Friday, June 20, 2008
Leave no campaign law unbroken
That would seem to be the unofficial motto of the Old Fart's campaign. We all know about his violations of the public finance law in the primary season. Now he is flapping off to Canada to take part in a violation of the Hatch Act and probably a few other laws, too.
A Canadian newspaper reported Thursday that Friday's scheduled $100-a-plate luncheon speech by Sen. John McCain in Ottowa was organized in part by U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins, a former South Carolina lawmaker whom President Bush appointed in 2005.No law can stop him. The Old Fart is really just a chip off the old Bush.
Democrats pointed out the article late Thursday night, and alleged that Wilkins's actions could be construed as a violation of the Hatch Act, which prohibits many kinds of political activities by government employees.
The Hatch Act circumscribes political activity for government employees. According to the American Foreign Service Association Web site, the State Department's ethics office prohibits fundraising activities for its presidential appointees.
The Web site for the association prints Cable No. 035610, the guidelines from the ethics division of the Department of State Legal Adviser's Office.
"In particular, you may not sell tickets for or otherwise promote fundraising activites such as political dinners for a partisan candidate or political committee," the cable says.It adds that the rules are for anyone "on duty," and that "the legislative history suggests that ambassadors may be considered to be on duty twenty-four hours a day while they are at post."
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