[ Sunday, September 23, 2012 ]
Somewhat off-topic: Politicizing HHS
Jeff [2:51 PM]
: I've noted before
(to the disgruntlement of some readers) a disturbing trend by HHS to politicize everything it does, from a continuous bombardment of press releases touting a purely political "benefits" of current administration policies to the use of Obama's personal political slogans in administration press releases. HHS should work for all of us, not for the president's political party. And yes, I'd say the same thing if a Republican was in the White House (so would the mainstream press, which doesn't really even pretend not to be partisan any more*).
Well, the politicization of HHS is complete, with the US Special Counsel ruling that Secretary Sebelius violated the Hatch Act
by turning what was supposed to be an official HHS presentation into a political rally, encouraging the audience that "we need to make sure that in November he continues to be president for another four years."
Of course, the Obama Administration will not censure her at all for it. Modern Healthcare reports that HHS did state that it had "reclassified the event as political and the US Treasury ws reimbursed for travel expenses." What about planning time and expenses by an untold number of HHS employees (I guarantee you Secretary Sebelius didn't travel alone to this event or make her own travel and logistics plans), who should be working for all of us, not Obama's reelection campaign? What about the attendees of the event, who may have been sent by employers who will spend for attending at official governmental events but not partisan campaign events? What of the nonprofit organization who put on the event? This event is now a partisan political event, and the expenditure by that nonprofit organization is now an illegal activity that violates its tax-exempt status.
* As further proof of this, when I went looking online for a link to the Sebelius Hatch Act violation, I noticed that the first several pages of Google when searching "Sebelius Hatch" were almost all right-leaning sources. Several pagers further, and still no "mainstream" sources other than Fox News. About entry 50 was Yahoo news. So I went to the NY Times website and searched [Sebelius "Hatch Act"] -- there's nothing there. The NY Times has reported
on a allegation of a Hatch Act violation -- by a Bush administration assistant US Attorney -- and complained that the Bush Administration routinely violated
the Hatch Act. . But an actual determination of a violation of the Hatch Act by a cabinet secretary? Crickets.
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