Civil Servants Under Fire

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA - Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke attends an event at the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial announcing the newly carved engravings of Afghanistan and Iraq campaigns and the restoration project of the memorial, in Arlington, Virginia Tuesday November 21, 2017. Business man and philanthropist David Rubenstein's gifted millions of dollars to the make the restoration project possible. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)
on March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Dems Grill Zinke About Native American Reassignments
Scott Pruitt, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency of United States (EPA), during the G7 Ministerial Meeting on Environment ongioing in Bologna, Italy, 11 June 2017. The meeting runs until tomorrow, 12 June. ANSA/ GIORGIO BENVENUTI
Key Read

Here’s Alice Ollstein’s look at a critical issue we’re going to be closely focused on in the months and (unfortunately) years to come: the effort to purge the federal bureaucracy of experts, non-Conservative loyalists and, today, those who are not personally loyal to Donald Trump. The story has taken on a distinct coloration today under Donald Trump since his war against the ‘deep state’ is so tightly focused on protecting himself from personal prosecution. But it has decades’ old roots. And a central player is Newt Gingrich, who was at this thirty-plus years ago and now is closely advising and egging on Donald Trump to force or in many cases simply allow purges across the board. Trump isn’t an ideologue like Gingrich. But he only understands loyalism and he will do anything to protect himself from the law. So he’s a perfect partner for Gingrich’s quest to make the federal government more corrupt, ideological, ineffectual and stupid. Give this a read; and if you’re part of the federal workforce and you see things we want to hear.

on September 29, 2017 in Washington, DC.
Trial Run For A Purge?

Yesterday morning, we published a scoop by Alice Ollstein: Congressional Democrats, she reported, are demanding an investigation into Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke’s order last summer to reassign dozens of top-level DOI career employees. His choice of who to reassign, Democrats allege, may have been racially discriminatory, in addition to being politically motivated. Government investigators are also currently looking into whether these reassignments may have broken laws protecting civil servants.

Alice’s reporting is part of TPM’s longterm focus on how the Trump administration treats civil servants, and whether the administration is choosing who to fire and reassign with political objectives in mind. That would be illegal.

Thinking big picture, why does this story matter? In a Prime post, Alice digs into one reason: If investigators uphold Zinke’s decision to reassign and marginalize DOI employees, one whistleblower told her, it could give the green light for a government-wide purge.

Read More

on March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Why The Reassignment Of A Few Dozen DOI Staffers Is A BFD Prime Badge
on March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.
Dems Want Probe Into Whether Interior Department Discriminated
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