U.S. Department of Health and Human Services employees have a mission “to enhance and protect the health and well-being of all Americans,” but thousands of them are also boosting Democratic politicians’ coffers in the meantime, especially President Obama’s.
Obama received one of every four campaign dollars contributed by HHS employees since 2000, about $126,000 of the $507,000 in total contributions, according to Federal Election Commission data compiled by OpenSecrets.org.
Campaign contributors who listed HHS as their employer gave $378,000, or 74 percent, to Democrats and progressive causes between 2007 and 2014. The remaining $129,000, or 26 percent, went to Republican candidates and professional associations.
HHS employs about 62,000 people, according to the Office of Personnel Management.
Those numbers may actually understate the number of HHS employees making political contributions because the analysis only covered those who listed HHS as their employer.
The three largest single donations to Obama, each for $2,500, came during the 2012 election cycle and we contributed by Moira Shea, a now-retired senior policy analyst with the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response; Earl Johnson, director of the Office of Family Assistance; and Edward J. Holland Jr., Assistant Secretary for Administration.
Most of the 575 HHS employee donations to Obama since 2007 were for $1,000 or less.
The Hatch Act prohibits federal employees from doing partisan political activity while on official duty, but employees are free to support candidates on their own time and money.
A 2014 John Hopkins University survey of 850 federal employees in D.C. found 54 percent of civil servants, and 57 percent of policy staffers, identified as Democrats. Across the country, 35 percent of Americans identified as Democrats, 28 percent as Republicans and the rest as independents.
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