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

A Bureaucrat With a Name and a Face

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A cri de coeur from a frustrated fed appeared in Wednesday’s Washington Post letters column. The letter came in response to law professor Jonathan Turley’s recent article claiming that the nation’s regulations are “crafted largely by thousands of unnamed, unreachable bureaucrats.”

Marc Hartstein, a Baltimorean with 23 years of government service, protested that he has “yet to meet another federal employee who does not have a name."

Hartsein continued: "If Mr. Turley were to check the beginning of regulations published in the Federal Register, he would see that these civil servants also have phone numbers where they can be reached. Not dissimilar to the charge in Mr. Turley’s commentary of being nameless, I was once called 'faceless' by a member of Congress in a teleconference with his constituents. Disproving that charge was difficult, as I was a disembodied voice on a speakerphone, but I did assure the audience that I do indeed have a face.”

Charlie Clark joined Government Executive in the fall of 2009. He has been on staff at The Washington Post, Congressional Quarterly, National Journal, Time-Life Books, Tax Analysts, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges, and the National Center on Education and the Economy. He has written or edited online news, daily news stories, long features, wire copy, magazines, books and organizational media strategies.

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