Earlier this week, Lee County Shereff Mike Scott referred to the Junior Senator from Illinois as Barack HUSSEIN Obama and now he is being investigated for ethics violations. FOR SAYING THE GUY’S MIDDLE NAME. If the Senator doesn’t like his middle name, he should go to court and change it.
Will settle whether Sheriff Scott violated federal actBy Rachel Myers
[email protected]Federal and state investigations into allegations that Lee County Sheriff Mike Scott acted illegally or unethically by speaking at a political rally while on duty and in uniform could take weeks – or possibly months – to complete.Scott has denied any wrongdoing after he referred to the Democratic presidential candidate by his full name, Barack Hussein Obama, at a rally for Republican vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin on Monday.Critics say that by doing so, Scott implied Obama is a Muslim. Obama, who is named for his Kenyan father, is a Christian.Representatives with the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Florida Commission on Ethics say it is too soon to determine whether Scott has broken federal laws or state ethics policies.At the county level, statutes govern employees’ political actions while in uniform. The sheriff is an elected official, not an employee. His office’s budget is approved by county commissioners, but his salary is paid by the governor’s office.Scott, a Republican who is up for re-election, issued a point-by-point statement Wednesday, saying why he appeared in his uniform and why he called Obama by his middle name.“There were no accusations, innuendos, untruths, or malicious words before or after the candidate’s name,” Scott wrote. “Although many others have made inflammatory statements about (Obama’s) character, etc., I did not change my tone or otherwise punctuate or repeat the name with any verbal or physical emphasis. ‘Why’ did I use the candidate’s full, legal name of record? Despite varying inferences, interpretations, opinions, and extrapolations, the answer is because I wanted to.”The federal inquiry hinges not so much on what Scott said, but on his presence and participation at a political event while in uniform, and determining whether he used his authority inappropriately to sway voters.Attorneys with the special counsel are investigating whether Scott violated the Hatch Act of 1939. According to Anthony Gugliemi, director of congressional and public affairs at the counsel, the act is intended to prevent public officials in the executive branch who receive federal money from becoming involved in elections.For local and state employees covered under the act, permitted activities include running for public office in nonpartisan elections and actively campaigning for candidates for public office in both partisan and nonpartisan elections.Prohibited activities include using official authority or influence to interfere with or affect the results of an election or nomination and directly or indirectly coercing contributions from a subordinate in support of a political party or candidate.“At this point, it’s very premature to really talk about it, determining whether the sheriff is covered by the Hatch Act,” Gugliemi said. “I don’t want to speculate on penalties or anything like that, but I believe we’ll have more information next week as we continue to look into it.”He said his office’s investigations can take a few weeks to several months to complete.“I want to stress, though, that just because we have begun an investigation is not a huge cause for concern and does not mean there has been any wrongdoing,” Gugliemi said. “Right now, we’re just looking into this.”Meanwhile, the Florida Commission on Ethics is mum on whether it is conducting an investigation. Deputy Executive Director Virlineia Doss said all of its investigations are confidential until a finding is made. She said there is a provision prohibiting those in public office from “corruptly” using their position or resources for personal gain.Doss said many of the actions the commission investigates are subject to interpretation. She recalled a case involving a state trooper who appeared on national television in uniform and endorsed a political candidate. A complainant argued the “use of position” clause, but the commission found the trooper’s rebuttal – that the uniform was part of who he was and that he had a right to say what he chose – was valid.“We really take it on a case-by-case basis,” Doss said, “but the decisions that have been made in the past are kind of useful in predicting what they will do in the future.”The commission meets about every six weeks. Its next meetings will be Oct. 17 and Dec. 5, Doss said.As for possible sanctions at the county level, it doesn’t appear any would apply. Though the county code of ethics prohibits employees from campaigning or attending political events while in uniform, the sheriff, said Assistant County Manager Holly Schwartz, is not a county employee.And the sheriff’s office ethics policy makes no mention of political functions. In the operation manual, edited in December, the ethics policy mentions rules such as not accepting gifts and keeping certain information confidential.Sgt. Larry King said that while the sheriff adheres to it, the policy is used more as guide for his staff.In the past, when Florida sheriffs were sanctioned or removed from office – Charlotte County Sheriff William Clement was ousted in 2003 over hidden campaign contributions – it was at the hands of the governor.Meanwhile on Wednesday, the sheriff’s public information office set up a separate phone line for complaints and praise on the matter after it received more than 600 calls Tuesday.King said the callers were split, but more were in favor of the sheriff. The more than 200 callers who phoned Wednesday got a recording of Scott, welcoming their thoughts after the tone.
So why isn’t anyone worried about Senator Obama taking his cues from the Novel 1984. Every time someone says/does something he doesn’t like, he doesn’t discuss or argue, he tries to shut them up. Look at how hard he worked to silence Governor Palin from the Iran rally this week. But that wasn’t the first time. When a group called the American Issues Project launched an ad talking about the Illinois Senator’s unexplained links to terrorist Bill Ayers. Senator Obama has responded with his own ad which is fine but that’s only half the story. He sent a letter to the DOJ asking for an investigation then pressured stations not to run the ad threatening them with letters to their advertisers etc. Radio Host John Batchelor reported that Obama even hired a Richard Nixon style “Plumbers Unit” to keep the Ayers story under wraps. When the woman who survived an abortion made a commercial against the Senator’s Abortion position, He attacked her PERSONALLY as a liar. And now we have the incident in Missouri where he is working with supporters in the State police to silence the NRA. When you read the story below, Just think about what he could do with Presidential Powers: