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August 17, 2007


Interesting to note that this reporting comes from McClatchy, not NYT, WaPo or [snicker] WSJ.

Have you sent KO a copy?

"Or Maybe It's the Hatch Act that Will Do Karl In??"

I've asked FDL a similar question last week, more or less as follows:

Who is the decider on Hatch Act prosecutions? What is the statue of limitations and can they be prosecuted after the ReThugs are gone? If GSA's Loan is still there, does it imply the MR. 'I am the decider' is the decider on all Hatch Act violations? Or is that only the case for Cabinet Officers? Who admonished and 'punished' Gore for his phone calls?

According to Christy, the answer to all but the last is we don't know. And she did not answer the Gore one. She said: Hatch violations are rare at this level, as most senior people know how to avoid these violations.

here is a line of research and reasoning that is calling for our EW as IANAL and she is as good as one or better.

Think of the way it will change the meaning of the word hatchling, and that just one pre-coffee snarky thought. I am sure your super astute readers will find more serious reasons to add this to your to do list.

which reminds me.
Did the borscht come out alright or better? If so,
What is your borscht recipe?

IIRC, the only remedy for Hatch Act violations is removal from office.

Penalties for Violating the Hatch Act

An employee who violates the Hatch Act shall be removed from their position, and funds appropriated for the position from which removed thereafter may not be used to pay the employee or individual. However, if the Merit Systems Protection Board finds by unanimous vote that the violation does not warrant removal, a penalty of not less than 30 days' suspension without pay shall be imposed by direction of the Board.


Maybe the Hatch Act should be beefed up.


yeah, and maybe (mine) pigs will fly over the White House.

Heather says, "If you retire, Pete, can I have your knee-pads?"

Up until recently, I've felt Ohio is hands-down the State most infested with Republican Corruption. After all, the State of Ohio may have 'outsourced' its 'Vote Counting Program' during the '04 Presidential Election to Rove's SmarTech/GovTech umbrella! Not to mention they've got Mean Jean and Boehner.

But - I'm changing my mind now! Any State that has a junior Congresswoman sprinkling Federal Grants like the Money Fairie at Campaigning Events, and a Senator pleading with the President for a political whack-job on a United States Attorney who's getting too close and won't play ball - now that's getting everyone swinging their truncheons in unison!

New Mexico: "Bush likes us best!"


windje is right--for civil Hatch Acts removal is the only option (and Karl and Goodling are therefore immune, which is one of the things I was suggesting in my first post on Karl--it would explain the resignation).

BUt there are also criminal Hatch Act violations. There is reason to believe the Iglesias (and probably McKay) firings had the intent of electoral advantage, and these rise to criminal Hatch Act violations, for which there is criminal punishment attached.

I'm not sure how that happens, though--whether the Merit Board has to recommend to the (Still a PATRIOT appoint) USA?

Jodi, will your pigs "maybe" fly when Tony Snow "maybe" resigns as WH press secretary?

Hatch Act provides for removal of violators?

So if a Dem gets elected in 2008, there may be a tool that can remove the Federalist Society/Regent law school flying monkeys who have infiltrated DoJ and the rest of government?

That sounds like good news to me!

Just a general comment--As legislative and executive campaigns become ever longer and more expensive, the temptation to harness federal agency projects and grants for political ends will comensurately grow. The current spike in [probable] violations is not an anomaly. It is simply the next step in american campaign strategy. Viewed one way, Rove has done us a favor. He has let us see the future, and he's shown it to us with enough time remaining to do something about it.

following on casual observer's post, Rove has shown us the way but I don't know if there is the will to stop it.

And speaking of money, do not ever forget that the Repubs are sitting on about half a billion (with a b) of funds from the settlement of the Soft Lumber dispute with Canada that has not been dispensed yet and the terms of who gets to say where the money goes exactly is not laid out. Given the croneyism that pervades this administration do any of you wonder if this would not be used as some sort of slush fund to swing votes in crucial areas?

