Lois Lerner, IRS and the Hatch Act

 

Hatch Act and Political Activities

The Hatch Act limits certain political activities of Federal employees both on and off duty. (Members of the Senior Executive Service, are subject to further restrictions and should contact the General Counsel’s office for additional guidance.) Violations of the Hatch Act may result in disciplinary action, up to and including removal.The term “political activity” means doing something in active support of or opposition to a political party, a candidate for partisan political office (e.g., President, senator, representative, state or local legislature or office), or a partisan political group (e.g., “Historians for Smith”). Examples of political activity that would violate the Hatch Act if done while on duty or using Government property include: circulating a candidate’s nominating petition within your office; using the PC in your office after work to produce a brochure in support of a candidate’s campaign; sending e-mail invitations to campaign events to friends within the agency; and using National Archives’ Internet connections to forward e-mail messages received from a partisan campaign or someone supporting a partisan candidate. Permissible political activity under the Hatch Act would include voting for the candidates of your choice; expressing opinions about candidates and issues; assisting in voter registration drives.

For a more comprehensive view of what the Hatch Act allows and disallows, please review the list of Hatch Act Do’s and Don’ts shown below. Questions concerning the Hatch Act may be directed to Christopher Runkel, Office of General Counsel.

Here is a list of don’ts :

· Engage in political activity while on duty
· Engage in political activity while wearing an official Government uniform or identifying National Archives insignia
· Engage in political activity while using a Government vehicle
· Engage in political activity in any Government office
· Engage in political activity while using Government property, including computers, printers, copiers, fax machines, and telephones
· Wear political buttons while on duty
· Display items (e.g., posters, signs, stickers) at work that indicate support of or opposition to a political party or a candidate in a partisan election
· Run as a candidate for public office in any partisan election, except in jurisdictions specified by OPM
· Solicit, accept, or receive political contributions (except in limited circumstances involving certain Federal labor or employee organizations)
· Solicit, accept, or receive political contributions from a subordinate employee
· Allow your official title to be used in connection with fund raising activities
· Host a fund raiser at your home
· Use your official authority or influence to interfere with an election
· Knowingly solicit or discourage the political activity of any person who has business before the National Archives

 

I haven’t heard anyone mention it. From the beginning, conservative groups were targeted — now we know systematically.
 

GOP says IRS’ Lois Lerner targeted Crossroads

By RACHAEL BADE | 4/9/14 | Politico

House Republicans on Wednesday accused former IRS official Lois Lerner of breaking agency rules by aggressively urging denial of tax-exempt status to Crossroads GPS, the giant political nonprofit founded by Karl Rove.

The House Ways and Means Committee released emails showing the former chief of the tax-exempt unit took a special interest in Crossroads GPS in early 2013 — inquiring with IRS officials why they hadn’t been audited. Around the same time an email suggested she might be applying for a job with a pro-President Barack Obama group, Organizing For Action, though it is unclear if she was joking.

Democrats decried the release, calling it an election year gimmick to win over the party’s political base. One campaign finance group came to the defense of Lerner, who has denied any wrongdoing, calling the probe a partisan witch hunt.

The Republican committee letter calls her actions an “aggressive and improper pursuit of Crossroads… but no evidence [that] she directed review of similarly situated left-leaning groups.”

The documents were released after a rare, closed-door Ways and Means markup, where the panel voted 23-14 along party lines to send a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, requesting he take the former head of the IRS tax-exempt division to court — though the department already has an ongoing investigation….

More http://www.politico.com/story/2014/04/republicans-seek-criminal-probe-of-irs-official-105531.html