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Rule of Law

Federal Election Commission Lawyer: Politicking for Obama on Taxpayer Time

April 30th, 2014 - 3:04 pm

A lawyer for the Federal Election Commission has resigned after being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help President Obama’s reelection on government time. The Federal Election Commission is the agency charged with regulating campaign finance for the presidential campaigns and serving as a purportedly neutral federal agency. The Washington Times reports on a finding by the Office of Special Counsel about the actions of this FEC lawyer:

The employee, a lawyer whose name wasn’t divulged, solicited campaign donations for Mr. Obama and other political campaigns, and even took part in a web broadcast from an FEC facility where the employee criticized the GOP and Republican 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney.

The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activity on government time or using government resources to aid the election of candidates.  The most serious penalty possible for violation of the Hatch Act is loss of federal employment.  Criminal charges are not available for violations of the Hatch Act.

The Washington Times did not identify the lawyer who engaged in prohibited political activity at the FEC, but PJ Media has identified the former FEC attorney as April Sands.

This Huffington Post live stream includes a lawyer named April Sands making statements which match the Washington Times description of the lawyer’s improper activity.  April Sands is the name of a lawyer who worked in the General Counsel’s office of the Federal Election Commission.

April Sands from Huff Post Live Sttream

April Sands from Huff Post Live Stream

PJ Media contacted the FEC press office and asked if April Sands is the lawyer who resigned after the finding of improper political activity at the FEC.  The FEC official declined comment.

PJ Media also asked the FEC if April Sands is still employed as a lawyer at the FEC.  Again, the official declined comment.  Efforts to reach April Sands by telephone at the FEC were also unsuccessful.

I also contacted the Twitter handle contained in the Huffington Post live stream for April Sands (@reignofapril) and asked if she was still employed by the Federal Election Commission.  The April Sands in the Huffington Post live stream replied by Twitter that she had no idea what I was talking about.

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People familiar with the former FEC attorney April Sands confirm to PJ Media that the April Sands who participated in the Huffington Post live stream is in fact one in the same person, despite her false denials on Twitter to the contrary.  Immediately after falsely denying to PJ Media any awareness of the facts in the Washington Times story, April Sands made her Twitter account private.

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April Juanita Sands is a member of the Maryland Bar.  Bar records list her current employer as the Federal Election Commission. Bar records also indicate she was admitted to practice in 1994 and graduated from the University of Texas law school.

Sands is the latest example of federal employees being found to have engaged in prohibited political activity to help Democrats.  It illustrates a significant problem across the civil service that will be difficult to undo even in a Republican administration.  Federal employees donate overwhelmingly to Democrats and view the ministerial state through an activist and ideological lens.  Whether at the IRS, EPA or DOJ, partisans inside government use their power to advance a partisan agenda, and despite the resignation of Sands, few are caught and purged from the civil service.

Top Rated Comments   
"Federal employees donate overwhelmingly to Democrats and view the ministerial state through an activist and ideological lens."

So do State, County, City and District employees. So do government contractors. So do benefits recipients. So do their close friends and family. This is why only limited government can work. Otherwise it all heads inexorably in this direction. You can't even blame them - people vote their own self interest and their fantasy social theories because they can. But when the free market private sector atrophies and there is no one left to pay, they will understand - maybe. But it will be too late.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Take away her ability to practice law...FOREVER......make breking the laws a really bigi deal.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well done, Adams, otherwise, we would never know.
Is there anyone keeping count of all of these Hatch violations? Mine is getting long.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
All Comments   (45)
All Comments   (45)
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Not just any Hatch Act violation--a lawyer for the Federal Election Commission, supposed to see that election laws are followed.
1 week ago
1 week ago Link To Comment
The next President needs to undo Clinton's weakening of the Hatch Act.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
Civil Service employees should be fired if found operating at work with any political partisanship. Such occurrences are rare and despite the conspiracy freaks who think somebody's always screwing with them. The problem with all this crap is folks think everything is wrong and somebody's out to get them. Pure paranoia. Check those bushes!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
He worked at DOJ, so he would know.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
I was going to ask why "the lawyer" wasn't going to be prosecuted for illegal activity; then I saw her picture. Of course no black person is going to be prosecuted by the Holder Justice Dept.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well, never mind the "prosecution" angle, I see that April's offense is not subject to prosecution.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
The corruption between the FEC and the IRS seems never-ending.
How do these people sleep at night knowing how evil they are?
The answer? They are liberal Democrats with no conscience, no morals
and no sense of justice. In fact, they hate America so much and love
Obama even more, that they are devoid of any level of decency or honesty.
No doubt this "April Sands" woman will get off scott free and be re-positioned
in some other 'government' office to pursue her illicit behaviour.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Hatch Act needs to be amended to at least allow the taxpayers to recover some of the salary or wages for work not performed. A little jail time is appropriate as well. Attorneys should be disbarred. Some type of punishment is appropriate for managers as well for not performing their supervisory duties. Perhaps there should be an automatic (real!) cut in the offending agency's budget for each violation. If we are going to have an NSA with super spy capability at least it could do something useful, like be the government watchdog that roots out misbehaving government bureaucrats like Ms. Sands.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hah! One tiny drop in a very big bucket!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
M. Sands is a lawyer and not familiar with the Hatch Act? Hard to believe. Even state employees in my minor state sign off on understanding the Hatch Act as one condition of employment.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Hey, she graduated from the University of Texas Law School, likely as an "Affirmative Action" student. For them, the standards aren't very high!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
She more than the vast majority of attorneys should know about the Hatch Act because she is/was working at the FEC!
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
My question is did Ms. Sands work at the FEC under Lois Lerner?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
Yes
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
You prompted me to Google "Lois Lerner FEC" and I found interesting information at National Review and Judicial Watch. As associate general counsel and headed the enforcement office, she apparently had a pattern of trying to stymie Republicans while giving Democrats a break.
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sure if she were Republican, she would be on the front page every day, and they might even find a way of jailing her. Probably there would be a movie out about her.
11 weeks ago
11 weeks ago Link To Comment
This is like the shuffling of fellow travelers and outright reds in the state department in the 30's-50's. You can resign and not leave? You lose but don't lose your job? A lawyer doesn't swear an oath at some point to enter the Maryland Bar Association?

Federal employees are so privileged as to insouciantly do as they please with out consequence?
12 weeks ago
12 weeks ago Link To Comment
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