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J. Christian Adams


May 1, 2014 - 5:30 am

Yesterday I reported on April Sands, the former Federal Election Commission lawyer who resigned for violations of the Hatch Act. Sands violated the Hatch Act by engaging in political activity to help President Obama’s reelection while on government time and using government resources while actually at the offices of the Federal Election Commission.

You can watch her appear in this Huffington Post LiveStream, an event cited by the Office of Special Counsel which investigated her behavior.

Sands was allowed to resign quietly and anonymously from her $133,264 a year job.  Why?

Sands via Instagram

Sands via Instagram

I couldn’t even get the FEC’s press office to tell me whether or not Sands even worked at the FEC anymore.  Does the public not have a right to know whether or not someone is paid by the public?

We know that Sands once worked with Lois Lerner when Lerner was at the FEC. Lerner, too, stands accused of using her government office to help political allies.

Like Sands, Lerner was also allowed to resign and continue to enjoy generous federal retirement benefits.  Sands had been at the FEC for at least eight years, which means she is likely to receive somewhere in the neighborhood of $853 a month from the taxpayers (to be inflation adjusted) upon reaching age 65 in 20 years or so.  Lerner will also ride that retirement wave, much sooner I suspect.

Similarly, if Sands fully participated in the Thrift Savings Plan, that means the taxpayers provided thousands of extra dollars a year for her retirement accounts.

All of this raises the question of whether federal employees who leave federal service after violating the Hatch Act should continue to receive federal retirement benefits.

I tend to believe they should, but I suspect among the American people, I am in the distinct minority.

But here are the bigger questions – why are federal employees who break the law entitled to a quiet and anonymous exit from federal service?  Should the public and the press have to pry out the identity of people who violate the Hatch Act?  Did some at the FEC do everything they could to help Sands get a fresh start?

When I asked Sands at her Twitter handle (@reignofapril) if she was the ex-FEC lawyer, she immediately shut down her online alter ego, at least at Twitter.  But even that won’t work, thanks to Twitchy and Google.  What emerges is a very activist federal employee, and that activism was supported by your tax dollars to the detriment of Republicans.

J. Christian Adams is an election lawyer who served in the Voting Rights Section at the U.S. Department of Justice. His New York Times bestselling book is Injustice: Exposing the Racial Agenda of the Obama Justice Department (Regnery).  His website is Follow him on Twitter @electionlawctr.

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All Comments   (7)
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I'm slowly coming around to the conclusion that our beloved federal overseers are more and more like the princelings of old medieval Europe.

The wealth the population generates is considered nothing more than ripe pickings for our betters in government, with which they fund this massive bureaucracy (which we get to pay for).

That bureaucracy, in turn, is populated by those with connections, friends of friends, the politically well heeled, etc., who are more or less aligned with the left wing of US politics.

As such, they tend to make sure that ONLY those of similar mindsets are hired into the system which only further perpetuates the divide between the bureaucracy and the people and further reinforces an ever more draconian mindset in the bureaucracy.

Those higher up the food chain (congressmen, senators, presidents, etc.) tend to not only live off the wealth skimmed from the population, but likewise get to pad their own fiefdoms with taxpayer dollars.

They get programs funded, for instance, which coincidentally are administered by businesses with whom the politicians have connections. Or perhaps they make sure some green industry or military industry within their district or state gets some project funded to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.....and then they get hired as a "consultant" when they leave public office (at which time they continue to draw a salary in public gratitude for their "service" to the country).

If you are outside of that loop, you're screwed.

Need evidence? Just look at the connection between the Obama's and the company that set up the Obamacare website.

And just as with the European nobility of old, the in-fighting between fiefdoms and maintaining control over the unwashed masses takes precedence over addressing long term hazards to society (such as a failed economy that can go into a depression - oh, excuse me, "Great Recession") or even external military threats (such as Russian, China, Al Quaeda, etc.).....right up to the point one of those external military threats pushes things into a hot war.

