Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Kellyanne Conway in Hot Seat for Alleged Hatch Violations, but Obama Officials Were Let Off the Hook

Hypocrisy runs deep in the swamp.
That statement is not profound or controversial.
But it’s still worth noting when situations arise that take over a news cycle. Certain narratives will dominate broadcasts, yet the establishment media will rarely admit that the same issue, in another time and place, was given little to no attention.
While one act may garner round-the-clock coverage on CNN in 2019, the same act might get hardly a mention in 2012.
I mean, I’m just throwing out hypothetical dates here. Surely swampy agencies and establishment media outlets wouldn’t treat people differently just because they are part of President Donald Trump’s administration.
Take for instance the Office of the Special Counsel. Not the one formerly run by special counsel Robert Mueller, but rather the federal agency that recently recommended counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway be fired for violating the Hatch Act.
The Hatch Act forbids federal employers from engaging in “political activity” while on duty or in the workplace.
“Political activity is activity that is directed at the success or failure of a political party, partisan political group, or candidate for partisan political office,” according to the OSC website.
The OSC recently penned a letter recommending that Conway be removed from office for repeatedly violating the Hatch Act on social media and in interviews with the news media by making disparaging statements about political candidates.
However, that same OSC failed to make any such recommendations when members of former President Barack Obama’s Cabinet were accused of violating the same law.
“Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Juli├ín Castro — violated the same law, and then-President Barack Obama never fired nor disciplined the top officials for the one-time judgments,” according to the Washington Examiner.
In fact, when the question of alleged Hatch violations came up, Obama defended his Cabinet members, the Examiner reported Tuesday.
The OSC claimed in 2012 that Sebelius “violated the Hatch Act’s prohibition against using official authority or influence to affect the results of an election,” but did not, as the agency did in Conway’s case, recommend that she be removed from office.
Similarly, the OSC found that Castro, now a 2020 presidential contender, violated the Hatch Act during the 2016 election by using his “official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election” when he “advocated for and against presidential candidates while appearing in his official capacity.”
The OSC investigation discovered that Castro “impermissibly mixed his personal political views with official government agency business.”
So in both those cases, you would imagine the OSC recommended that the Obama Cabinet members be removed, right? Well, you would be wrong. Twice.
In an ignorantly gutsy and very swampy statement, Castro even called for Conway to be fired over her alleged violations.
Castro said his Hatch violations were difference because he was really, really sorry that he did it.
“The difference between me and Kellyanne Conway is … instead of saying, ‘Look, I’m going to take these efforts to make sure that doesn’t happen again,’ she said, ‘To hell with that, I’m going to do it,’” Castro last week at a Fox News town hall, RealClearPolitics reported.
“She did the wrong thing,” Castro said. “And I support the Office of Special Counsel’s determination that because she repeatedly violated it, even though she was clearly told that it was a violation, that she should be removed from office.”
The fact remains that the OSC did not recommend that Castro or Sebelius be removed from office.
And no official action was taken against either official, despite the OSC’s findings.
Political communication is all too often predicated on the hope that Americans have short-term memory. Because sometimes, a jog down memory lane might take us by a swamp that certain folks don’t want us to remember even exists.

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