Obama officials allegedly used threats of budget cuts by Republicans to push government employees to vote for Democrats
Two federal agency supervisors allegedly warned employees earlier this year that a Republican takeover in Washington could threaten their jobs -- comments that some workers apparently took as guidance on "how to vote" and that one group claims may have violated federal law.
Nonprofit watchdog Cause of Action wrote a letter Wednesday asking the Department of Transportation's inspector general to launch a probe into the incident, involving senior officials with the Federal Aviation Administration. The incident occurred in May during a meeting at the FAA's Seattle office, according to the letter.
Emails obtained by FoxNews.com show one FAA employee recalling what John Hickey, deputy associate administrator for aviation safety, said at the meeting.
"I would not be able to quote Mr. Hickey (sic) exact words but what I took out of it was, if the conservative (Republicans) gain control of congress then the FAA could be looking (at) as much as a 15% cut in budget and we (may) be looking at furloughs. If the liberal Democrats take control of congress then we would be looking at a flat budget," the email said. "In short if the Republicans win office our jobs may be (affected) ... if the Democrats win office then our jobs would not be (affected)." . . .IF this occurred it would apparently a clear violation of the Hatch Act.
"The FAA takes Hatch Act violation allegations very seriously and will cooperate fully with any review of the allegations," the spokesman said.
Dan Epstein, executive director of Cause of Action, called the alleged incident an "egregious abuse of power for political gain."
"These career employees were led to believe their jobs were at risk if their political support did not line up with the agenda of the administration," he said. . . .The Hill newspaper explicitly links the pressure to votes for Obama.
A government accountability group is accusing supervisors at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) of urging the agency's employees to vote for President Obama and other Democrats in November. . . .CBS has a story available here.