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  #51  
Old 06-16-2019, 12:55 PM
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Yeah. I mean, you'd really think an honest-to-god lawyer wouldn't make this mistake. It boggles the mind how one could be a lawyer, speak from one's authority as a lawyer, and get something so simple so wrong. I can't really think of a reason why.

Actually, I can. This is what happens when partisanship is strong and one party is, not to mince words, fucking evil. You get this. People making flimsy excuses for breaking the law, because the alternative is admitting, "my side is wrong in a very meaningful way and we may face consequences for doing so". And that's viscerally painful for many people (myself included). So they can't admit that. They can't admit, "Wow, yeah, there's a law against that and asking that that law be enforced is not unreasonable, it is how government is supposed to work." So instead they parrot the bullshit excuses offered by the people who definitely know better but are paid to look the other way, and pretend everything is fine as yet more norms and laws are broken and we shovel another group of minorities into concentration camps as the administration says, "Oh, that's cute, you expect the law to matter".

This is how we get fascism, by the way.
I think you are horribly misreaded the poster you quoted. To like an offensive degree
  #52  
Old 06-16-2019, 01:23 PM
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I think you are horribly misreaded the poster you quoted. To like an offensive degree
My post was agreeing with the poster I quoted and referring to another poster in this thread who happens to be a lawyer and who made this very obvious mistake. Sorry if that wasn't clear.
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Old 06-16-2019, 01:30 PM
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Ah, much clearer. I agree with your point 110%.
  #54  
Old 06-16-2019, 02:19 PM
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Her contributions to debates are limited to drive-by comments, facile questions, and pointing fingers. Strangely, the question you are replying to is probably her most substantive question ever posted, and yet itís just a pure straw man.

Iím in favor of enforcing the Hatch Act, as are most other people, but as long as she can find one person on ďour sideĒ who disagrees, they speak for us. Meanwhile, of course, it would be totally offensive to her if anyone implied that Trumpís neonazi brigade has anything to do with her positions. Which, of course, they do not.

What we see here is a rhetorical vermin trap: when rats can be found in society, the can be presumed only to be going in one direction, away from the speaker; in this case, DíAnconia.
Kellyanne Crimewave is just the latest nominee in an administration full of criminal activity.
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Old 06-16-2019, 02:34 PM
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Longtime fed, I know of MANY feds who were fired for far less.

Not a big fan of Hatch, but it IS the law.
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  #56  
Old 06-16-2019, 04:13 PM
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Longtime fed, I know of MANY feds who were fired for far less.

Not a big fan of Hatch, but it IS the law.
The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico, not the recently retired Orrin of Utah.
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Old 06-16-2019, 10:26 PM
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  #58  
Old 06-17-2019, 06:46 AM
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The law was named for Senator Carl Hatch of New Mexico, not the recently retired Orrin of Utah.
And?
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  #59  
Old 06-17-2019, 06:52 AM
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And?
And he probably thought you mistook one for the other, as it's a little odd that you would have a strong opinion on a two term Senator from 70 years ago.
  #60  
Old 06-17-2019, 08:03 AM
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And he probably thought you mistook one for the other, as it's a little odd that you would have a strong opinion on a two term Senator from 70 years ago.
The word I omitted was "Act", not any individual's first name.

I've been a federal lawyer/judge for 30+ years. I used to defend mgmt actions against employees for Hatch Act violations. I (and I presume all fed employees) receive regular reminders of the Hatch Act and its implications, and I have never been a big fan of the Hatch ACT.

I do have opinions about both Senators named Hatch, but those are irrelevant to this thread, so it did not occur to me that someone would assume I was bringing them into the discussion.
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  #61  
Old 06-17-2019, 09:22 AM
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Sorry for the confusion (which others have adequately explained). I did take it as you expressing non-fandom for the author of the legislation rather than the act itself.
  #62  
Old 06-17-2019, 02:57 PM
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Come the revolution, comrades...
Careful with the R word. I could involve Trump declaring marshal law and assuming the title President for Life. Mitch McConnell would see nothing wrong with that, I'm sure.
  #63  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:00 PM
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Yeah. I mean, you'd really think an honest-to-god lawyer wouldn't make this mistake. It boggles the mind how one could be a lawyer, speak from one's authority as a lawyer, and get something so simple so wrong. I can't really think of a reason why.

