HOUSE JOINT MEMORIAL 4039
State of Washington 52nd Legislature 1992 Regular Session
By Representatives Franklin, Winsley, Nelson, Mitchell, Leonard, Ogden, Heavey, Brekke, Jones, G. Cole, Basich, Ludwig, Belcher, Braddock and Anderson
Read first time 02/07/92. Referred to Committee on State Government.
TO THE HONORABLE GEORGE BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, AND TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE AND THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, AND TO THE SENATE AND HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE UNITED STATES, IN CONGRESS ASSEMBLED:
We, your Memorialists, the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Washington, in legislative session assembled, respectfully represent and petition as follows:
WHEREAS, The Hatch Act of 1939 vastly prohibits the political rights and activities of Federal civilian and postal employees in any endeavor beyond voting, privately expressing opinions about candidates and issues, or contributing money to political organizations; and
WHEREAS, Federal civilian and postal workers are, first and foremost, citizens of the United States, with interests and experiences as diverse as the nation and should be allowed to more fully participate in the democratic process; and
WHEREAS, The current language of the Hatch Act is so vague and complex as to create a chilling effect on the activities of many federal employees who often do not participate in currently permissible activities out of confusion and concern for their job security; and
WHEREAS, The Commission on Political Activity of Government Personnel which was created by Congress and charged with the task of extensively studying the question of Hatch Act reform concluded in 1968 that the Act was confusing, ambiguous, restrictive, and negative in character; and
WHEREAS, Federal civilian and postal employees deserve to and should be permitted to participate voluntarily, as private citizens, to the fullest extent possible in the political processes of the nation; and
WHEREAS, The necessity for the protection of such employees and the general citizenry from improper political solicitations or coercion has decreased substantially in the years since the implementation of the Hatch Act; and
WHEREAS, The merit system for employee advancement has become so firmly entrenched in the American Civil Service system that the existing Hatch Act is no longer required to protect employees from improper pressure from their superiors; and
WHEREAS, Federal civilian and postal employees possess unparalleled knowledge and understanding of the Government and its administration which would add immensely to public policy debate if such employees were freed to become more politically active;
NOW, THEREFORE, Your Memorialists respectfully pray that the United States Congress and President George Bush amend The Hatch Act, as codified in Title 5, United States Code, to provide for Federal civilian and postal employees to participate voluntarily as private citizens in the political processes of the nation and to protect such employees from improper political solicitation or coercion only to the extent truly necessary.
BE IT RESOLVED, That copies of this Memorial be immediately transmitted to the Honorable George Bush, President of the United States, the President of the United States Senate, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, and each member of Congress from the State of Washington.