Saturday, March 08, 2008

Republicans play by their own rules

By Libby

Well what the hell, they got away with illegally using RNC servers to conduct government business by claiming to have lost the emails, so why worry about following the rules now?
A staffer working for Rep. Steve Chabot (R-Ohio) apparently broke House rules Friday, forwarding a request that congressional staffers send interns to the Republican National Committee (RNC) to make campaign-related phone calls.

The episode started when an aide at the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) sent an e-mail Friday to congressional staffers. The e-mail asked the GOP aides to send interns to the RNC to make phone calls for Jim Oberweis (R), who is running for former House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s (R-Ill.) vacated congressional seat in a special election Saturday.

“If you have interns sitting around today, please send them over to the phone bank for Oberweis,” the e-mail states.

Matthew Lillibridge, a staff assistant in Chabot’s office, forwarded the e-mail to aides in other congressional offices, apparently violating House rules against using House resources for campaign purposes. Lillibridge used his House e-mail address, forwarding the e-mail to other addresses on the House e-mail server.

The Republicans are falling back on the, oh it was just a mistake by young inexperienced interns, defense. It seems to me to be a pretty clear violation of the rules and the RNC asking for congressional interns to leave their jobs, which are presumably being paid for by the taxpayers, in order to politic for the party, is more than a little dicey in my mind. If it's not against the law, it should be.

On the bright side, it's cheering to see the GOP so desperate for help they have to issue an emergency call for assistance to defend a formerly secure seat.

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