Patton says she relied on advice from ethics officials. If true, that’s a major mitigating factor, making it strange she suffered the harshest penalty in history. In contrast, OSC simply accepted Chad Wolf’s entirely implausible claim he didn’t know he was filming an RNC video./1
Wolf PERSONALLY performed a naturalization ceremony, something Secretaries don’t normally do, for vulnerable immigrants he took to the WHITE HOUSE FOR POTUS, WHOM HE PRAISED ON CAMERA, ON THE DAY OF THE RNC. He didn’t know it was for the RNC? BS! Yet OSC believes the white guy./2
I don’t blame those who filed the complaint. It was an important complaint to file. She deserved to be found guilty. But what Americans deserve, living as we do in a country with two justice systems, is an explanation from OSC regarding the penalty. Why doesn’t OSC get that? /3
This is how implicit bias works. It isn’t necessarily about choosing to discriminate. Unconscious reactions to different groups can skew perceptions. That may have made them believe Chad’s total BS story. Is that what happened here? Maybe. Maybe not. That’s why we need answers./4

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More from @waltshaub

8 Apr
As part of the government ethics and accountability initiative I’m now leading at @POGOwatchdog, we’re launching a newsletter in which I’ll tackle one topic at a time in depth. It’ll be free, substantive, written by me, and edited by smart people. Sign up:…
As I say in the corny video I filmed on a rainy day under a bridge, “The Bridge” newsletter is a chance to delve into issues more deeply than on Twitter. I’ll give you a hashtag at the end of each issue, so you can comment or ask me questions here.…
It’s an email newsletter. Yeah yeah, I know email’s old like carrier pigeons. But, coupled with a Twitter hashtag, it enable us to explore issues in depth. As a bonus, here’s a pic of a mourning dove in a nest I made—yours free if you subscribe now! (No peeking if you don’t!) 🕊 Image
Read 5 tweets
8 Apr
OSC argues it has no authority to seek a fine against a presidential appointee like Kelleyanne Conway, but DOJ is suing Omarosa Manigault Newman for a fine. Why? Because the executive branch believes presidential appointees aren't exempt from fines related to their employment.
The White House itself imposed a $200 fine on another presidential appointee, Jared Kushner, when he missed the deadline for filing a financial disclosure report. Presidential appointees are not exempt from fines for violating ethics laws like the Hatch Act.
OSC's argument is that 3 U.S.C. § 105(a) exempts presidential appointees from any other law affecting their employment. The Office of Legal Counsel has expressly rejected this idea with regard to the Hatch Act Reform Amendments (HARA), which was enacted after 3 U.S.C. § 105(a).
Read 16 tweets
7 Apr
The Interior Department made 2 videos that were obvious campaign ads for Trump. No one at the Interior Department was held accountable. Over at HUD, Lynne Patton did the same and became the only Trump appointee fined for a Hatch Act violation. Why Patton?…
In finding Lynne Patton guilty, OSC said she used renters in a video shown at the RNC. Chad Wolf brought immigrants live and in-person to the White House in a pandemic for a naturalization ceremony that was used as a centerpiece at the RNC. Why is Patton guilty and not Wolf?
OSC said Kellyanne Conway violated the Hatch Act dozens of times and said Patton violated it twice. Both are political appointees. Neither’s covered by an exception for Senate-confirmed appointees. OSC *recommended* action against Conway. OSC banned Patton from govt for 4 years.
Read 4 tweets
7 Apr
Two distinct responsibilities of govt are: (1) to use the power we give it solely for the benefit of all of us, (2) demonstrate that it’s using the power solely for the benefit of all of us. The 2nd of these is important too. So I have questions about the Lynne Patton decision./1
Asking questions is the responsibility of citizens in a republic. Govt officials should understand that and comport themselves professionally when confronted with questions, instead of lashing out at the questioners. The questions don’t suggest answers. They are only questions./2
So here are questions for OSC:
1. Is Lynne Patton the 1st political appointee to pay a Hatch Act fine? If so, why? If not, who else was assessed a fine?
2. Is she the first political appointee to be barred from govt service for 4 years? If so, why? If not, who else? /3
Read 9 tweets
6 Apr
This is very good. But it also raises a question as to why OSC didn't seek fines against Kellyanne Conway for her dozens of violations. The law exempts Senate-confirmed political appointees from fines. Other political appointees, like Conway and Patton, are not exempt.
Here's another odd feature of this decision. OSC often closes investigations when someone leaves government. I don't agree with that practice, but it bears noting they closed a Hatch Act violation of Comey when he left government. I'd like to see statistics on such closures.
Here's a letter from a Senator noting that “OSC historically closes Hatch Act investigations of individuals who separate from federal service.” Again, I disagree with that practice, but I'd be curious to know if there had been exceptions in the past.…
Read 10 tweets
1 Apr
I’m going to share something but turn off the responses because this subject always provokes response that range from gratuitously vicious to profoundly ignorant. Cruel people and well-meaning people alike are profoundly ignorant on the issue of weight. It’s complex. /1
However complex you may think it is, it’s thousands times more complex. I’ve spent tens & tens of thousands of dollars trying to change my weight. I’ve lost & regained more weight than most of you weigh. I’ve worked with experts. The idea that it’s a lack of effort is ignorant./2
The idea that it’s easy is ignorant. Most studies are either small or limited to a year. Over 5 years about 95% regain, with many adding more. Are there exceptions? Yes. But the truth is there is no treatment that has been shown to work for most people. /3
Read 23 tweets

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