It has recently been reported that prominent Republicans in the Bush Administration are screening potential federal government employees concerning how they intend to vote in upcoming elections. This development calls for both Congressional investigation and an independent federal prosecutor. There is a federal law known as the Hatch Act which clearly makes such blatantly politicization of the federal government hiring program illegal. These activities may violate other federal laws, as well.
It is time for Republicans at all levels to distance themselves from the ethically challenged national leadership of the Republican Party and the Bush Administration. Not only have the Bush Republicans failed to follow the spirit of the law in many different ways, it now seems obvious that they are not complying with the letter of the law.
Scandal follows scandal in our daily news. During the 2006 election, Republicans tried with mixed success to spin the various illegal activities reported concerning Republican members of Congress, Republican Governors and various state Republican Party leaders as isolated “bad apples.” It now looks like most of the barrel may be rotten to the core of the Republican Party.
We have FBI raids connected to Arizona Republican Congressman Renzi and California Republican Congressman Doolittle in the headlines. The web of corruption by Republican officeholders seems to be vast. It looks like the Bush White House was actively engaged in keeping the extent of the corruption from the voters in 2006. This Republican culture of corruption explains much about the US Attorney firing scandal and Republican efforts to make voting difficult.
The US Attorney firing scandal is emerging as the biggest corruption probe and abuse of office probe since Watergate. It looks like the Department of Justice has been entirely politicized and may be involved is various ways in obstruction of justice. Denial of voting rights, obstruction of corruption by Republican officeholders, manufactured criminal cases against Democratic figures, manufactured vote fraud cases, orders to take legal positions favoring large corporate law-breakers like the tobacco companies and other abuses at the Department of Justice connected to top Republicans are emerging in the media.
The Republican efforts to make voting difficult for the poor, working Americans, minorities and the elderly are apparent in the policies pursued by the Department of Justice. It is equally apparent in the activities of the Republican Party machinery in almost every state in the union.
Tennessee Republicans in the State Senate recently voted to require voters present photo ID’s that many poor and elderly Tennesseans do not have. In 2006, Republican supporters of the Republican Governor Ehrlich successfully blocked early voting by using the courts to overturn voting reform laws. Early voting makes it much easier for working citizens to vote without interfering with their jobs. In recent elections in Tennessee, up to 40 percent of all votes cast came from early voting.
Corrupt officeholders are often removed by the voters in large turnout elections. Republicans fear these voters. Outright vote fraud may have handled several Congressional seats in Florida to Republicans who really lost had the votes been honestly counted.