Blog ››› ››› JOCELYN FONG
We've noted that conservative media have accused the Obama administration of breaking the law by discussing possible positions for Democratic Senate candidates Joe Sestak and Andrew Romanoff. In a New York Times op-ed today, Bush ethics lawyer Richard Painter rejects that claim:
Despite what some Republicans might claim, such politicking is not illegal; in fact, this sort of thing has been business as usual in presidential administrations for a very long time. Nonetheless, these recent incidents should prompt us to rethink whether overtly partisan work has a legitimate place in the White House and, if so, who should be doing it.
Painter goes on to say that to minimize "such politicking" in the White House, "Congress should amend the Hatch Act, or the president should issue an executive order, to prohibit all White House staff members from participating in partisan political activity in any capacity during the relatively short time they serve in government."