Politics

Hatch calls for investigation into Obama’s Labor Dept ‘propaganda’ posters featuring Al Sharpton, Jesse Jackson

Photo of Matthew Boyle
Matthew Boyle
Investigative Reporter

Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch has called for an investigation to determine if President Barack Obama’s Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, broke the law with posters she’s placed around the Labor Department headquarters.

A few weeks ago, The Daily Caller first reported that Solis had placed posters in elevators throughout the Washington, D.C., Labor Department headquarters.

Those posters featured a photo of Solis marching in protest alongside the Rev. Jesse Jackson and MSNBC television host Rev. Al Sharpton, among others. She was acting as an emissary of the Obama administration protesting against Alabama’s strict new law combating illegal immigration. Solis had her arms locked with Sharpton, and Jackson is a few feet away.

The poster also carried a message for federal government employees — who are traditionally expected to be apolitical in the performance of their duties.

“Whether we take to the streets or simply do our work with integrity and commitment here at the U.S. Department of Labor,” the poster read, above Solis’ signature, “We are all marching toward the same goals: safer workplaces, fair pay, dignity on the job, secure retirement and opportunities to make a better life. I believe in the power of collective action.”

On Tuesday, Hatch wrote to the Labor Department’s Deputy Inspector General Daniel Petrole asking him to “investigate this matter thoroughly to determine whether the insertion of these posters violates any federal laws, including the Hatch Act, and whether the Secretary’s message has created a hostile work environment for any federal employees who might have differing political views.”

Hatch said Solis’ “poster campaign” conveys an “overtly political message.” Hatch said he thinks it’s “vital” to make sure “American taxpayers are not subsidizing partisan political messages, particularly during this contentious election season.” He said it’s also important to “ensure that federal government employees are not subjected [to] political propaganda in the workplace.”

Rick Manning, a spokesman for Americans for Limited Government believes Hatch’s concern deserves President Obama’s attention.

“When someone with the integrity and power of Orrin Hatch starts demanding answers about the obvious attempt to politicize and indoctrinate the civil service ranks,” said Manning, “it becomes a serious problem for the Administration.”

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