Actually, I can. This is what happens when partisanship is strong and one party is, not to mince words, fucking evil. You get this. People making flimsy excuses for breaking the law, because the alternative is admitting, "my side is wrong in a very meaningful way and we may face consequences for doing so". And that's viscerally painful for many people (myself included). So they can't admit that. They can't admit, "Wow, yeah, there's a law against that and asking that that law be enforced is not unreasonable, it is how government is supposed to work." So instead they parrot the bullshit excuses offered by the people who definitely know better but are paid to look the other way, and pretend everything is fine as yet more norms and laws are broken and we shovel another group of minorities into concentration camps as the administration says, "Oh, that's cute, you expect the law to matter".

This is how we get fascism, by the way.
I'm not speaking from my "authority" as a lawyer. Shit, I didn't know I had such a thing.

I'm speaking from common sense construction of a statute. It simply makes no sense, regardless of its constitutionality, that a president can say something, but his or her spokesperson cannot say it. That construction, given the purpose of the statute, is absurd.

And I mean that whether President Trump, Obama, or Biden does it.

The Supreme Court has upheld the statute in the cases cited above on very different facts and for very different reasons than saying that a president's spokesperson is violating the law for parroting an obvious message from the President.
  #64  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:07 PM
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The President is her boss, not her employer. And we don't pay people to campaign for the incumbent.

Last edited by Snowboarder Bo; 06-17-2019 at 05:08 PM.
  #65  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:17 PM
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I'm not speaking from my "authority" as a lawyer. Shit, I didn't know I had such a thing.

I'm speaking from common sense construction of a statute.
I'm not sure if that's better or worse.
  #66  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:40 PM
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I'm not sure if that's better or worse.
Shit. If I am allowed to say it, why is it a horrible thing to turn to the person standing next to me, whisper it in her ear, and then have her say it? That should be a felony?

Put aside your Trump hatred for a second and look at it for what it is.
  #67  
Old 06-17-2019, 05:46 PM
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The President is her boss, not her employer. And we don't pay people to campaign for the incumbent.
You don't think any White House Spokesperson for the last ever has not campaigned for the incumbent? Should that person say bad things about the current president?
  #68  
Old 06-17-2019, 06:47 PM
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Shit. If I am allowed to say it, why is it a horrible thing to turn to the person standing next to me, whisper it in her ear, and then have her say it? That should be a felony?

Put aside your Trump hatred for a second and look at it for what it is.
If my friend is allowed to say "Burn this broken system to the ground" at this protest, why am I not allowed to say that when standing five feet away (while acting in my official capacity as a police officer)?



Hey, buddy, newsflash: when you work for the government, your speech gets regulated. Because you work for the government.

Kellyanne Conway's job is not "Donald Trump's Publicist" or "Roy Moore's Publicist". She has an actual government job! It's "Counselor to the president". And, believe it or not, this is supposed to be a non-partisan position! I know, right, what a fucking concept - an office of government that doesn't exist solely for partisan gain. This means that she's not allowed to "use [her] official title or position while participating in political activity". Say, for example, participating in political activity while going on an interview where she knows she will be presented as "Counselor to the President".

Indeed, here's section two of the Hatch Act:
SEC. 2. It shall be unlawful for any person employed in any administrative position by the United States, or by any department, independent agency, or other agency of the United States (including any corporation controlled by the United States or any agency thereof, and any corporation all of the capital stock of which is owned by the United States or any agency thereof ), to use his official authority for the purpose of interfering with, or affecting the election or the nomination of any candidate for the office of President, Vice President, Presidential electors Member of the Senate, or Member of the House of Representatives, Delegates or Commissioners from the Territories and insular possessions.
The first bolded section describes Conway - her job falls under that grouping.

The second bolded section describes Conway's actions when she went on Fox News as "The White House Counselor".

Neither of these things can reasonably be disputed. So what we're left with is "this law sucks". And buddy, speaking as someone who grew up with hippies, I'm with you. But maybe we should apply that standard to all the people in prison on marijuana-related offenses before we apply it to someone who gets paid millions of dollars to go on TV and lie through her teeth, and for whom the only consequence would be "no longer having a high-ranking executive position".

(Side note: holy shit, d'y'ever sit back and look at what, exactly, you're defending? Seriously, from an outside perspective, you are saying, "this incredibly wealthy person should not lose her government job of going on TV and lying to people despite breaking a law that is very easy not to break". You may think you have good reasons for saying that - "you may think" is very pointedly not the same thing as "you do" - but christ, what a fucking thing to be arguing for.)

