acquitted OJ. But you know and I know, OJ is guilty. No court of law has ever said Dick Cheney picked the intelligence he wanted to start the Iraq War, but you know and I know that he wanted to start the Iraq War and he did whatever he needed to. And Rove's fate has not been settled here, but you know and I know he directed those federal agencies to help Republicans win elections. That's illegal and that should be the end of him.
The flip side to that is, you know and I know that whenever it should be the end of Rove, it usually isn't. So, stay tuned.
The Young Turks
GOOGLE NEWS: HATCH ACT
Special counsel comments on probes
WASHINGTON (AP) - The head of the U.S. Office of Special Counsel says he sees nothing wrong with the fact he's investigating the White House at the same time the White House is investigating him.
Scott Bloch says "one has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the other."
Bloch's office is in charge of enforcing the Hatch Act. That law bars federal employees from engaging in political activities with government resources or on government time.
His office is investigating a presentation given by a White House aide to political appointees at the General Services Administration. At the same time, Bloch himself is being investigated by the Bush administration on separate matters, including his enforcement of the Hatch Act.
In an interview with the Washington Journal on C-SPAN, Bloch says investigations are to be expected in Washington, where critics abound. He says he continues to do his job in an independent, non-partisan way.
SCOTT BLOCK, U.S. SPECIAL COUNSUL
C-SPAN JOURNAL 4/27/07
WATCH: 58 MINUTES...
OFFICE OF SPECIAL COUNSUL
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