Environmental Protection Agency employees are supposed to work in a non-partisan way but that hasn’t kept them from donating more than a quarter of a million dollars to Democrats in recent elections, a Daily News Caller Foundation analysis has found.
Data compiled by OpenSecrets.org shows that in the 2012 and 2014 election cycles, contributors who listed EPA as their employer gave 90 percent, or $331,174, of their total federal campaign donations to Democrats, and just nine percent, or $32,891, to Republicans.
Those numbers may actually understate the number of EPA employees making political contributions because the analysis doesn’t include those who did not report the agency as their employer to the Federal Election Commission.
President Barack Obama, who has issued new EPA regulations equivalent to the length of 43 Bibles, has especially benefited from employee donations. In the 2012 election cycle, EPA workers contributed $167,000 to Obama’s re-election campaign.
William A. Nitze, who was assistant administrator for international activities from 1994 to 2001, topped the EPA donor list, with $45,000 to the Democratic National Committee Services Corporation between 2000 and 2004.
Federal law prohibits federal employees from using work hours for political activity, but employees are free to donate in their personal capacity.
Perhaps it shouldn’t surprise Americans, given a 2014 John Hopkins University study that found most federal employees lean Democrat.
Two political scientists at Hopkins said they worry about a possible gap between federal employees and the people they serve, after they found federal workers in Washington, D.C., are generally whiter, richer, more educated, and more liberal than Americans on average.
They surveyed 850 federal employees in D.C. last year, and found half of congressional and White House employees, 54 percent of civil servants, and 57 percent of policy staffers identify as Democrats. Across the country, 35 percent of Americans identified as Democrats, 28 percent identified as Republicans, and the rest identified as independent.
“It might be a problem,” Jennifer Bachner, director of Hopkins’ master’s degree program in government analytics, told the Baltimore Sun in October. “If the government looks very different demographically than the American people, the question is: Can they govern well? Can they appreciate the challenges of the American public?”
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