WASHINGTON D.C. – House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Ranking Member Darrell Issa sent letters to 21 Administration officials requesting that they answer questions about the role of White House political personnel in “planning, directing, or coordinating your travel to participate in public events – official or political – which may have a political benefit for elected Democratic officials of Democratic candidates for office.”
“President Obama promised change in Washington, but despite complaints about the existence of the Office of Political Affairs from Democrats during the Bush Administration there’s no sign that politics-as-usual have changed,” said Rep. Issa. “It’s critical that Administration officials answer questions about the use of taxpayer dollars to aid the campaigns of politicians seeking elected office.”
Issa’s letter notes a report from former Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Henry Waxman that noted, “Congress should amend the Hatch Act, the federal law restricting political activity by federal officials, to eliminate the White House Office of Political Affairs. If the political affairs office is retained, its activities should be restructured to ensure that it serves the interests of the taxpayer, not the political party of the President.”
Administration officials are asked to provide information about their travel, the involvement of White House officials, and whether it involved political fundraisers, rallies, or other functions by June 17.