The LAW THE HATCH ACT 1993 REFORMS 5 CFR Part 734.
FACTORS “Partisan Political Office” Public Office. “Partisan Political Office” Public Office. Partisan Political Activity Actions aimed at. Partisan Political Activity Actions aimed at. Employee Status: Employee Status: (1) Career SES and equivalents No. (2) Most of us: N-C SES & Sch. CMaybe. (3) PAS officials. Participation in Official Capacity: Participation in Official Capacity: (1) N-C SES & Sch. C No. (2) PAS officials. Yes. * Detailees to Congress—Still covered. Detailees to Congress—Still covered.
CAVEAT: APPROPRIATED FUNDS No one may use appropriated funds in connection with partisan political activity. Most of us: No participation on official time & dime. PAS:Political travel accounting. Long distance calls.
“Partisan Political Office” Public office Any candidate nominated or elected represents a party Any of whose candidates for Pres. elector received votes in 2004
Individual per election: $2,000 Individual aggregate: $37,500 National party committee: $25,000 State party committee: $10,000 Annual Political Contribution Limits (McCain-Feingold secs.102 and 308) Individual per election: $2,000 Individual aggregate: $37,500 National party committee: $25,000 State party committee: $10,000
Contributions Defined Money/anything of value To influence Federal election. Donated Items and Services. Fundraising Tickets and Items. Loans. Support to “Test the Waters.”
NON-PARTISAN CAVEAT Standards of Conduct also may apply: Non-Hatch fundraising = soliciting gifts Misuse of title.
GENERAL RULES Use Government equipment, supplies, resources, personnel, or time. NON-PAS EMPLOYEES MAY NOT: Emails. Circulating newsclips. Teleworking—even 1 dime. Blogs & wikipedia. Writing speeches for PASs. Arranging political travel. Employee Assn. bulletin boards—not protected.
ON DUTY / AT WORK: Active Campaign rule: -- Buttons/emblems -- Posters -- Bumper stickers GOV POV -- Used for work. -- Parking Lot.
You Make the Call: Spot the Hatch Act bumper sticker issue: Spot the Hatch Act bumper sticker issue: Car with 20 Bush/Cheney ’04 Stickers parked in front of the Whitten Building. Car with 20 Bush/Cheney ’04 Stickers parked in front of the Whitten Building. Car with 1 “John McCain” sticker driven by FSA SED for official business in AZ. Car with 1 “John McCain” sticker driven by FSA SED for official business in AZ. Car with sticker for an independent candidate for race for school board in Chevy Chase. Car with sticker for an independent candidate for race for school board in Chevy Chase.
NO RUN Nominee or candidate. Testing the waters —signatures, petitions, funds, announcement, campaign committee. Non-partisan elections. Crossfiling. Local Elections 5 CFR Part 733. [Any candidate. Last Minute!] VA, MD, but not DC!
When does nonpartisan become partisan? Candidate: Candidate: Seeks & receives party endorsement (unsolicited/unused is OK). Seeks & receives party endorsement (unsolicited/unused is OK). Advertises party endorsement. Advertises party endorsement. Uses party resources. Uses party resources. Identifies with a party. Identifies with a party. Other evidence that partisan politics entered the candidate’s campaign. Other evidence that partisan politics entered the candidate’s campaign.
NO FUN(draising) SOLICIT, ACCEPT, RECEIVE: Not dependent on use of title. Phone Banks-Anonymity irrelevant. Includes uncompensated volunteer services from subordinates.
Attendance OK Speaking OK Endorsement OK FUNDRAISING EVENTS BUT: NO SOLICITATION NO TITLE
FUNDRAISERS & THE PAS Keep the PAS clear of $$$. Invitations: No title; “Honorable.” PAS’s name & $$– separate page. Check website. Clear with the Office of Ethics.
Use of Title?? You Make the Call Undersecretary for Food Safety, USDA? Undersecretary at USDA? A Cabinet member? USDA Political Appointee? Federal employee serving the President? In DC, serving the Administration? Undersecretary Smith can be introduced as:
OK. So, what can I do? [In my personal time, of course.]
ACTIVE PARTICIPATION HOWEVER: Not through PAS Supervisor. VOLUNTEERING: Literature. Phone & personal canvassing Mailings Petitions Serving as Poll watcher. Recruit Volunteers Get out the Partisan Vote.
CAMPAIGNING & PARTY MANAGEMENT Party Officer: Except Treasurer! Committee Chair Endorse & Influence Others Credential Checker/Challenger Manage a Campaign Organize Meetings Act at Rallies.
EMPLOYMENT You may even be Employed by a Partisan Political Party. PAS Rule. Travel costs. Reporting.
PAS OFFICIAL PARTICIPATION FEDERAL OFFICES POLITICAL TRAVEL
PAS “Mixed” Travel Non-PAS accompanying CONGESSIONAL RACES, PARTY EVENTS: “Hard time” Rule. PRESIDENTIAL RACE: 100%. PAYMENT BY PARTY/CAMPAIGN
NO Political Travel on Corporate Aircraft: Except in extraordinary circumstances. (Contact the Office of Ethics for advice.) SPECIAL RULE:
PASs & FEDERAL OFFICES MAY: On occasion-- Meetings Speeches LIMITATIONS: Long distance/FAX. Staff writing partisan speeches. Staff arrange purely political meetings or travel. Solicit subordinates to participate. Unless a purely official role.
MISUSE OF POSITION MAY NOT Misuse official position to: *Affect/interfere with an election. Coerce/discourage: subordinates; USDA program participants, contractors, grantees, etc.; Persons investigated, audited, or subject to enforcement actions by USDA.
MISUSE OF POSITION II Providing names/addresses of employees to candidate/campaign? Providing names/addresses of employees to candidate/campaign? Providing contacts developed through official duties? Providing contacts developed through official duties?
ISSUES: Hatch Act restrictions Use of appropriated $.
Should I appear with an incumbent with official interest? Factors : Nature of the Official Nature of the Event Ultimate Source of Invitation Timing & Location Attendees Subject Matter
General Safety Hints If any question – PAS: Ask candidate or campaign to pay for it. Others: Personal capacity. Staff: Anticipate overstepping * Misuse of title * Presentations/Gifts * Photo ops Establish ground rules. Get all materials. Expect the Unanticipated.
Appearing in TV/Radio Campaign Ads Not in official capacity, except for PAS. No use of title, office or Federal funds [even PAS]. Can’t show Agency’s program participants or images linking you to your official position.
Non-Incumbents & Incumbents with No Interest Less justifiable as official duties. Treat same as any member of the public. Watch timing and appearances of favoritism. Be prepared to extend to all candidates.
PENALTIES AUTOMATIC REMOVAL. MSPB may only reduce this to a 30-day suspension. OSC-MSPB has jurisdiction NOT USDA.