The Hatch Act sounds pretty reasonable to me - people working in positions in government expected to be non-partisan have to be non-partisan while on the job. Otherwise, let's just drop the pretense and say that there are no non-partisan positions within government - without the law, the concept is meaningless.

But if Kellyanne Conway wants to play fluffer for the RNC, she can find a job that doesn't have a legal prerequisite of nonpartisanship, or, radical notion, keep her job to herself when she's going on Fox News. I mean, fucking christ, KAC is on TV nearly every night, and the report only cites two interviews. It doesn't seem like a heavy lift to not break the fucking law!
  #69  
Old 06-17-2019, 08:01 PM
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Heck, she can even speak out on politics, if she wants. She just can't do so in her official capacity.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:04 AM
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Heck, she can even speak out on politics, if she wants. She just can't do so in her official capacity.
The very reason for her job is to speak out on politics.

The reason for this law was to prevent the postmaster in Elk Lick, Indiana from telling his 4 letter carriers that if they enjoy the nice work environment they have they had each better put up 100 signs this weekend supporting the Dem/Rep candidate for mayor. Or for setting up a phone bank in the post office for the mayor, or passing out the mayor's campaign literature in each mailbox. The postmaster's job is only to make sure that he gets the mail delivered and to use his office for political campaigning is unfair to the other side. When you have one political party in the White House that is simply a natural advantage to incumbency for down ballot races.


None of this anti-corruption law should apply to such a high-level individual who works directly with the President from doing something so mundane as endorsing a candidate that the President has already endorsed. You have a situation where everyone in the world knows who Kellyanne Conway supports, but she just can't say it. That's not corruption; that is just a silly application of the law: an application which has never been tested because it would almost certainly lose if prosecuted.
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Old 06-19-2019, 07:06 AM
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The very reason for her job is to speak out on politics.

The reason for this law was to prevent the postmaster in Elk Lick, Indiana from telling his 4 letter carriers that if they enjoy the nice work environment they have they had each better put up 100 signs this weekend supporting the Dem/Rep candidate for mayor. Or for setting up a phone bank in the post office for the mayor, or passing out the mayor's campaign literature in each mailbox. The postmaster's job is only to make sure that he gets the mail delivered and to use his office for political campaigning is unfair to the other side. When you have one political party in the White House that is simply a natural advantage to incumbency for down ballot races.


None of this anti-corruption law should apply to such a high-level individual who works directly with the President from doing something so mundane as endorsing a candidate that the President has already endorsed. You have a situation where everyone in the world knows who Kellyanne Conway supports, but she just can't say it. That's not corruption; that is just a silly application of the law: an application which has never been tested because it would almost certainly lose if prosecuted.
then maybe they should have changed the law at some point to make it not apply to high level people?
  #72  
Old 06-19-2019, 07:32 AM
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The very reason for her job is to speak out on politics.
Cite that her job description includes "speak publicly in official capacity about ongoing partisan disputes"?


Quote:
None of this anti-corruption law should apply to such a high-level individual who works directly with the President from doing something so mundane as endorsing a candidate that the President has already endorsed. You have a situation where everyone in the world knows who Kellyanne Conway supports, but she just can't say it.
As pointed out previously: this is not true. Kellyanne Conway is more than welcome to go on TV and say, "I support Roy Moore, and I think anyone voting for the democratic candidate is a huge piece of shit".

She just can't do it in her official capacity.

Because her job is supposed to be non-partisan.

Because that's the point of the Hatch Act.

Again, KAC is on the news on a near-daily basis, usually to repeat partisan talking points. The recommendation to have her fire listed two examples. That's a weird disparity, right? Not really, if you understand what "official capacity" means!

Do you understand what "official capacity" means?
  #73  
Old 06-19-2019, 08:35 AM
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why is it a horrible thing to turn to the person standing next to me, whisper it in her ear, and then have her say it?
The last part is the problem -- you're not supposed to say "HAIL HYDRA!" to everybody.
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  #74  
Old 06-19-2019, 09:11 AM
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The very reason for her job is to speak out on politics.
Your reason for her not breaking the law is that the President instructed her to break the law?
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:03 AM
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  #76  
Old 06-19-2019, 10:22 AM
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He does look like the Piss Boy.
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  #77  
Old 06-19-2019, 12:36 PM
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then maybe they should have changed the law at some point to make it not apply to high level people?
It is not at all clear that the Hatch Act is meant to apply to this type of conduct. Again, it would be a silly application of it and it would serve no purpose at all, not the least the purpose of the Hatch Act.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:40 PM
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It is not at all clear that the Hatch Act is meant to apply to this type of conduct.
A particularly bad argument, since the Trump-appointed arbiter of ethics for the Federal Government says that it does.
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:40 PM
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As pointed out previously: this is not true. Kellyanne Conway is more than welcome to go on TV and say, "I support Roy Moore, and I think anyone voting for the democratic candidate is a huge piece of shit".

