OSC Nails a Low-Level Bushie — Does That Prove Rove Guilty, Too?

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There’s little reason to have faith in the Office of Special Counsel (OSC): it’s run by a partisan political appointee named Scott Bloch who intentionally ignores part of the office’s mission — protecting whistleblowers — and instead devotes his time to rooting out any sign of the “homosexual agenda.” His investigation of Karl Rove’s potential violations of the Hatch Act, which prohibits government employees from using official time/resources for political purposes, is likely just an attempt to save his own job and a dodge intended to ward off much tougher congressional investigation.

But at least Bloch got Lurita Doan. Yup, the chief of the hilariously vague General Services Administration (GSA) is the target of a OSC report that says when Doan sat down 40 or so political appointees under her command at GSA headquarters for a presentation from Scott Jennings, the White House deputy director of political affairs, she was in violation of the Hatch Act.

Jennings’ presentation was exactly what the Hatch Act forbids. He delivered a PowerPoint that contained slides listing Democratic and Republican seats the White House viewed as vulnerable in 2008 and a map of contested Senate seats. It held other information about the lay of the political land heading into the 2008 elections. After the meeting, Doan asked how the GSA could help “our candidates.”

Doan has until June 1 to respond (i.e. defend herself or resign), after which point President Bush can take action. The woman is demonstratively in violation of federal law: hard to argue she shouldn’t lose her job. The real question is, if Doan is in violation of the Hatch Act, isn’t Jennings as well? And isn’t his boss, Karl Rove, since Rove presumably sent Jennings to the GSA?

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