Thursday, May 11, 2006

Down & Dirty in AD 65th

Cal-YAF Files Federal Complaint Against Jim Ayres
Calls for prosecution for “egregious” violations of the ‘Hatch Act’

California Young Americans for Freedom last week filed a complaint with the United States Department of Justice - Office of Special Counsel, regarding a potential significant violation of the Federal Hatch Act by 65th Assembly District candidate Jim Ayres.

FACT: The Hatch Act, first passed in 1939 in reaction to political abuses by the Democratic Party, is a safeguard to prevent federal, state and local government employees from exploiting their office for partisan political advantage.

FACT: Specifically, the Act prohibits local government employees “whose principal employment is in connection with an activity which is financed in whole or in part by loans or grants” by the federal government, such as Jim Ayres, from running in a partisan election.

FACT: From November 9, 1998 to March 6, 2006 , Jim Ayres was an employee of the Riverside County Economic Development Agency, a county program which received significant funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through Community Development Block Grants.

FACT: Employees in County programs funded by the Federal government are subject to the restrictions of the Hatch Act. The Federal government may punish violations in Riverside County by requiring the dismissal of the offending employee and barring further Federal funding for Riverside County for two years,

FACT: Starting on January 18, 2005 , while employed with the county – more than a year prior to taking a leave of absence – Ayres actively campaigned and solicited contributions for the Republican nomination for State Assembly.

This appears to be in direct violation of the Hatch Act.

“California YAF is sick and tired of the ‘Culture of Corruption’ that has plagued our Country,” commented Cal-YAF Chairman Brandon Powers . “It is in this light that Cal-YAF has filed a complaint against Jim Ayres.

“This appears to be a most basic and egregious violation of the Hatch Act,” added Cal-YAF’s attorney Michael MacLellan. “The Hatch Act was passed to prevent government employees from doling out federal dollars in acts of patronage to influence elections. It spelled out very clear and concise do’s and don’ts for partisan candidates, rules Mr. Ayres apparently feels he is above following.”

“Cal-YAF has submitted a letter to the Office of Special Counsel calling for it ‘to immediately initiate an investigation regarding our claim that Mr. Ayres may have violated the Hatch Act and further calls upon the OSC to take all appropriate actions, including a prosecutorial referral to the US Merit Systems Protection Board and appropriate sanctions against Mr. Ayres and the County of Riverside for any violations of the Hatch Act,’” added Powers.

Coming Soon: More from Cal-YAF’s investigation of Jim Ayres…

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