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An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities (90 hits)

Can someone tell me where in hell this came from? Mark Meadows says nobody gives a damn.
Posted By: Steve Williams
Wednesday, August 26th 2020 at 11:32AM
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Do the Democrats really want to talk about America's Number 1 Socialist just now?

Wednesday, August 26th 2020 at 11:44AM
Steve Williams
Widespread allegations that local Democratic Party politicians used employees of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) during the congressional elections of 1938 provided the immediate impetus for the passage of the Hatch Act. Criticism centered on swing states such as Kentucky,[6] Tennessee, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. In Pennsylvania, Republicans and dissident Democrats publicized evidence that Democratic politicians were consulted on the appointment of WPA administrators and case workers and that they used WPA jobs to gain unfair political advantage.[7] In 1938, a series of newspaper articles exposed WPA patronage, and political contributions in return for employment, prompting an investigation by the Senate Campaign Expenditures Committee, headed by Sen. Morris Sheppard, a Texas Democrat.[8]

Despite that investigation's inconclusive findings, many in both parties determined to take action against the growing power of the WPA and its chief administrator, Harry Hopkins, an intimate of President Franklin Roosevelt. The Act was sponsored by Senator Carl Hatch, a Democrat from New Mexico. At the time, Roosevelt was struggling to purge the Democratic party of its more conservative members, who were increasingly aligned with the administration's Republican opponents. The president considered vetoing the legislation or allowing it to become law without his signature, but instead signed it on the last day he could do so. His signing message welcomed the legislation as if he had called for it, and emphasized the protection his administration would provide for political expression on the part of public employees.[9]

Friday, August 28th 2020 at 12:54AM
Steve Williams
Federal officers and employees historically have been subject to certain limitations when engaging in partisan political activities. Although they have always retained their right to vote and privately express political opinions, for most of the last century, they were prohibited from being actively involved in political management or political campaigns. At the beginning of the 20th century, civil service rules imposed a general ban on voluntary, off-duty participation in partisan politics by merit system employees. The ban prohibited employees from using their “official authority or influence for the purpose of interfering with an election or affecting the result thereof.” These rules were eventually codified in 1939 and are commonly known as the Hatch Act.
By the late 20th century, such broad restrictions were seen as unnecessary due to other changes in the nature of the federal workforce, including the advent of a more independent and merit-based civil service and adoption of increased protections for employees against coercion and retaliation. Accordingly, the Hatch Act was significantly amended in 1993 to relax the broad ban on political activities, and now allows most employees to engage in a wide range of voluntary, partisan political activities in their free time, while away from the federal workplace. Some employees may be subject to additional restrictions depending on the employing agency or an employee’s specific position.
The nature of the federal workforce and work environment has continued to evolve since these amendments, and new issues have arisen for congressional consideration in recent years. In particular, the increased use of technology has raised questions about how email and mobile communications may be regulated under the Hatch Act. The increased availability and use of smartphones may be seen has blurring an employee’s time, either by using a personal device while working or using a government device while off-duty. Additionally, alternative work arrangements, for example, telework, have presented similar dilemmas in understanding how Hatch Act restrictions might be applied in the modern workplace.
This report examines the history of regulation of federal employees’ partisan political activity under the Hatch Act and related federal regulations. It discusses the scope of the application of these restrictions to different categories of employees and provides a background analysis of the general restrictions currently in place. Finally, it analyzes potential issues that have arisen and interpretations that have been offered related to the application of these restrictions to new platforms of activity, for example, email, social media, and telework.


Friday, August 28th 2020 at 1:15AM
Steve Williams
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