Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius will campaign for President Obama this week, days after federal officials ruled that she illegally did so in her official capacity earlier this year.
Sebelius will appear “in per personal capacity” at a handful of New Hampshire events, according to a report in the New Hampshire Union Leader:
President Barack Obama’s campaign will bring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the state on Friday and Saturday to speak at grassroots events in Durham, Portsmouth, Laconia, Concord, Nashua, Derry and Keene.
Officials were sure to address any potential violations of the Hatch Act, a federal law that prohibits administration officials from conducting political activities in their official capacities.
To avoid any legal issues, the Obama campaign has made it clear that Sebelius “will be speaking to the press in her personal capacity on behalf of Obama for America.”
The campaign even asked the media to “refrain from using her official title at the event and in related press reports, and note that we will not be taking questions concerning her official responsibilities.”
Sebelius was cited for a Hatch Act violation earlier this month after the Office of Special Counsel noted that she had called for the re-election of President Obama and North Carolina Governor Bev Purdue (D) while speaking in her official capacity at an event in February.
The administration has declined to pursue sanctions against Sebelius, noting that she reimbursed taxpayers for all expenses associated with the February event.
Heritage’s Hans Von Spakovsky balked at that decision. “Political appointees such as Sebelius have a fiduciary duty just as great as that of civil-service employees to conduct their official duties in a fair, impartial, objective, and nonpartisan manner,” he wrote for National Review Online. “Sebelius violated that trust, but apparently will suffer no consequences for doing so.”
H/T Joel Gehrke