Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Uniformed Paul Fan Raises Eyebrows

ARCHIVES

An Army corporal with tours in both Iraq and Afghanistan under his belt may have been in violation of a Defense Department directive prohibiting active duty service members from endorsing political candidates while in uniform -- the Pentagon's version of the Hatch Act, according to the Huffington Post.

Jesse Thorsen, a native of West Des Moines, Iowa, according to media reports, has been a steady advocate of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul. Thorsen appeared on TV Tuesday in an interview with CNN's Dana Bash. Later, Paul invited Thorsen on stage when speaking after his third place finish in the caucus.

"It's like meeting a rock star," Thorsen said of Paul. He called Paul's foreign policy "by far, hands down, better than any of the candidates out there and I'm sure you all know that."

The Huffington Post points to DOD directive 1344.10 (4.1.1.9), which says an active duty may only attend political events when not in uniform.

Despite ongoing efforts to reform the Hatch Act, no such efforts to liberalize the Defense Department's parallel directive currently exist, said Richard Painter, a University of Minnesota law professor and former chief White House ethics lawyer.

"Doing that in uniform is a really big no no," Painter told Government Executive.

Twitter reaction to Thorsen's endorsement ranged from outrage ("you embarrassed your service") to cautionary ("You're about to be Ron Paul's 'Joe the Plumber.' The media is going to eat you alive").

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

    Download
  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

    Download
  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

    Download
  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

    Download
  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.