News Center

October 29th, 2010

Did AG Miller Violates Federal Hatch Act?

“The Hatch Act restricts the political activity of individuals principally employed by state, county, or municipal executive agencies who have duties in connection with programs financed in whole or part by federal loans or grants.

A covered employee may not use his official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the result of an election, or coerce or attempt to coerce covered employees to contribute anything of value to a person for political purposes.

When the Merit Systems Protection Board finds that a State or local employee has violated the Hatch Act and that the violation warrants removal of the employee, the employing agency must dismiss the employee or forfeit a portion of the federal funds, equal to two years’ salary of the employee. The employee may also not be reappointed to a state or local position in that state for the following eighteen (18) months.” SOURCE

Is it okay for an elected official who is covered by the Hatch Act to ask subordinate employees to help with his reelection campaign?

Answer: No. While elected officials are exempt from the candidacy prohibition of the Hatch Act, they are still subject to the other two prohibitions – the prohibitions against using one’s official authority to affect the result of an election and directly or indirectly coercing a state or local employee to make a political contribution. Because it is inherently coercive for a supervisor to ask a subordinate employee to contribute to a political cause, the Hatch Act would prohibit an elected official form asking subordinate employees to help or contribute to his reelection campaign.

Photo by Dave Davidson

Enhanced by Zemanta

About the Author

Craig Robinson
Craig Robinson is the founder and editor-in-chief of TheIowaRepublican.com, a political news and commentary site he launched in March of 2009. Robinson’s political analysis is respected across party lines, which has allowed him to build a good rapport with journalist across the country. Robinson has also been featured on Iowa Public Television’s Iowa Press, ABC’s This Week, and other local television and radio programs. Campaign’s & Elections Magazine recognized Robinson as one of the top influencers of the 2012 Iowa Caucuses. A 2013 Politico article sited Robinson and TheIowaRepublican.com as the “premier example” of Republican operatives across the country starting up their own political news sites. His website has been repeatedly praised as the best political blog in Iowa by the Washington Post, and in January of 2015, Politico included him on the list of local reporters that matter in the early presidential states. Robinson got his first taste of Iowa politics in 1999 while serving as Steve Forbes’ southeast Iowa field coordinator where he was responsible for organizing 27 Iowa counties. In 2007, Robinson served as the Political Director of the Republican Party of Iowa where he was responsible for organizing the 2007 Iowa Straw Poll and the 2008 First-in-the-Nation Iowa Caucuses. Following the caucuses, he created his own political news and commentary site, TheIowaRepublcian.com. Robinson is also the President of Global Intermediate, a national mail and political communications firm with offices in West Des Moines, Iowa, and Washington, D.C. Robinson utilizes his fundraising and communications background to service Global’s growing client roster with digital and print marketing. Robinson is a native of Goose Lake, Iowa, and a 1999 graduate of St. Ambrose University in Davenport, where he earned degrees in history and political science. Robinson lives in Ankeny, Iowa, with his wife, Amanda, and son, Luke. He is an active member of the Lutheran Church of Hope.




blog comments powered by Disqus