Education secretary urged his employees to attend Sharpton's rally
By Lisa Gartner
August 20, 2010
President Obama top education official urged government employees to attend a rally that the Rev. A Sharpton organized to counter a larger conservative event on the Mall.
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."
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