White House admits holding political briefings

In yet another flagrant example of the Bush Administration’s blatant ignorance of the law, the White House has admitted it conducted some 20 briefings for federal employees on the election prospects of Republican candidates.

Such actions violate both the Hatch act and other specific federal laws that prohibit White House officials from conducted political business on official time.

As in the past, the official White House line is that they broke no law while their attitude is "so what?"

Reports The Associated Press:

The White House acknowledged Thursday it has conducted about 20 briefings for federal employees on the election prospects of Republican candidates — the sort of meetings that have led to an investigation into administration political activity.

An independent investigative unit, the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, this week began a probe into a presentation by Bush aide J. Scott Jennings to political appointees at the General Services Administration. At issue is whether the January session violated the federal Hatch Act, which bars federal employees from engaging in political activities with government resources or on government time.

The Office of Special Counsel, led by Scott Bloch, is in charge of enforcing the Hatch Act. At the same time, Bloch himself is being investigated by the Bush administration on separate matters, including his enforcement of the Hatch Act.

White House spokesman Scott Stanzel said briefings were held at other federal agencies besides the GSA, for a total of about 20 — most in 2006 and a couple in 2007. They were conducted by White House political director Sara Taylor or Jennings, her deputy. It had been known that other briefings had been held, but not how many.

Others were held in previous years as well, but Stanzel said the White House hasn’t kept a count of how many.

Bush spokeswoman Dana Perino said no laws were broken and that the White House counsel’s office signed off on the effort.

"It’s not unlawful and it wasn’t unusual for informational briefings to be given," Perino said. "There is no prohibition under the Hatch Act of allowing political appointees to talk to other political appointees about the political landscape in which they are trying to advance the president’s agenda."

She added: "These briefings were not inappropriate, they were not unlawful, they were not unethical."

Some Democrats beg to differ.

They have alleged that at the end of the January presentation at GSA, Administrator Lurita Doan asked all present to consider how they could use the agency to "help our candidates" in 2008. They also question whether the PowerPoint demonstration Jennings used violated the Hatch Act.

At the same time that Bloch is investigating the White House, the Bush administration is investigating Bloch for his handling of Hatch Act cases — as well as a complaint filed against Bloch by a group of career Office of Special Counsel employees and four public interest groups.

The complaint alleges that Bloch created a hostile work environment with retaliatory acts against his employees. It states that 12 career employees were involuntarily reassigned because they were believed to have been involved in whistle-blowing. The complaint, being handled by the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general, also alleges that Bloch did not enforce bans against discrimination based on sexual orientation in the federal work place.

16 Responses to "White House admits holding political briefings"

  1. mojibyrd  April 27, 2007 at 1:37 pm

    Why oh why is the american public other than being completely disgusted with this administration not demanding change from their elected officials….why is the american public just allowing this type of flagrant abuse of the countries laws continue on a daily basis…why is the american public allowing their freedoms to slowly be dwindled away…why our the democrats sitting on their asses doing nothing, nothing, nothing that they were elected to do….why is bush not being impeached and the so-called greatest nation on earth getting back to the elevated status they have let slip away.

    Impeach Bush Now!! So a true american patriot such as Ron Paul can have an opportunity to actually earn the countries votes and trust to run this country.

  2. Boots  April 27, 2007 at 1:52 pm

    I don’t think it’s so much “blatant ignorance” of the law on the part of the Blight House that makes them do what they do. The SOBs just don’t give a damn, that’s what makes them a gang of sociopath’s. And that’s why they should all be run out of Washington on a rail.

  3. SEAL  April 27, 2007 at 11:14 pm

    They are afraid to Impeach. The don’t know what Bush would do. He is so goddamned arrogant and power mad he is liable to do anything. The only way they would impeach is if the American people would come out and start raising hell like they did about Vietnam. As it is, they are not sure they would have the public support.

    We need a spark to set the people off.

  4. SEAL  April 28, 2007 at 2:38 am

    Apparently there will be one thing after another until this bunch of clowns is out of power. Today, another bush loyalist appointee, one serving under Secretary of State Rice, was exposed using call girls from the infamous DC Madam that was busted recently and is making good her threat to expose high level officials. This one resigned.

    Quote:
    Friday evening, the State Department put out a statement announcing Tobias’ resignation, saying he “informed Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice today that he must step down as Director of U.S. Foreign Assistance and U.S. Agency for International Development Administrator effective immediately.” Unquote.

    Tobias said he used the sevice to have girls come to his condo to give him massages but there was no sex. I’m sure his wife will believe that.

  5. TRUTH 101  April 28, 2007 at 11:13 am

    My opinion is they won’t impeach because they KNOW they have a CASE…a damn good one against BUSH, CHENEY, probably Rice, certainly Rumsfeld, although he’s gone and Gonzalas certainly.

    I think the real problem is that IF they decided to go after them, they WOULD get them and a trial would soon follow and I am positive a conviction after that.

    THAT WOULD BE A FIRST and the Legacy of this Congress and NONE of them in either party want that Albatross around their necks as a legacy.

