Friday, March 30, 2007

To say nothing of meeting their minority hiring quotas

BushCo's plan to politicize the Justice Department ain't just about busting Mexicans and prosecuting Democratic politicians over Republicans, fellas. It's a balls-out war to intimidate Democratic voters and depress their voter turnout in elections, as this excellent LA Times editorial (I know!) by a former Justice Department official explains (emphasis mine):

From 2001 to 2006, no voting discrimination cases were brought on behalf of African American or Native American voters. U.S. attorneys were told instead to give priority to voter fraud cases, which, when coupled with the strong support for voter ID laws, indicated an intent to depress voter turnout in minority and poor communities...

...This administration is also politicizing the career staff of the Justice Department. Outright hostility to career employees who disagreed with the political appointees was evident early on. Seven career managers were removed in the civil rights division. I personally was ordered to change performance evaluations of several attorneys under my supervision. I was told to include critical comments about those whose recommendations ran counter to the political will of the administration and to improve evaluations of those who were politically favored.

Morale plummeted, resulting in an alarming exodus of career attorneys. In the last two years, 55% to 60% of attorneys in the voting section have transferred to other departments or left the Justice Department entirely.

At the same time, career staff were nearly cut out of the process of hiring lawyers. Control of hiring went to political appointees, so an applicant's fidelity to GOP interests replaced civil rights experience as the most important factor in hiring decisions.
Well, come on folks, you have to admit it would be hard to find Republican candidates with civil rights experience.


deadspot said...

Reading your blog frequently makes me feel like my head is going to explode. a good way, of course.

vikkitikkitavi said...

DS: Oooh, commenting on one of the more wonky posts. I'm intrigued.

deadspot said...

Well, I am an intriguing kind of guy. I was a poli sci major, so I love, love, love this kind of stuff, and you always dig up the best dirt. I continually find new things to be astonished and outraged by when I come here.