A federal agency is reporting that officials in President George W. Bush's White House improperly conducted political briefings on government property, and encouraged employees to get involved in campaigns, meaning that taxpayers footed the bill for political activity.From the report:
"As the 2006 election drew nearer, OPA (the White House Office of Political Affairs) became a partisan political organization," reported the Office of Special Counsel, an advisory agency that reviews applications of the federal Hatch Act.
OSC cannot pinpoint with certainty the period of time during which OPA rose to the level of a "political boiler-room" during the Bush II administration.You can read the report here.
However, OPA engaged in a significant amount of political activity during the 2006 midterm election cycle, such as: conducting partisan political briefings for agency personnel; developing and managing lists of targeted Republicans in upcoming elections; coordinating the travel of high-level agency political appointees to events with targeted Republican campaigns; interfacing and strategizing with the RNC, NRCC, and other political groups; suggesting participation in 72-hour deployment efforts; tracking the results of such volunteer efforts; and tracking money raised at fundraisers attended by administration officials.
OPA employees should avoid engaging in political activities to prevent it from transforming from an official government office into a partisan political operation. Foremost, individuals employed by a political party or partisan political group should never be permitted to operate out of government offices.
Granted, using government offices for partisan politicking isn't a war crime (like torture) or probably even an impeachable offence (like circumventing the FISA courts or outing a CIA agent) but it's still against the law.
Too bad justice in DC is so quick that:
Hatch Act penalties call for violators, at most, to be removed from their government positions, so the report would appear to have no impact now that the Bush administration has been out of office for two years.How many times did we hear in the late 90s that "no one is above the law."
Looks like the Bush Administration was. Or at least they acted like it.