Here's yet another reason why McClatchy deserves millions of devotees:
Top Commerce and Treasury Departments officials appeared with Republican candidates and doled out millions in federal money in battleground congressional districts and states after receiving White House political briefings detailing GOP election strategy.
Political appointees in the Treasury Department received at least 10 political briefings from July 2001 to August 2006, officials familiar with the meetings said. Their counterparts at the Commerce Department received at least four briefings — all in the election years of 2002, 2004 and 2006....
Under the Hatch Act, Cabinet members are permitted to attend political briefings and appear with members of Congress. But Cabinet members and other political appointees aren't permitted to spend taxpayer money with the aim of benefiting candidates.
During the briefings at Treasury and Commerce, then-Bush administration political director Ken Mehlman and other White House aides detailed competitive congressional districts, battleground election states and key media markets and outlined GOP strategy for getting out the vote.
Commerce and Treasury political appointees later made numerous public appearances and grant announcements that often correlated with GOP interests, according to a review of the events by McClatchy Newspapers. The pattern raises the possibility that the events were arranged with the White House's political guidance in mind.
I don't want to say too much here, because I'll probably be following this stuff pretty closely for The Corporate Masters. But the issue with the Hatch Act is that unless the Congress is willing to impeach the cabinet members in violation, then enforcement falls to the president. And as is clear from his record, George W. Bush
takes the Hatch Act seriously sees the Hatch Act as a minor nuisance and is perfectly willing to let his administrators sit in obvious violation. So unless I'm missing something obvious, I don't really see any recriminations coming down the pipe.
But here's yet another example of McClatchy using its resources exactly as a news agency should. One is tempted to suggest that Marisa Taylor and Kevin Hall deserve to be elevated to high positions at major national papers. But then again, one is also tempted to suggest that that might mean the end of their opportunity to do serious journalism.