Tweet could land Secretary Zinke in some serious trouble
Secretary Zinke has a way of putting his foot in his mouth. Montanans have known this for years and the Montana press has mostly looked the other way through his microphone mishaps and Facebook foibles. The problem that Zinke is running into currently is that he’s not in Montana anymore, he’s swimming with the sharks in Washington D.C. and the press out there doesn’t give free passes.
It looks like Zinke is going to be in some hot water for his Twitter troubles this time and it’s not just a slap on the wrist awaiting him. Zinke sent out a tweet that is an obvious violation of the Hatch Act. The Hatch Act is the Federal law that prohibits government civil servants from engaging in direct political activity. This is especially true when acting in the official capacity of your office or on government time. A description of the Hatch Act from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel:
The Hatch Act, a federal law passed in 1939, limits certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. The law’s purposes are to ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and to ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation
Secretary Zinke is a civil servant, he is no longer an elected official and he knows the rules, but chose to disregard them as he inserted himself into the government shutdown to try and influence people with his office. The Hatch Act exists to prevent just such activity.
Secretary Zinke tweeted from his official government Twitter account and tried to cast blame on the Democratic party, even though Republicans control all three branches of government.
Here is the tweet in question:
Zinke’s use of the hashtag Schumer Shutdown is a direct violation of the Hatch Act.
Zinke should be held accountable for his blatant disregard of the law.