Friday, May 4, 2012

Mitt Romney Associate Peter Schaumber Likely Violated The Hatch Act

Sorry for the disturbing images. They are related to this story: Former Republican precinct committeeman in AZ J.T. Ready, Neo-Nazi and One-Time Pal of Russell Pearce's, is Shooter in Gilbert Massacre

The pathological liar and conservative Republican blogger Jim Hoft(The Gateway Pundit) has tried to associate Ready with Democrats and the Occupy movement -  Far Right AZ Neo-Nazi Commits Mass Murder, Wingnut Bloggers Immediately Paint Him as a Left Winger

Mitt Romney Associate Peter Schaumber Likely Violated The Hatch Act

Last week, the Romney campaign finally broke its silence on an advisor’s role in a growing scandal. A report released last night shows why it had to.

In September, Mitt Romney named former National Labor Relations Board Chairman Peter Schaumber as the co-chair of his campaign’s Labor Policy Advisory Committee. Then in March, the NLRB’s inspector general named Schaumber as the recipient of leaked confidential info from current NLRB member Terence Flynn – and the Romney campaign avoided comment for a month.

Last Thursday, Rep. Elijah Cummings announced that the IG would be releasing a follow-up report, and was referring his findings to the Office of Special Counsel “for potential Hatch Act violations due to Mr. Schaumber’s role as a senior advisor” to Romney. (The Hatch Act bans public officials from using government access to advance political campaigns.) The new report, released last night by the House Education and Workforce Committee Democrats, is a sequel that truly outdoes the original.

The same day Cummings announced the forthcoming report, Romney Etch-A-Sketched Schaumber – sort of. The campaign issued no statement, but a “Romney campaign aide” told the Hill that Schaumber had already stepped down from his campaign role sometime in December. That’s the same month that Flynn learned he was being investigated by the IG. (The Romney campaign did not respond to a request for comment.)

“It’s hardly a coincidence,” said AFL-CIO spokeswoman Alison Omens in an emailed statement, “that Schaumber resigned from the Romney campaign the same time his inside source at the board was notified he was being investigated.”

When Romney tried to dump right-wing anti-immigrant warrior Kris Kobach as part of a post-primary pivot, Kobach talked back, telling Think Progress he was in fact still advising the candidate. Romney shouldn’t have that problem with Schaumber, who’s been keeping his mouth shut since being named in the IG report last month. But there are some facts that complicate the Romney campaign’s narrative. A month after Schaumber’s supposed departure, he appeared on Fox News to discuss Republican outrage over Obama’s NLRB appointments (one of whom was Schaumber’s alleged mole, Flynn). The host introduced Schaumber as a “top advisor” to Romney – as did the Fox chyron – and asked him about Romney’s stance on the NLRB. (She also asked him about NLRB investigations of Bain Capital; Schaumber pleaded ignorance of the details, then launched into a blanket defense of companies that get investigated by the NLRB.)

Romney’s website was also slow to adjust to his supposed months-old parting with Schaumber. Until recently, a link to an essay by Schaumber was prominently displayed on his Labor page, and the press release announcing his appointment was in the campaign’s archive. Now, the Web addresses for both bring up pages reading “Access Denied.”

Looks like Team Romney is trying to put distance between itself and Schaumber’s scandal without actually addressing it. But the scandal is just getting started.

Romney and friends see American workers as serfs who should have no rights. Like all good conservative Republicans they think the American workplace should operate like an Antebellum plantation where none of the workers should get too uppity. Talk about elitism gone wild.

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