Monday, July 18, 2016

Julian Castro wipes out of VP hunt

He violated the Hatch Act.

A U.S. Office of Special Counsel report released Monday found that Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro violated the Hatch Act, which restricts the political activity of some federal employees, during an April interview with Yahoo News.

Castro's statements during the interview, according to a OSC news release, mixed his "personal political views with officials agency business despite his efforts to clarify that some answers were being given in his personal capacity." The department found he violated the act by "advocating for and against presidential candidates while giving a media interview in his official capacity on April 4, 2016," the report states.

The Hatch Act, passed in 1939, prohibits employees from using their official authority or influence to affect the outcome of an election, according to the report. The OSC submitted the report and Castro's response to President Barack Obama for "appropriate action."

Castro has the right to appeal the violation and faces disciplinary action including "removal, reduction in grade, debarment from federal employment for a period not to exceed five years, suspension or reprimand" and faces a fine up to $1,000, according to federal law.

In the April interview, the former San Antonio mayor, who is reportedly being vetted to be Hillary Clinton's vice president, tells Katie Couric, "Now, taking off my HUD hat for a second and speaking individually, it is very clear that Hillary Clinton is the most experienced, thoughtful and prepared candidate for president that we have this year."

I've encountered few people in my decade of Democratic politics just concluded who have acted more cautious and self-centered about their political future and viability than the Castros.  To say that this takes him out of the running for veep is an understatement.  He may have ruined all of his future prospects with this fumble.  Clinton is campaigning in in Florida this Friday and Saturday, and that's allegedly when she will be making her choice for running mate.

So it's going to be Tim Kaine, I now suspect.  That's about as lousy as can be for progressives ... unless she picks John Lickenhooper, that is.  Kaine's weak enough, but "Clinton-Hickenlooper" would be one crappy bumper sticker, not to mention ticket.

1 comment:

Gadfly said...