Ever hear of the Hatch Act? It’s basically a law that prevents doing partisan politics on company time if you are a federal employee. Are Congressmen and senators considered Federal employees?

Seems to me that this Hatch Act is broken all the time.

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 MSPB 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.

Political Activity (Hatch Act)

The following is a discussion of restrictions on political activity by federal government employees, and by employees of certain state and local government agencies, under the Hatch Act. You will find information on:

Hatch Act for Federal Employees

Permitted/Prohibited Activities for Employees Who May Participate in Partisan Political Activity
Agencies/Employees Who Are Prohibited From Engaging in Partisan Political Activity
Permitted/Prohibited Activities for Employees Who May Not Participate in Partisan Political Activity
Hatch Act Regulations
Penalties for Violating the Hatch Act
Advisories for Federal Employees
Frequently Asked Questions and Answers for Employees Who May Engage in Partisan Political Activity
Hatch Act for State and Local Employees

Permitted Activities
Prohibited Activities
Penalties for Violating the Hatch Act
Advisories for State and Local Employees
OSC Role

Advisory Opinions
How to File a Complaint Alleging a Violation of the Hatch Act
 Permitted/Prohibited Activities for Employees Who May Participate in Partisan Political Activity

These federal and D.C. employees may-

be candidates for public office in nonpartisan elections  
register and vote as they choose
assist in voter registration drives
express opinions about candidates and issues
contribute money to political organizations
attend political fundraising functions
attend and be active at political rallies and meetings
join and be an active member of a political party or club
sign nominating petitions
campaign for or against referendum questions, constitutional amendments, municipal ordinances
campaign for or against candidates in partisan elections
make campaign speeches for candidates in partisan elections
distribute campaign literature in partisan elections
hold office in political clubs or parties
These federal and D.C. employees may not-

use official authority or influence to interfere with an election
solicit or discourage political activity of anyone with business before their agency
solicit or receive political contributions (may be done in certain limited situations by federal labor or other employee organizations)
be candidates for public office in partisan elections
engage in political activity while:
on duty
in a government office  
wearing an official uniform
using a government vehicle  
wear partisan political buttons on duty

Agencies/Employees Prohibited From Engaging in Partisan Political Activity

Employees of the following agencies (or agency components), or in the following categories, are subject to more extensive restrictions on their political activities than employees in other Departments and agencies:

Administrative Law Judges (positions described at 5 U.S.C. § 5372)
Central Imagery Office
Central Intelligence Agency
Contract Appeals Boards (positions described at 5 U.S.C. § 5372a)
Criminal Division (Department of Justice)
Defense Intelligence Agency
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Federal Elections Commission
Merit Systems Protection Board
National Security Agency
National Security Council
Office of Criminal Investigation (Internal Revenue Service)
Office of Investigative Programs (Customs Service)
Office of Law Enforcement (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms)
Office of Special Counsel
Secret Service
Senior Executive Service (career positions described at 5 U.S.C. § 3132(a)(4))


OSC Hatch Act

Apparently Tom Delay was notified of this violation back on October 6, 2004.

Letter to Delay from Ranking Minority Leader

The bases of these Committee determinations are as follows.

            Your actions regarding the energy company golf fundraiser at The Homestead resort on June 2-3, 2002.  With regard to the solicitation and receipt of campaign contributions, the Committee has clearly stated that a Member may not make any solicitation that may create even an appearance that, because of a contribution, a contributor will receive or is entitled to either special treatment or special access to the Member in his or her official capacity.  This point is made on p. 34 of the Campaign Activity booklet that the Committee issued in December 2001.[1]  In the same vein, a Member should not participate in a fundraising event that gives even an appearance that donors will receive or are entitled to either special treatment or special access.

On the basis of the information before the Committee, the Committee concluded that your participation in and facilitation of the energy company golf fundraiser at The Homestead resort on June 2-3, 2002 is objectionable in that those actions, at a minimum, created such an improper appearance.  As a general matter, fundraisers directed to a particular industry or to others sharing a particular federal interest are permissible, and at such events Members are free to talk about their record and positions on issues of interest to the attendees.  In addition, of course, a Member has no control over what the donors at a fundraising event spontaneously say to or ask of the Member with regard to their legislative interests.  Nevertheless, there are a number of considerations regarding this particular fundraiser that make your participation in and facilitation of the fundraiser objectionable under the above-stated standards of conduct.

In particular, there was the timing of the fundraiser, i.e., it took place just as the House-Senate conference on major energy legislation, H.R. 4, was about to get underway.  Indeed, one of the communications between organizers of the fundraiser that you provided to us – an e-mail of May 30, 2002 from Mr. Maloney to Mr. Perkins that notes the legislative interests of each of the attendees – includes a specific reference to the conference.  That legislation was of critical importance to the attendees.  In addition, there was the fact that you were in a position to significantly influence the conference, both as a member of the House leadership and, by action taken about a week and a half after the fundraiser, your appointment as one of the conferees.

            In view of these considerations, other aspects of the fundraiser that would have been unobjectionable otherwise had the effect, in these specific circumstances, of furthering the appearance that the contributors were receiving impermissible special treatment or access.  One of these aspects was the presence at the fundraiser of two of your key staff members from your leadership office: Jack Victory, who handled energy issues, and your office counsel, Carl Thorsen.  In addition, there were the limited number of attendees, and the fact that the fundraiser included several events at a resort over a two-day period, both of which facilitated direct contact with you and your congressional staff members.

I guess my question is, who the hell is the responsible party that enforces the law? The Rule of Law, what ever it is now a days is becoming a real joke. Can the citizens of America make citizen arrests any more? If so, what is stopping us?