Sunday, October 21, 2012

Cop in uniform advocating political campaign in TV commercial.

This political season in Michigan features a new low.   A policeman wearing his uniform and badge in a political ad on TV spouting wingnut talking points about Proposal 2 in Michigan.  If this behavior is not a violation of the Hatch Act  it should be. I think this is a horrible precedent.  I know if a cop in uniform knocked on my front door and tried shilling his politics to me I'd tell him to get off my porch and shut the door and lock it.

 Here is a link from a right wing site hailing the new ad.  Bonus points for the misspelled headline.

New NO On Porposal 2 Video

As for how the Hatch Act applies to police officers, this is from the Fraternal Order of Police.  The uniform and badge in the political ad are not permissible.

 The Hatch Act: The Political Process and You 
It is permissible for officers to:
- Endorse or oppose a partisan political candidate in a political advertisement, broadcast, campaign literature, or similar material, so long as the officer is not on duty and not wearing a uniform, badge or insignia;
It is impermissible to:
- Allow one’s name or likeness to be used in campaign literature in the police officer’s professional capacity;
Because the  Detroit Police Department receives Federal grants for a number of different department functions, there is a good chance the Hatch Act restrictions would apply here.  The question may also depend on if  Proposals are subjected to the same restrictions as political campaigns involving elected officials.  Either way this officer has run afoul of the law, the code, or ethics.  He should not wear that badge while he's advocating his personal politics.  

For more about how Rick Snyder and Michigan's Tea Party legislature have specifically targeted teachers unions for cost cutting while leaving other public unions off the hook I suggest this earlier post.
 Pathteacher:  Snyder's policy for Michigan schools.. Teachers lose, janitors win. Bravo.

For reference, here is the wording of Proposal 2.


This proposal would:
  • Grant public and private employees the constitutional right to organize and bargain collectively through labor unions.
  • Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements, including employees’ financial support of their labor unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public employees from striking.
  • Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with collective bargaining agreements.
  • Define “employer” as a person or entity employing one or more employees.
Should this proposal be approved?
YES __
NO ____


  1. What about the officers that support it? Aren't they illegal too?

  2. Apparently it's all OK, heck the Michigan Attorney General was in a commercial politicking against the proposal as well. But then AG Schuette never let laws stop him before.

  3. Just wonder when you drank the kool-aid and become a liberal

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