The office of GOP Rep. Matt Gaetz (Fla.), who is currently embroiled in a massive sex scandal, released a statement signed by “the women” of the office defending the congressman, but it does not list any names of the purported women.
The Justice Department is investigating whether Gaetz broke federal sex trafficking laws and had a sexual relationship with a 17-year-old girl, as The New York Times first reported last week. The congressman has repeatedly denied the allegations and has not been charged in the investigation.
“After the shocking allegations last week in the press, we, the women of Congressman Matt Gaetz’s office, feel morally obligated to speak out,” read the statement, signed by “The Women of the Office of U.S. Congressman Matt Gaetz”.
“During Congressman Gaetz’s time in office, we have been behind the scenes every step of the way,” it continued. “We have staffed his meetings. We have planned his events. We have traveled with him. And we have tracked his schedule. On every occasion he has treated each and every one of us with respect. Thus, we uniformly reject these allegations as false.”
In Gaetz’s office, the statement also said, “women are not only respected, but have been encouraged time and time again to grow, achieve more, and ultimately, know our value.”
“Congressman Gaetz will continue to lead by example and stand for the people of America who have been maligned by the liberal elite. And we will stand with him,” the statement said at its conclusion. “While we recognize the scrutiny we will face for making this decision, we take comfort in the hope that more Americans and elected officials will stand up and refuse to remain silent.”
According to Insider, Gaetz’s office told the news outlet that his whole staff backed the statement, including “all 8 women staffers.”
Last week’s revelation from The Times has also spurred more allegations against the Florida Republican, such as a CNN report which cites multiple sources claiming that Gaetz would brag about his sexual exploits to fellow lawmakers and show off to them, even on the House floor, pictures and videos of nude women he had slept with. There is no indication, however, that the behavior from this report is connected in any way to the investigation.
You can follow Douglas Braff on Twitter @DouglasPBraff.
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Biden Administration Proposes Rule to Fortify Federal Bureaucracy Against Republican Presidency
In a strategic move, the Biden administration has unveiled a proposed rule aimed at reinforcing the left-leaning federal bureaucracy, potentially hindering future conservative policy implementations by Republican presidents. This move has raised concerns about the efficacy of democratic elections when a deep-seated bureaucracy remains largely unchanged, regardless of electoral outcomes.
Key points of the situation include:
Presidential Appointees vs. Career Bureaucrats: Of the 2.2 million federal civil workers, only 4,000 are presidential appointees. The vast majority, made up of career bureaucrats, continue in their roles from one administration to the next. This continuity is facilitated by rules that make it exceedingly difficult to discipline or replace them, resulting in a bureaucracy that tends to lean left politically.
Union Political Affiliation: A striking 95% of unionized federal employees who donate to political candidates support Democrats, according to Open Secrets, with only 5% favoring Republicans. This significant political skew among federal workers raises questions about the potential for political bias in the execution of government policies.
Obstructionism and Challenges for GOP Presidents: Some career bureaucrats have been accused of obstructing Republican presidents’ agendas, leading to policy delays and challenges. For example, during the Trump administration, career lawyers in the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division declined to challenge Yale University’s discrimination against Asian American applicants, prompting Trump to seek legal counsel from other divisions. The case was subsequently dropped when Joe Biden took office.
Biden’s Countermeasures: President Biden has taken steps to protect the bureaucracy’s status quo. In October 2020, Trump issued an executive order aiming to reclassify federal workers who make policy as at-will employees, but Biden canceled it upon taking office.
Proposed Rule and Congressional Actions: The rule unveiled by the Biden administration seeks to further impede a president’s ability to reinstate Trump’s order. Additionally, some Democrats in Congress are pushing to eliminate the president’s authority to reclassify jobs entirely. This has been referred to as an attempt to “Trump-proof the federal workforce.”
Republican Candidates’ Pledge: GOP candidates such as President Donald J Trump, Vivek Ramaswamy, and Ron DeSantis have pledged to address this issue. According to reports from Fox News, Ramaswamy has gone further, advocating for the elimination of half or more of civil service positions, emphasizing the need for accountability.
Debate on the Merit of the Civil Service: While Democrats and their media allies argue that civil service protects merit over patronage, critics contend that the system has evolved into a form of job security for federal workers with minimal accountability. Federal employees often receive higher salaries and more substantial benefits than their private-sector counterparts.
In summary, the Biden administration’s proposed rule and broader actions to protect the federal bureaucracy have sparked a debate over the role of career bureaucrats in shaping government policy.
Republican candidates are vowing to address these concerns, highlighting the need for accountability and ensuring that government agencies work in alignment with the elected president’s agenda. This ongoing debate raises important questions about the relationship between the bureaucracy and the democratic process in the United States.
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