Should Kathleen Sebelius resign for her violation of federal law?
Yesterday, federal investigators revealed that Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius has violated federal law. Sebelius has been a constant, outspoken supporter of President Obama’s abortion policies, and she has been at the helm of the implementation of ObamaCare. As the governor of Kansas, Sebelius endorsed Obama in his 2008 run for president and was appointed to his Cabinet in early 2009.
On February 25, 2012, Sebelius spoke at an event for the Human Rights Campaign. She went on to violate federal law by speaking in open support of President Obama. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel, in yesterday’s press release, described their findings:
The Office of Special Counsel (OSC) sent findings to the President today from its investigation of complaints of prohibited political activity by Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. OSC concluded that Secretary Sebelius violated the Hatch Act when she made extemporaneous partisan remarks in a speech delivered in her official capacity on February 25, 2012. The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election. A federal employee is permitted to make partisan remarks when speaking in their personal capacity, but not when using their official title or when speaking about agency business.
Fox News discussed the statements made by Sebelius that were in violation of the Hatch Act:
‘One of the imperatives is to make sure that we not only come together here in Charlotte to present the nomination to the president, but we make sure that in November, he continues to be president for another four years,’ Sebelius said, according to the agency and reported first by The Hill newspaper.
The Hill reports that Sebelius went “off-script” when she spoke in support of President Obama. She also spoke against a marriage amendment and in favor of the Democrat candidate for governor in North Carolina.
Since the investigation was released, both Sebelius and the White House have offered commentary. In an unsurprising move, Sebelius has shared her opinion that no action should be taken against her, especially since her speech was quickly reclassified from official business to political.
The investigative office said HHS reclassified the trip from ‘official’ to ‘political’ after Sebelius made the comments.
The Democratic National Committee also reimbursed the government for the cost of the trip, according to the OSC.
That should have been enough to avoid a Hatch Act violation, Sebelius said in her response to the investigation. Sebelius said ‘it seems somewhat unfair’ to conclude that she was using her official title for political purposes, and noted that she voluntarily sought to reimburse the federal government for the trip after going ‘off script.’
‘If there was a violation of the Hatch Act based on the use of my title, I believe the violation was technical and minor,’ Sebelius told the OSC. ‘These are not the types of violations that the Hatch Act is intended to address.’
She noted that the OSC did not recommend that Obama take any specific action to punish her, and said, ‘I don’t believe that any action would be appropriate.’
The Obama White House appears to be offering special treatment to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius in the wake of the news Wednesday afternoon that President Barack Obama’s cabinet official violated the Hatch Act — activity that is illegal and normally results in the offender’s termination from government employment.
‘These were extemporaneous remarks. … The U.S. Treasury has been reimbursed, and Secretary Sebelius has met with ethics experts to ensure this never happens again,’ White House spokesman Eric Schultz told The Associated Press in response to the news that Sebelius violated the Hatch Act.
It is no secret that Secretary Sebelius continually finds ways to impose Planned Parenthood’s agenda on the people of the United States, and it is no secret that President Obama is a supporter of the same agenda. Sebelius’ work has proved to be one of this administration’s main avenues to impose abortion on the taxpayers. It comes as no surprise that the White House would defend the secretary’s support of the president, federal law notwithstanding.
What do you think? Should Sebelius be suspended? Terminated? Should she resign?
Dan Epstein, president of the good-government group Cause of Action believes that Sebelius should be fired immediately by President Obama:
This is the most high profile example of a Hatch Act violation since the Act was passed in 1939,’ Epstein said. ‘Never before has a member of the President’s Cabinet been found to have committed a Hatch Act violation. President Obama should immediately fire HHS Secretary Sebelius for her violation of federal law. Additionally, the Justice Department should begin an investigation into any potential election crimes the Secretary may have committed through her then-taxpayer funded comments on February 25, 2012.’
The Tully Rinckey law firm, quoted by the Daily Caller, agrees that “Hatch Act violators are typically fired.”