The forgery business which must have aggrieved an aging DRather may have boosted his notorious drive into some hyper-gear. And, though ostensibly discredited and jobless, DRather provided a few days ago yet another slab of investigative videotape reporting from this time among other locales the Philippines, where, reading carefully, one begins to ask the questions a vote integrity group now is demanding congress review: it seems that some counties with improbably large failure rates of 2000 ballots had received the blank ballot decks of stiff cardboard from an outfit where a supervisor mandated workers create defective batches of ballots of a softer kind of cardboard, for shipment to selected counties in the US. These denatured ballots were perfect to create hanging chads, instead of the briskly popped out squares voters require if the ballot is to qualify for counting. It seems Rather got employees on videotape explaining how the defective ballot manufacture was anomalous and the result of a supervisor instruction mysteriously unexplained. Also, when the ballot blanks arrived at the printer yet another supervisor mysteriously forced photoengraving technicians to shift alignment outside of card reader specification tolerances, so these printed ballots, too, would disqualify in various ways, and votes would be lacking. Given KR's delight in matters electoral, one might wonder reasonably, if there was an attempt to corrupt ballots in the manufacturing and printing processes, whether KR had got wind of some plan to distribute those ballots creatively into precincts in which unobservant voting officials and a demographic of voters tilted toward the non-KR political party might use the defective ballots unwittingly. Yet, maybe the first time KR heard of such a plot was on television, like so many other amazed viewers four days ago. Then there was the 2004 election, but we know that caging experiment year in FL was in the news only because of an email accidentally sent to a vote watchdog instead of to a co-conspirator, with an ExcelAttachment file named 'caging'; yet, for all the hype in these tales, there is the fluorish of riposte provided by TGriffin who asserts the fantastic proportions of the ostensible plot were fabricated from WholeCloth. If all these new midterm displacement appointee US attys are known for avid pursuit of problems with elections, maybe one of the elite new group of US attorneys will see the DRather revelations thru to some kind of expose, of the variety that imposes penalties on the organized folks who opted to divert ordinary voting into some kind of illicit way to influence political outcomes. The proportions of the defective ballot scam, though, appear to be the kind of crime that is easy to prove and prosecute. With respect to the Hatch Act, alternatively, it will be interesting to see how the numerous investigations interleave; at a minimum, a white whale slide in the motivational lecture could serve as an encomium to KR's efforts on behalf of the hodgepodge which was the R-Party during his tenure in the WH. Timing the investigations becomes meaningful when matching the accelerated primary calendar and the noncampaign nonFundRaising website of a certain former US senator R-TN. Yet, we are approaching in a few months a time when there will be only expired and recess appointment termholders occupying the FEC, an outfit whose input into evaluating electoral matters might be essential, but less authoritative given the president's predilection for ignoring many brands of due process in populating such entities. So it might be Hatch Act pecadilloes which sum the greatest tally of offenses earliest, after all.

John, did Dan Rather mention which states got the ballot cards in question. Reason I ask is because it is usually quicker and easier for a question to be brought in State Court on matters like this, and both the Democratic Party and individual voters probably would have standing to bring the matter up. For the most part, election law is state law.

Here in Minnesota candidates and parties have access to inspect the printing process, and the Secretary of State is obligated to inform them as to the place and time of the printing. We also have state law requiring the Union Bug be on all ballots, and of course they must use a very local printer. Mary Kiffmeyer tried to get that changed, but both the courts and the legislature told her to forget it -- just follow the law.

Sara, All I had was the new link on Brad Friedman's blog provided by the guest journalist there, John Gideon of Voters Unite. It seemed like a matter requiring discovery in the legal sense, and one which Rather would have vetted meticulously before airing the half dozen interviews of witnesses. Although too early for a catharsis, is appears to some degree a denouement: how the minority presidency of 2000 elections happened. I am willing to wait for the formal fact-finding, as there gets to be a lot of hyperbole at news stories such as this at their inception. I would guess if there are a sprinkling of superb elections officials, many of the best will support tracing the first bit of investigative journalism, so that, like electronic voting device programming code archival in bonded premises, the manufacture of legacy cardboard ballots would become a more closely regulated process, essentially one which would become impervious to forgeries, which is what Rather seems to have discovered. For the time being, I have yet to configure RealTime video on the workstation, so, have had no access to the actual television program; I work exclusively with sites that utilize the format Macromedia employs, FlashPlayer. Sorry to have returned your comment so late, as I am moonlighting on a second job and am remiss in correspondences, and these live conversations. I am glad you referenced Kiffmeyer; I helped a local official's campaign, and will forward the Gideon/Friedman link to her crew for followup.

Sara, Friedman has appeared in St. Louis this week; a local newspaper's article reporting Friedman's talk includes a blog thread in which a contributor provides the following link to the Rather video link page: http://www.hd.net/drr227.html
Also somewhere at the HD site is an assortment of materials from the Rather program including one transcript, as well as disclaimer notifications sent by manufacturers responding to the content of the video. I think the story is followable equally as well at bradblog.com as it is a tale he has followed for several years, to my knowledge.

S, here is the hd page with the links to the 5 Rather documents associated with that video, http://www.hd.net/drr_227_docs.html

S, check there for update.

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