Ms. April Sands is only a symptom of something that is fundamentally...structurally...wrong in this country.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
In the Western US, the federal workforce is an occupying army. Two things need to happen: the Hatch Act, degraded by both Republicans and Democrats, but especially Democrats, needs to be restored and residency requirements for voting need to be revisiited. First, acting to influence the outcome of an election, petition, initiative, or to influence legislation should be prohibited to federal employees AND their agents. The price of the federal job should be that a federal employee forfeits all political rights except the individual right to vote, no contributions, not statements, no PAC contributions, no union political contributions or "voter education" activities. Secondly, federal employees, including active duty military, should be required to maintain their legal residence for voting purposes at their point of hire and vote absentee in that district rather than be registered voters in the place the government assigns them. Since they can be transferred involuntarily by the government, they cannot evidence the intent to remain that should be a predicate of residency for voting purposes. In fact, I'm not at all convinced that government or private employees who are transferred into a locale and who have some sort of employer deal that will cause the employer to "buy back" their house on a subsequent transfer evidence the necessary intent to remain to establish residency for voting rights or state or local benefits.

In many ways the baby was thrown out with the bathwater as we eliminated most restrictions on voting in the wake of the VRA. The Democrats have built voting fraud machines in the places they govern and can use the votes, many of them fraudulently cast, of the Blue cities to overwhelm the votes of the suburban and rural areas of many states. The reality is that the only place a Democrat that acts like a Democrat can get elected is in a majority minority city and in college towns, yet they can use voter fraud in such places to control whole states. In states where Republicans still control the government, we should do away with groovy things like same day registration and online and mail voting and impose longer residency requirements for state and local voting - as long as the courts will allow up to at least a year's residency for voter registration. If we can manage prohibiting people from having driver's licenses in two states, we can manage prohibiting them from having voter registration in two states. If nothing else we can make them take an oath on voter registration that they have no voting rights elsewhere and prosecuting one now and then for violation of that oath will encourage the others. College kids and snowbirds notoriously double vote.

In any event, the Clinton-Gore "streamlining" government program was just a cover for turning the federal workforce into a subsidiary of the Democrat Party. Typical stupid Republican, GWB pretty much left the Clinton workforce in place below the Cabinet level. Now the government is full of Lois Lerners in very high-level positions and with hiring authority so they can put clones in place in their work areas. If we ever restore a legitimate government, the first thing the new President has to do is fire every single federal employee s/he has an arguable legal right to fire; no apology, no explanation, just extirpate the appointee level of the federal government. There'll be some good deals on houses, cars, boats, airplanes, and girlfriends all over the Country.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
The law does not apply against the totalitarians.

It only applies against those who resist it.

There is no legal system in America. Those who presently run the system are lawless.

This is a clown mafia. The Boza Nostra.

They make a mockery of foreign affairs, assaults on freedom, gang rape of the Constitution, governmental agency abuse of citizens, attack on religion, criminal theft of private property and accumulated wealth.

The "made clowns" of the Boza Nostra "will not allow themselves to be questioned". They simply declare their innocence and plead the fifth.

The Clown Mafia doesn't have laws they must obey...we do.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
I haven't read the Hatch Act, so here's a question: Does it provide for criminal prosecution of violators? OR does it just say, "Now now,children, don't do that!"

If it doesn't spell out what should be done about violations, it's a paper tiger.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
An employee or individual who violates section 7323 or 7324 shall be subject to removal, reduction in grade, debarment from Federal employment for a period not to exceed 5 years, suspension, reprimand, or an assessment of a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000. SNIP
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
Paper Tigers have sharper teeth:

Previously, workers violating the Hatch Act faced two possible penalties: a 30-day suspension without pay or termination.

"It's been the death penalty to your federal career," said Kathleen Clark, an ethics lawyer in Washington and a law professor with Washington University in St. Louis.

Under the new law, workers still may be fired or suspended, but the menu of potential penalties now includes a reprimand, reduction in grade, a fine of up to $1,000 and a ban from federal employment for up to five years.

Clark predicts that the new penalties will lead to more reports of Hatch Act violations. The old penalties were so draconian that many people were reluctant to report violators.

The Hatch Act Modernization Act of 2012 attracted Republican and Democratic co-sponsors, including Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat.
43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
"The old penalties were so draconian that many people were reluctant to report violators."

Hmmmmm, probably not. Here, let's try that again:

"The majority of workers are so Democrat that the few good people were reluctant to report violators."

Yeah, I think that's better.

43 weeks ago
43 weeks ago Link To Comment
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