In a possible violation of the Hatch Act, the Bush Administration used federal funds to boost efforts to elect Republican candidates in key battleground states.
McClatchy Newspapers has the story of efforts within the administration to use federal dollars to bolster the campaigns of republican candidates. The strategy, a clear violation of the Hatch Act, works like this:
Political operatives in the White House coordinated political briefings in the Treasury and Commerce Departments that outlined the campaigns that needed assistance. Cabinet officers from those departments then make appearances with the candidates at which they announce grants the federal government is giving within the candidates district. The appearances and the grants were funded with tax payer dollars.
In the months leading up to the 2002 election, then-Commerce Secretary Don Evans, Bush's former campaign finance chairman, made eight appearances or announcements with Republican incumbents in districts deemed by White House aides either as competitive districts or battleground presidential states.
During the stops, he doled out millions of dollars in grants, including in two public announcements with Rep. Heather Wilson, a New Mexico Republican in a competitive district.
The House Oversight Committee is investigating the issue but will no doubt run into more claims of executive privilege until Bush runs out the clock.