Saturday, January 29, 2011

Rove & Pals Routinely Broke The Law

Two years into the Obama Era, the Bush Era seems like an echo from a faraway galaxy, and while I for one will never forget how shameful this interlude in our presidential history was, stuff like this still has the capacity to shock:
After an exhaustive, three-year probe, featuring 100,000 document pages and interviews with 80 Bush administration officials, an independent oversight agency reports that the Bush team repeatedly and routinely broke the law by politicizing a slew of government agencies, making them subservient to the electoral needs of the White House. . . .

The federal Hatch Act, enacted in 1939, prohibits federal employees (who work for all taxpayers) from engaging in partisan politics while on the job. According to the Office of Special Counsel, the Bush administration broke this law at least 75 separate times. Among other things, the administration decreed that federal workers, during work hours, shall attend mandatory briefings, in which White House officials gave instructions on how they could help elect Republican candidates. The briefings featured PowerPoint slides detailing the 'GOP ground game,' the 'Republican offensive,' and the 'Republican defense' in key races nationwide. (The Bush team said these briefings were merely "informational discussions," but the OSC didn't fall for that one.) . . .

All told, at least 10 federal departments and agencies participated in the illegal behavior, including: Veterans Affairs, Transportation, Interior, Housing and Urban Development, Education, Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Energy, Small Business Administration, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The guy who headed the whole scheme was Bush's top political guru, Karl Rove. (I know, you're shocked. By the way, Rove surfaced for an interview on Fox News earlier this week, right after the report was publicly released. Fox host Jon Scott didn't ask the paid Fox contributor to comment on the report, because Scott took care not to mention the report at all.)
More here.

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