She just can't do it in her official capacity.

Because her job is supposed to be non-partisan.

Because that's the point of the Hatch Act.

Again, KAC is on the news on a near-daily basis, usually to repeat partisan talking points. The recommendation to have her fire listed two examples. That's a weird disparity, right? Not really, if you understand what "official capacity" means!

Do you understand what "official capacity" means?
So she can say anything she wants, but she must preface it by saying, "And for the next statement, I am only speaking as Kellyanne Conway, private citizen, not as Kellyanne Conway, counselor to the President. See when I wave my left hand in a circle like this, private citizen, when I don't, official capacity."

That in your mind makes sense as an application of a serious law? And from posters in this thread, a Very Serious violation if the left hand is waived the wrong way?
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Old 06-19-2019, 12:42 PM
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A particularly bad argument, since the Trump-appointed arbiter of ethics for the Federal Government says that it does.
That is a terrible example because people appointed to ethics positions, boards or commissions are always on the lookout for ticky tack violations, even possible violations, because it justifies their jobs. When that person is appointed to the Supreme Court, let me know.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:35 PM
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It is not at all clear that the Hatch Act is meant to apply to this type of conduct. Again, it would be a silly application of it and it would serve no purpose at all, not the least the purpose of the Hatch Act.
then Congress should make the law more specific.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:43 PM
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Your client has been found guilty, Counselor. Deal with it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 01:57 PM
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Your client has been found guilty, Counselor. Deal with it.
I think the "This Law Is Silly" defense has legs, don't you?
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:46 PM
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I think the "This Law Is Silly" defense has legs, don't you?
This application of the law is untested and silly, not the law itself. Many examples can be argued that way.

For example, we are all against child pornography, but when a 15 year old sends a picture of her breasts to another 15 year old, we can argue that this particular application of the child pornography law is silly and we can fight in court to see if we win.

So far, everyone has just parroted the party line and not responded to any of my points: it is stupid to apply the law in this way and to be outraged at such a non-event is pure partisanship of the highest order. However, Trump sucks, so all is good and just another day at the SDMB.
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Old 06-19-2019, 03:59 PM
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So far, everyone has just parroted the party line and not responded to any of my points
The steelman of your position is "the law is unconstitutional in this application".

That's... a take. One I disagree with.

But beyond that, do you see any problem with the administration telling its own, self-appointed watchdogs, "Yeah, this law you guys are mentioning, it's unconstitional, but instead of amending it through congress or actually going through the court system, we're just going to tell you to fuck off and refuse to apply it"? Do you feel like that sets a potentially dangerous precedent at all?
  #86  
Old 06-19-2019, 04:02 PM
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When the OSC reprimanded Kathleen Sebelius for a Hatch Act violation in 2012, Republicans and conservatives seemed to think it was a fireable offense and called for her dismissal.

https://www.politico.com/story/2012/...tch-act-081122

The same thing happened when JuliŠn Castro violated the act.

https://www.politico.com/story/2016/...d-hatch-225732

Both of those violation were one time unscripted mistakes and the violators were appropriately contrite. Unlike Conway, who has racked up multiple violations and continues to remain defiant. But the talking point about the OSC acting in partisan manner and “picking on Trump” is pure unadulterated bullshit. They watch everyone.

Last edited by Ann Hedonia; 06-19-2019 at 04:03 PM.
  #87  
Old 06-19-2019, 04:06 PM
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So far, everyone has just parroted the party line and not responded to any of my points: it is stupid to apply the law in this way and to be outraged at such a non-event is pure partisanship of the highest order.
I'll respond to this: no; it isn't. It isn't stupid. It's smart. For lots of reasons which were laid out at the time the law was passed and mostly brought up in this thread already. There's maybe even some good reasons that we've come to realize since the law was passed.
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:08 PM
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That is a terrible example because people appointed to ethics positions, boards or commissions are always on the lookout for ticky tack violations, even possible violations, because it justifies their jobs.
Why, we can't stand for that sort of nitpicking!

That is solely the domain of defense attorneys!
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:27 PM
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And Attorneys General, nowadays.
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