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Member since: Sun Jan 3, 2010, 01:16 AM
Number of posts: 2,918

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Was once a republican. long long ago, in a far, far away place. I apologize.

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USDA Secretary Violated Hatch Act With August Speech, Watchdog Finds

From. Govexec.com:

Secretary Sonny Perdue needs to reimburse the taxpayers for costs associated with the speech, Office of Special Counsel says.


Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue violated the Hatch Act when he gave an overtly political speech in August promoting President Trump’s reelection, the independent agency that oversees civil service law said on Thursday. The Hatch Act limits the political activity of government employees while on the job.

The watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington and a group of House Democrats filed complaints with the Office of Special Counsel regarding Perdue’s speech at an event in Mills River, North Carolina on August 24.

The speech was focused on the department’s multi-billion dollar program authorized by “The Families First Coronavirus Response Act,” which allows USDA to use appropriated funds to buy food directly from producers and then distribute it to food banks and nonprofits that are serving the millions in need during the pandemic.

“Mr. President, as you saw those throngs of people lining both sides of the road from the airport all the way to Mills River here, those were a part of those forgotten people that voted for you for 2016,” said Perdue during the speech. “And I’ve got better news for you: They and many others are going to vote for you for four more years in 2020. Because they understand, under your administration, they’ve not been forgotten. And this [Farmers to Families Food Box Program] is a great example of that.”


“Even in an administration that has racked up a record number of Hatch Act violations, it is still shocking to see a Cabinet secretary violate the law in such an egregious manner,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder in a statement on Thursday. “This administration has shown its lack of concern about these anti-democratic abuses, but it’s a good thing the Office of Special Counsel still values upholding this important law.”


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