You many not remember Hans Von Spakovsky, but he served in George W. Bush’s Justice Department before being recess-appointed (over Democratic objections) to serve on the Federal Election Commission. Here is a refresher on why the Democrats didn’t want him overseeing federal elections:
Von Spakovsky’s tenure at the Justice Department was marked by a focus on voter eligibility and voter fraud. In 2005, he led the Department’s approval of a controversial Georgia law requiring voters to produce photo ID, despite strong objections from Justice Department staff that the law would disproportionately harm and disenfranchise African-American voters. Von Spakovksy subsequently acknowledged that he had written a law review article supporting such photo ID laws under the pseudonym “Publius”, prompting concerns that he should have recused himself from the Justice Department decision. The Georgia law was subsequently overturned by a federal judge, who compared it to a “Jim-Crow era poll tax”. During von Spakovsky’s tenure, more than half of the career Justice Department staff left the voting section in protest.
Okay, so that is about as bad a record as someone can create working in the Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department. More than anyone else, von Spakovsky is responsible for inventing the issue of voter fraud and instigating a nationwide effort to pass laws that are designed to disenfranchise disproportionally Democratic voters (usually racial minorities).
He was also a pain in the neck to work with.
A group of career Justice Department staff wrote a letter to the Senate arguing against von Spakovsky’s appointment [to the FEC], saying that he “played a major role in the implementation of practices which injected partisan political factors into decision-making on enforcement matters and into the hiring process, and included repeated efforts to intimidate career staff.”
In response to questioning from the Senate, von Spakovsky repeatedly asserted that he could not remember or recall his involvement in various controversial Justice Department decisions, drawing comparisons to the testimony of former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.
This is the main who just wrote the following at The Corner:
If there is any agency in the government where employees need to take extra steps in being nonpartisan and politically circumspect, it is the Federal Election Commission. The FEC is responsible for enforcing federal campaign-finance laws that involve one of the most sensitive areas of the First Amendment: political activity and political speech. In targeting candidates for investigation over possible violations of the law, the FEC must avoid even the appearance of acting in a partisan manner. I can’t think of a bigger black eye for the agency — or a more dangerous development — than having one of its own employees violate the Hatch Act for engaging in partisan political activity.
The gall of this man is planetary in size.