Rule of Law

A Government's Targeting of Conservatives and Pregnant Women

Government targeting of conservatives is not confined to a couple of federal departments, as demonstrated by the events in a small District of Columbia employee relations board. A letter obtained by PJ Media documents open racism and hostility toward pregnant and conservative employees in the D.C. Public Employee Relations Board (PERB). The letter also demonstrates that lawless hostility toward conservatives is a characteristic of all levels of government.

According to a resignation letter from its executive director, this District of Columbia government board responsible for resolving employee disputes with management has engaged in racist hiring practices, discrimination against pregnant women, and hostility toward conservatives.

The behavior described in the resignation letter of former executive director Ondray Harris is another example of the broader hostility toward conservatives found throughout federal agencies such as the IRS, EPA, and Justice Department.

Ondray Harris, an attorney, resigned as executive director of PERB on May 24, 2013. His resignation letter contains accounts of disturbing, racist, and illegal behavior by board members Don Wasserman and Ann Hoffman. Among the behavior:

Harris, an African-American, was criticized by board member Don Wasserman for hiring white men to work for PERB. From the letter:

“Mr. Wasserman rebuked me with regard to my hiring white male employees. What is more, Mr. Wasserman demanded that I ‘refrain from hiring white men in the future’ to fill open Attorney-Advisor positions supporting PERB.”


Don Wasserman

On November 8, 2012, PERB conducted a confidential executive session where hostility toward hiring conservatives was on open display. (See similar behavior at Eric Holder’s Department of Justice as covered extensively in PJ Media’s “Every Single One” series.)

At the confidential executive session, PERB members Don Wasserman and Ann Hoffman sought ways to fire Erin Wilcox.

Her transgression? From the letter:

“They objected that Ms. Wilcox, a white female, had a professional employment record which they perceived as being conservative or politically right-of-center. In fact, Ms. Hoffman declared: ‘Someone with a resume like hers doesn’t belong here’ and ‘should never work here.’”

Ann Hoffman

Ann Hoffman

In the District of Columbia, it is illegal to refuse to hire employees because of their political affiliation. Everywhere in America, it is illegal to refuse to hire employees because of their race. Wasserman and Hoffman both broke the law, yet they remain on the board and probably think they did nothing wrong.

Wasserman’s campaign against the “right-of-center” employee Wilcox later took a sinister turn when he wanted to fire Wilcox because she was pregnant.

When Harris mentioned to Wasserman that Wilcox would be on maternity leave, Wasserman directed: “good, maybe we can get rid of her that way.”

Board members Wasserman and Hoffman also targeted other perceived conservatives for ill treatment.

None of the bad behavior from Wasserman and Hoffman toward employees of a certain race, pregnancy status, or ideological perspective will surprise anyone who has worked in the Department of Justice Civil Rights Division. Ongoing harassment of conservatives was detailed in the inspector general’s damning report issued this past spring. In the report, blacks were also targeted for harassment if they worked on cases like the New Black Panther voter intimidation lawsuit.

The events at PERB and at DOJ and the IRS demonstrate an entrenched hostility toward anything which is not part of leftist dogma — whether it is the Tea Party, Catholicism, parents who adopt and thus reduce the market for abortions, or simply following the laws as written.

Conservatives who are plunked down inside these agencies are like antibodies to the system. Upon arrival, these employees are attacked, maligned, and marginalized by the entrenched institutional interests. Those committing the bad behavior genuinely think they are doing nothing wrong. The ends of removing the antibody justify the illegal means of doing so.

These agencies also become hotbeds of open left-wing politics, as is happening at PERB. Board member Ann Hoffman made unashamed statements at PERB such as “the military is full of white supremacist groups.”

According to the letter, Wasserman gleefully endorsed to PERB employees Vice President Biden’s outrageous “remark to blacks regarding the Romney-Ryan ticket ‘They are all going to put y’all back in chains.’”

The irony of an organized labor leader like Wasserman commenting on bigotry against blacks was apparently lost.

Wasserman and Hoffman both reside in the District of Columbia and are appointed to PERB by the mayor of D.C. Both officials must file personal financial disclosure information forms, which are available to the public on request.

I spoke with a former supervisor of Ondray Harris from when he served in the Justice Department as an employment discrimination attorney, among other roles. The former supervisor of Ondray told me he is “one of the most levelheaded, hardworking and forthright lawyers” he had the pleasure of supervising.

Harris told me that the illegal behavior by Hoffman and Wasserman motivated his resignation.

The illegal behavior of Wasserman and Hoffman is squarely within the power of Congress to address. The District’s laws, and illegal behavior of public officials there, are ultimately under the control of Congress. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee chaired by Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) has jurisdiction, which isn’t good news for Wasserman and Hoffman, two rogues who don’t belong in a government, anywhere.

More: About Those ‘Two Rogue Agents’ at the IRS Responsible for Targeting Conservatives…