Administration Abuses Public Trust ... Again

A federal law that "prohibits the use of public funds or resources for partisan political activities" didn't stop Bush administration officials from traveling around the country in 2006 to "to lend prestige or bring federal grants to 99 politically endangered Republicans that year."

[A] draft report released by the Democratic majority of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform ... said the trips were freely described as political in subpoenaed e-mails and interviews. A master list prepared at the White House two weeks before the election listed the names and dates of appearances by cabinet secretaries in 73 key congressional districts, all under the heading "Final Push Surrogate Matrix."

"This is," the report said, "a gross abuse of the public trust."

Granted, there is often an ambiguous line between politics and policy, and it isn't unusual for presidents to use their office to help members of their political party. The report concludes that the Bush administration's approach was markedly different from that of previous White House occupants. [more ...]

The House committee probed the Clinton effort in the 1990's, at the behest of its then-Republican chairman, but "received no evidence of practices...resembling the coordinated and comprehensive strategy the Bush White House employed to use taxpayer resources to support Republican candidates for office," the report states.

The report traces the abuse of public funds to Sara Taylor, an aide to Karl Rove.

Throughout the first 10 months of 2006, she sent periodic updates to the White House scheduling director, as well as White House liaisons at each agency, about which candidates deserved federal agency support.

Given the dismal performance of Republicans in the 2006 elections, candidates this year have been less interested in associating themselves with White House officials. To minimize the misuse of public funds by future administrations, the report reasonably recommends that

the Hatch Act be amended to eliminate the political affairs office at the White House or force it to serve "the interests of the taxpayer, not the political party of the President."

The report, as well as supporting documents and depositions, can be accessed here.

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  • Display: Sort:
    I don't know.... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:38:44 PM EST
    if there is a "public trust" left to abuse...the term may be obsolete.

    Closing the barn doors.. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 02:49:55 PM EST
    after the fact.

    Better than nothing, I guess.

    One small example of how Pelosi screwed us (none / 0) (#2)
    by pluege on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:31:16 PM EST
    If she had issued impeachment proceedings early in 2007 like she should have, this and much, much more of the criminality of the bush administration would have been revealed by now; we would have been well along to removing them or might have had bush and cheney out of office by now and well on their way to jail were they belong. Instead, bush and cheney have 3 more months of destruction to weild and criminal activity to engage in; most likely most of their criminality will never be known, justice will never be served, they'll live out their lives undeservedly as respected former heads of state, and followers of the same ilk will be emboldened to further abuse their powers and the system. Thanks so much Nance for the steaming pile crap you left us - you too will go down in history as traitor to your duty, your oath, your country, the Constitution, and to decency, accountability, and justice.

    I might not use "traitorous" (none / 0) (#7)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:18:02 PM EST
    but I will say that one reason I am and was suspicious of Obama was because of who supported him during the primaries.  Pelosi and other so-called leaders who inspired more disgust than confidence.  More of that  style of leadership? Geez, thanks ever so much.

    Bush Legacy (none / 0) (#3)
    by mmc9431 on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:38:09 PM EST
    That's the secret to running the most corrupt admin in my lifetime and getting away with it.

    Just have so many scandals going on that the next one is even worse than the last. It becomes  overwhelming and they all walk away free and clear.

    Is this not (none / 0) (#5)
    by Steve M on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 03:49:05 PM EST
    the continuing saga of the Lurita Doan debacle?

    More like the Karl Rove saga (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Fabian on Wed Oct 15, 2008 at 06:12:58 PM EST
    I think the Bush Mandate in his first term was Get Re-elected.

    I think the Bush Mandate in his second term was Exert Influence over as much of the federal infrastructure as possible.  I assume the primary goal was to ensure a GOP majority and a secondary goal was to create a patronage system to augment the wingnut welfare system - a kind of cradle to the grave system to reward loyal Party members.