    Both parties KNEW they would never in a million years get Clinton so it was full steam ahead and of course a COLLOSAL waste of time. They do that well. Agree ??

  6. Razor  April 26, 2007 at 9:11 pm

    Gee Whiz, I’m so shocked that they would do such a thing! Not this administration! I guess they didn’t recall that it is prohibited. Where did I hear that word lately, recall? Sure is a lot of memory loss on the hill. Must be something in the water. Or nothing in the heart. Or something in the pocket. Maybe all of the above.

  7. gene  April 27, 2007 at 5:34 am

    Who’s full of bullshit? Well lets start with our favorite candidate or should I say the winner….Bush himself and its downhill from their. I have said it before and I will say it again. These people are murderers, liers, power crazed ego maniacs and the leader of this bunch of criminals wants the black gold (oil) that is in Iraq.

    Nothing and I mean nothing surprises me anymore concering this white house gain.
    Makes you wonder what they are up too now since they have become the biggest joke here and around the world.

  8. KayInMaine  April 27, 2007 at 8:14 am

    …the outright lies and criminal activities being committed by this White House everyday for the past seven years! Disgusting!

    And what about the RNC and Ken Blackwell (Ohio’s Sec. of State) on the night of the 2004 presidential election? It appears that there was 6 hours where the voting went offline and it appears the RNC servers were involved in fixing this election over night when Americans slept!

    George W. Bush has never been elected by the American people since 2000. Sick. Arrest him and Cheney for committing a soft coup of our nation!

    http://www.whitenoiseinsanity.wordpress.com

  9. Electric Bill  April 27, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Like Razor, I’m shocked, simply shocked, at this behavior, and like KayinMaine, I am weary of the many crimes committed by this administration and the republiKLAN party. This almost seems like a minor jab from the people who brought us yellowcake, WMD, legalized torture, and all the other crimes that will be forever associate with George W. Bush and his Gang of Four (W, Cheney, Condi, and Rummy. But its the small stuff that puts these white collar hoodlums in the joint. It’s always the cover-up.They all should be in prison, but I’m not holding my breath. I just hope now we can get rid of them in 08 and have a peaceful transition without a coup or another staged terrorist incident. They will stop at nothing to hold power, but that’s hardly a revelation.

  10. Steve Horn  April 27, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Well surprize, surprize, surprize!!!

    Imagine … the members of the current administration disregarding the law of the land – well – as in their minds they ARE the law of the land, why not?

    May I ask, where is the call for impeachement? Where are the congressional hearings into wrongdoing? When will the hot foul wind blowing from the halls of congress shift to the sweet winds of justice?

    Peace

    Steve

  11. Roadapple00  April 27, 2007 at 10:16 am

    Just like all the rest of the criminals in the US today. They have more rights than the victims. In this case, the victims are the US people.

  12. TRUTH 101  April 27, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Roger on all the above…BUT REMEMBER what our new Congressional Leader has said

    Impeachment of George W. Bush and any of the other criminals ,,,REAL CRIMINALS is

    OFF THE TABLE !!!

    I personally think that they see that anything any Congress PERSON does in either party from now on to enrich themselves or defy the laws of a once great nation it will all pale and receive no attention.

    THEY ALL PLAN TO DO THEIR PART TO GET THEIR PART.

    IMO this is why impeachment is off the table

  13. Steve Horn  April 27, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Impeachment is off the table because Pelousy doesn’t have the strength of conviction to bring the hearings. She’s more concerned (as are most representatives and senators) about being re-elected than doing what’s right for America.

    This is not the system the framers of our constitution envisioned – I suppose that in the wake of the fight to be independent from England they couldn’t imagine a society as self centered and greed ridden as what’s evolved in the years since their passing.

    Those patriots risked and sacrificed EVERYTHING to establish the United States of America – if the revolution had failed they’d have been hanged as traitors by the King – yet our current crop of “leaders” is content to sit back and risk NOTHING and allow this once brilliant system to implode under an unsustainable load of greed and bullshit.

    How they can look in the mirror when they brush their teeth – I’ll never understand.

    Peace

    Steve

  14. JudyB  April 27, 2007 at 11:10 am

    The shock will come when I read this administration has done something honorable and admirable…….. and folks it ain’t gunna happen in this lifetime. Bombard your elected officials and Pelosi to put impeachment on the priority list of things to do!

  15. Steve Horn  April 27, 2007 at 1:22 pm

    JudyB wrote “The shock will come when I read this administration has done something honorable and admirable” – then prepare for a good nights sleep …. the chances of this administration, at this late date, doing anything honorable are nearly as good as having a stimulating and exciting 8AM statistics lecture.

  16. Bill Jonke  April 27, 2007 at 12:24 pm

    no alternative at this late date, considering bush’s staunch promise of a veto, but to impeach and convict.

    The soon to be lily-livered Congress actually does have another recourse, but they refuse to use it.

    Cmon Pelosi! Show us you’re not a California Turnip!

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