Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pombo Violates The Hatch Act

The Hatch Act is a law that was originally enacted in 1939 to limit the participation of federal workers in political campaigns. To protect the public, it was decided that the interactions between politicians and government employees being paid with public tax dollars should be subjected to very strict and very specific laws.

In 1993, Congress amended the Hatch Act to make it less restrictive. Still, there are a solid set of rules and regulations that govern political interaction with government employees, especially when they are functioning in their paid positions and in a workplace setting.
Examples of activities prohibited by the preceding restrictions include the following: authorizing the use of a federal building or office as described above for campaign activities, such as town hall meetings, rallies, parades, speeches, fundraisers, press conferences, “photo ops” or meet and greets. […]

Federal agencies should ensure that candidates who visit their facilities to conduct official business do not engage in any political campaign or election activity during the visit.
The National Association of Letter Carriers puts the issue of campaign activities a little more succinctly at their website:
Bottom Line: Be off the clock, out of the uniform (and government vehicles), and away from the work place.
That seems pretty clear, doesn’t it?

That’s why, when Richard Pombo and his campaign staff paid a visit to the Stockton Post Office yesterday, the postal employees were more than a little chagrined.
Congressman Richard Pombo came to the Stockton Post Office, 4245 West Lane today. He said he was there to thank the employees for their hard work in delivering the political mail and to be ready for more to come. After a couple of speakers, Congressman Pombo went around shaking hands. Some of the employees were upset with the fact he was campaigning on the workroom floor and they were a captive audience.

Also some things said by Dan Meyers, Customer Relations Coordinator, were inappropriate and offensive. When he asked an employee what she thought about Congressman Pombo’s appearance, she asked Mr. Meyers if it was proper to allow the Congressman to be in the post office while employees are on the clock. His response to her was, “What are they going to do, slap me on the wrists?” He asked another employee after seeing Congressman Pombo, if she was now going to vote Republican.
A formal complaint filed on behalf of the Stockton postal employees by Darol Stewart, President of the American Postal Workers Union, Stockton Local 320, made the following statement:
I believe this is a violation of the Hatch Act for the Congressman to be allowed on the workroom floor to campaign during business hours. I also believe it is coercion by Mr. Meyers, who is a staunch Republican and Postal Manager, to try to persuade employees to vote in his party, while all involved were in a pay status. These employees were forced to listen to the Congressman. They were then put into the uncomfortable position of shaking the Congressman’s hand while he was allowed to roam the workroom floor.

So this is how Richard Pombo upholds the laws of our country. Last May, in his lone appearance at a public forum with his Republican challengers, Pombo, scrambling to defend himself from charges that he has behaved unethically, stated:
To my family, to my friends and my neighbors, and to my kids, I have never broken any rules in the House of Representatives. I have never broken any laws. All I have done is fight for what is right.
Apparently, that’s a lie; he has broken the rules and he has broken the law. But it’s okay. After all, “What are they going to do, slap me on the wrists?”


Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Thank God: Someone finally woke up on that issue. He said it at the Tracy Forum and we have it on tape. Lets put it out there, and us it against him before he has his staff make another and say my tape is a phony. Pombo People if you are reading this, we have extra tapes. This site is worst then CNN, the enemy knows more about us from watching the news than their intelligence gives them.

Tom Benigno

3:42 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I betcha this will be all over the news throughout the District tomorrow. I am sure that with our world class political reporters, this will be on the front page! Whadda say, Lisa V? Or are you still twittering on about what McCloskey might or might not have said 6 years ago?

(By the way, the candidate is McNerney. The other Mc, that is McCloskey, lost the R primary. I know it is easy to confuse, as all those Mc names sound alike, don't they?)

4:36 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:04 PM, August 31, 2006  
Anonymous Carol Upton said... does one file official charges and can they stick and what are the penalties?

9:41 PM, August 31, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

It's my best understanding — and anyone who knows more about it, please jump in and correct me — that this is a union grievance that's been filed with the USPS requesting an internal investigation.

