The Hatch Act is in place for a reason; let’s not forget it



June 24, 2019 - 10:18 AM

In 1980, I covered the campaigns of candidates vying to succeed Kansas First District Rep. Keith Sebelius, who was retiring after 12 years in the U.S. House. It was the first time I remember hearing about the Hatch Act.

One of the Republicans in the race worked for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. To comply with the law that restricts federal employees’ political activities, he had left his job to run for office. I no longer recall the candidate’s name, but I do remember he didn’t resent the requirement — even though his campaign was a long shot.

In his view, the restrictions were part of the ground rules, and those who participated in politics should abide by the ground rules.

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