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Most state, local workers freed to run for office

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

* State and local workers who have jobs which are partially subsidized by federal funds can now run for political office. Government Executive has the deets

The Office of Personnel Management issued a final rule Monday to implement the 2012 Hatch Act Modernization Act, which will go into effect June 4. The law marked the first update to the Hatch Act — which governs political activity for government workers — in more than 20 years.

The change will no longer prohibit state and local employees who work in programs financed in part or in whole by federal funds from running for partisan office. Only those workers whose salaries are paid for entirely by federal grants or loans will remain banned from launching political bids.

The bill also expanded the options for penalizing federal employees who violate the law. Previously, these employees faced immediate termination.

The new rules are here.

- Posted by Rich Miller        


8 Comments
  1. - Dan Johnson - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 10:54 am:

    Good for the Obama Administration. I thought the old rules that prohibited anyone from running for a partisan office if they had any federal funding in their salaries infringed on First Amendment freedoms.


  2. - Walker - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 11:01 am:

    Very, very dangerous, if this becomes common practice for state and local government employees. Think it through.


  3. - Walker - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 11:04 am:

    Why not have them become paid lobbyists as well?

    That’s their “First Amendment freedom” isn’t it?


  4. - Formerly Known As... - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 11:12 am:

    So now we can move them directly from the staff payroll into office.

    Great news for the large number of public employees serving our state with independence and pride; even better news for the small number of blindly partisan hacks who take their marching orders directly from one side or another.


  5. - phocion - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 11:13 am:

    Meh. Little impact.


  6. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 11:14 am:

    Well folks, it finally happened.
    Our governments has gotten so large, we’ve run out of people to elect who don’t work for a government!


  7. - low level - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 1:33 pm:

    Was dumb to start with. Say you are paid from the CDBG budget and do data entry or something like that. Because your salary is 100% paid with a Federal grant - CDBG dollars - you can’t run for state Senate as a Republican or Democrat?


  8. - Upon Further Review - Wednesday, May 7, 14 @ 3:06 pm:

    A lifetime ago, I briefly worked for the G. I was asked to serve as a polling place judge of election. I used a personal day to act as a judge.

    The government got all worked up because I had to wear an adhesive label which identified my party in order to serve as a judge. Ultimately, that is how severe the attachment to the Hatch Act was once upon a time. It worked out, but they had to run it by legal.

    I guess that the Hatch Act had its origins in fears that FDR was going to politicize the US Post Office. Mail carriers would make terrific precinct captains.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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