Since the violation ostensibly broke a federal law and took place on federal property, any criminal proceedings would have to originate with Alberto Gonzales's Justice Department. Alternatively, the Republican-led Congress could launch an independent investigation into the matter. Good luck with either of those.

Just one more reason to elect Democrats in 2006 — to bring some accountability to the federal government. As it is now, Republicans simply laugh at our laws.

10:18 PM, August 31, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

The oversite committe has the power to open an investigation. The catch 22 Pombo is co -chairman of that committee. He would have to step down to do that, guess what? Congressman Miller tried to get an investigation open last year on a related issue and failed, he went to Pombo to do that. They are now friends.
You may as well have Saddem Hussein on the intelligence committee , to oversee the oversite committee.

Tom Benigno

7:31 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger VPO said...

I have an idea -- how about all those mail carriers dump the Pombo mailings in the garbage the next time he sends one of his crap flyers out?

That is what most people do with them anyway. What are they going to do to the mail carriers -- slap them on the wrist?

8:12 AM, September 01, 2006  
Blogger Delta said...

This is typical Part of the complaint that CREW filed against Pombo.

Misuse of Federal Funds for Campaign Expenses

Rep. Pombo also appears to have misused staff time and federal dollars. Just prior to the November 2004 election, he granted paid leave to much of his committee staff, at least some of whom left to work on campaigns.

Using district office funds for campaign purposes violates the House of Representatives Standards of Official Conduct, which provide that "government funds should not be spent to help incumbents gain re-election." It may also violate federal criminal law. As a result, Rep. Pombo's reimbursement of his employees for time they spent working on political campaigns merits investigation by the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct.

9:33 AM, September 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why aren't there ever any women on this website?

12:22 PM, September 03, 2006  
Blogger babaloo said...

Anon --
Exactly how would the presence of more women at this website be relevant to Pombo's violation of the Hatch Act? I know that you Pombozos are desperate to deflect attention away from your candidate's corrupt, unethical and, now, illegal behavior, but is this really the best you can do?

2:05 PM, September 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think women add perspective. All of the talk seems so man-like.

5:11 PM, September 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Such a poor troll attack. Smarten up!

You nit wit's, word on the street is that Babaloo is female.

5:37 PM, September 03, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

We start to talk about what damage Pombo has done to this District, state and some of America. Pombo has violated so many ethical acts while be our congressman,even the Hyde act regarding his position on abortions. And all you people can talk about is we need more females writing on the site. I walked away from a seat that I was voted in by the people to go after Pombo, ran against him in two primaries as A Republican with my own money. Now I'm endorseing Jerry Mc Nerney a Democrat, for the seat. What more does one have to do or say to alert you of the urgency to get this guy Pombo out of office. Females might be better writers on the blog, they seem to know when a crisis is near. Come on ladys jump in.

Tommy Bananas

7:45 AM, September 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm with Tom. Bring on the ladies. I see no evidence that Babaloo is a woman.

8:51 AM, September 04, 2006  
Anonymous Rick said...

Speaking of minorities - Pombo has a big goose egg when it comes to minorities working on his campaign. I hear the Congressional office isn't much different.

12:57 PM, September 04, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear he has no women on his staff.

6:04 PM, September 04, 2006  
Anonymous Tom Benigno said...

Rick :
That's not true, he has 5 here in the valley 2 in San Ramon his aunt Toni in Washington DC and his wife and her mother in Tracy. His mother and various aunts. The RCC in Stockton has Sara Blicharz, Nancy Boone,Grace Crawford,Goehrings wife, Barbara Kirilow, Rore, Carol Russell,jodi Waters, Nancy Reffeto, Ann Richards. And many more some are volunteer.
People are all over the place. Even on Radio stations.

Not to mention all the bank reps who write for him and do little things. And all the goffers.

Tommy Bananas

8:00 PM, September 04, 2006  

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