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Sebelius Violation of Hatch Act Obscured Behind the Benghazi Tragedy

On Sept.12, 2012 the Office of Special Counsel concluded that Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius had violated the Hatch Act, due to her partisan remarks in a speech delivered in her official capacity at a taxpayer-funded event  on February 25, 2012 in Charlotte, N.C. (the same city that would later host the Democratic National Convention). This determination was forwarded to the Obama Administration on the same date.  Since this information was not released until the day following the Benghazi attack, it was lost in the mass media coverage of the attack.

Benghazi dominated the headlines for weeks as the Administration continued to blame the attack on a little known video. From the talk shows to the major news organizations, they continued to deceive American citizens. While they were spinning this tale, they were other aspects of Benghazi, as well as Sebilius’ crime were missed under the radar. The State Department did not admit until October 9, 2012 that the attack on Benghazi was terrorist in nature. By then, Sebelius’ transgression had already been aired and covered up.

The Hatch Act:

limits certain political activities of most executive branch employees. For example, the law prohibits employees from engaging in political activity while on duty or in the Federal workplace. It also prohibits them from soliciting or receiving political contributions.

The U.S. Office of Special Counsel (OSC) is the agency responsible for enforcing the Hatch Act. General information about the Hatch Act may be found on the OSC website.

Once Sebelius was caught violating the Hatch Act, she simply changed the event to “political” and the Democratic National Convention reimbursed the taxpayers event in order to “cover” her. The usual penalty for this crime would be immediate dismissal. Instead, Obama’s mouthpiece, Jay Carney reported that action had been taken by the Secretary and department to remedy what was the result of an unintentional error based on unscripted remarks. This decision not to punish her was made on September 14, 2012.

This is not the first time that Sebelius has been caught for similar acts. Ask the people of Kansas who have long watched Sebelius abuse her political power, and then weasel out of the consequences by making excuses for her bad behavior. This can only work if the mainstream news media are willing to cover her fraud, which was the case in Kansas and now in Washington, DC.

In 2007, as Governor of Kansas, Sebelius hosted a party at the official Governor’s Mansion at taxpayer-expense for late-term abortionist George Tiller and his entire abortion clinic staff of about 25 people. Tiller made large donations to Sebelius’ political campaigns and to the campaigns of her handpicked staff. At the time of the tax-funded party, Tiller was under criminal investigation by the Attorney General’s office in a high-profile case that generated much public controversy. Two months later, Tiller was charged with 19 criminal counts of violating the state’s post-viability abortion law.

Operation Rescue, a pro-life organization, obtained photos, then receipts, through an open records request that proved tax dollars paid for the event. Once caught cheating the American taxpayers, Sebelius was at first not sure how to respond to the scandal changing her story several times. Finally, she said that she had donated a dinner as a fundraiser to the Greater Kansas City Women’s Political Caucus Auction Reception, which was purchased by Tiller during a silent auction. There was never any indication that this was true. But that wasn’t the only time Sebelius had to rewrite history to excuse an ethical lapse.

There are numerous other times on record that she has made her own rules with no regard to law. During the Senate confirmation hearings for her appointment to HHS, there was a written request for the amount that Tiller had donated to her campaigns. She stated, under oath, the amount of $12,450 in her bid for Insurance Commissioner. It was later discovered in the Kansas Governmental Ethics Records that the actual amount was $38,450– a difference of $26,000. The same records indicated that some of the money had been used on her campaign for governor. Caught again, she filed a corrected report with the Senate Finance Committee and told them she had inadvertently failed to provide some contributions that led to an oversight of PAC contributions as well as contributions from Tillers business. She was given yet another pass and was named HHS Secretary and has continued with her less than ethical practices.

Now she is in the limelight again. In a new story written by Nicole Young, Senator Lamar Alexander is questioning the legality of her fundraising efforts to implement Obamacare. He has likened it to the Iran-Contra incident and said she should be investigated immediately.

Ms. Sebelius seem to have no intention of changing her unethical political habits. How many free passes are to many? How many times must a politician break the law before they actually have to pay the price for their actions? You tell us.

 

Categories: Must Read, News, Policy, Politics, Waste, Fraud and Abuse

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