Ed. Sec. to employees: Maybe you should attend Sharpton rally

Posted by: ST on August 31, 2010 at 9:02 am

The Washington Examiner reports (via Memeorandum):

President Obama’s top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. Al Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.

“ED staff are invited to join Secretary Arne Duncan, the Reverend Al Sharpton, and other leaders on Saturday, Aug. 28, for the ‘Reclaim the Dream’ rally and march,” began an internal e-mail sent to more than 4,000 employees of the Department of Education on Wednesday.

Sharpton created the event after Glenn Beck announced a massive Tea Party “Restoring Honor” rally at the Lincoln Memorial, where King spoke in 1963.

The Washington Examiner learned of the e-mail from a Department of Education employee who felt uncomfortable with Duncan’s request.

Although the e-mail does not violate the Hatch Act, which forbids federal employees from participating in political campaigns, Education Department workers should feel uneasy, said David Boaz, executive vice president of the libertarian Cato Institute.

“It sends a signal that activity on behalf of one side of a political debate is expected within a department. It’s highly inappropriate … even in the absence of a direct threat,” Boaz said. “If we think of a Bush cabinet official sending an e-mail to civil servants asking them to attend a Glenn Beck rally, there would be a lot of outrage over that.”

Russ Whitehurst, director of the liberal-leaning Brookings Institution’s Brown Center of Education Policy, said nothing like this happened when he was a Department of Education program director from 2001 to 2008: “Only political appointees would have been made aware of such an event and encouraged to attend.”

Doug Powers comments:

Had Duncan encouraged 4,000 Department of Education employees to attend Glenn Beck’s rally, he would have been discarded like yesterday’s jobless claims report… unexpectedly, of course.

Yeah, and they would have also been characterized as “raaaacists.”

More from Doug:

If any DoE employees actually took Duncan’s advice and went to Sharpton’s rally, how many do you think spotted the flaw on this SEIU banner:

Amercan Dream

Can’t make this stuff up, folks.

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13 Responses to “Ed. Sec. to employees: Maybe you should attend Sharpton rally”


  1. Carlos says:

    A while back I commented on a pic of Sarah calmly debating a teacher who had gotten in her face, noting it was unusual that there were no misspellings on the teacher’s sign.

    I rest my case.

  2. Steve Hussein Skubinna says:

    What’s that criticism of the Tea Partiers we keep hearing from the left? Oh, right, their signs are missp-

    Uh oh.

    Never mind.

  3. Kate says:

    LOL…..I guess they depend on their Spellchecker???

    I was in Washington, DC….what a nice bunch of folks! I saw some of Al’s “Parade” and their chant was “Down with the TeaParty” SOOOO original! But it was pathetically sparse. I think there were more vendors than marchers. Perhaps I was seeing the tail end of it???????

    If this was a directive and you didn’t attend would you be fired? If you perhaps mistakenly wandered to the Lincoln Memorial where all the crowds were would you have been chastized?

    Morally this is wrong in so many ways…but expected from this Administration unfortunately.

  4. Christopher Woerner says:

    Isn’t it illegal, or at the very least unethical, to expect your employees to give up their free time for unpaid attendance at functions like this?

  5. Bill Fabrizio says:

    The dems are so screwed in November!

  6. david foster says:

    If this doesn’t violate the Hatch Act, it would seem to come pretty close. Also, it could be argued that given Sharpton’s history, the Secretary is creating a hostile work environment for Jewish employees.

  7. James says:

    In hip-hop that would be the right spelling for “American”.

  8. Jo says:

    Y’all are all being un-Amer-can. I’m leaving.

  9. Carlos says:

    @Christopher: Since when has anyone, and I literally mean ANYONE in this administration worried about “ethical,” at least the way people who understand the English language do?

    Illegal, this they understand. They just change the rules when “illegal” comes up. But “ethical” implies standards, and the only standard for this administration is that one must be a complete and total ideologue in order to be considered for any position.