Last week, Cause of Action filed a formal complaint with the Office of Special Counsel regarding remarks by Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar during several political rallies in the swing state of Colorado. A CoA investigation determined that Sec. Salazar, was potentially violating the Hatch Act of 1939—a law designed to keep government employees from using their title and position to influence the outcome of elections.

The potential violations from Salazar come only months after another CoA investigation revealed similar circumstances at the FAA, as well as a formal finding from the OSC that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius was in violation of the Hatch Act.

The fact that so many Executive Branch employees are violating the Hatch Act must mean that something is awry.  Why does the President continue to ignore the laws that have been put in place to protect the integrity of the election system? Clearly, it is in the President’s best interest to allow his cabinet members to campaign on his behalf without recourse, but that certainly doesn’t mean it is legal.

Regardless of incentive or motivation, the President’s choices about the ethical and legal ramifications for members of his administration speak volumes. If he is unable to demonstrate integrity regarding proper punishment for law-breakers in the Executive Branch, then can he be trusted to uphold other laws?

At Cause of Action we are committed to continuing our fight for an open, honest, transparent government, and we strive to ensure that the American people get just that.