One Presidential Contender Fixates on Porn-Watching Feds

Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina Republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina Charlie Neibergall/AP

This early in the presidential race, prospective candidates generally speak in broad platitudes about improving the economy and restoring the American dream.

One Republican hopeful, however, is taking a much more targeted approach. Her pet issue? Federal employees watching pornography at work.

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina has talked often about bureaucratic porn watchers and the damage they are doing to the economy. Even before she officially threw her hat in the ring, Fiorina had taken up the issue, telling Fox News in March she understood “bureaucracies, how they work and how you need to change them.”

She added: “How many inspector general reports do we need to read that say, you know, you can watch porn all day long and get paid exactly the same way as somebody who’s trying to do their job?”

Now, Fiorina has taken the issue up on the campaign trail, incorporating the tale of the federal employee porn watcher into her stump speech. Sometimes the issue comes up in the context of equal pay for women.

“A man can sit in a federal government job and watch pornography all day long, while he earns the same pay and benefits as a woman sitting next to him,” she said Wednesday, according to Bloomberg Politics.

Other times, Fiorina brings up the issue to support her call for overhauling the federal pay scale in favor of a pay-for-performance system. A spokeswoman told Bloomberg that whether the employee is watching porn or looking at social media, the work is not getting done.

“When a federal employee who is watching porn all day, or surfing Facebook for that matter, gets paid the same as someone who is doing their job, it’s not fair,” the spokeswoman said.

The issue received widespread attention when an Environmental Protection Agency employee admitted to watching two to six hours of pornography at work each day, and incidents at the Federal Communications Commission, Treasury Department and other agencies have been reported. While watching porn on government computers is already prohibited, the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee passed the Eliminate Pornography From Agencies Act earlier this year.

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