Bushies Illegally Billed Taxpayer for Political Trips

Office of Special Counsel finds widespread violations
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2011 8:34 AM CST
Bushies Illegally Billed Taxpayer for Political Trips
President George W. Bush signs a presidential proclamation in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – A three-year Office of Special Counsel investigation has found that members of George W. Bush’s administration—including at least seven Cabinet secretaries—campaigned on the taxpayer dime. In the run-up to the 2006 elections, Cabinet members took many politically motivated trips, falsely claiming they were on official business, investigators concluded. The administration also improperly orchestrated the use of government assets to help congressional allies, according to the Washington Post.

For a while, RNC operatives even moved into the White House, coordinating the campaign alongside Bush’s political office staff. “The systematic, partisan political activity described in this report … goes far beyond a need for political information to effectively advise the president,” investigators wrote in their report. “It is, in fact, the type of electioneering proscribed by the Hatch Act.” Investigators have also launched a second probe into allegations that former Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman used government aircraft to travel to political events. (Read more George W. Bush stories.)

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