The Washington Post

Former GAO head Dave Walker meets the Hatch Act

David Walker, former comptroller general (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan) David Walker, former comptroller general (Mark Lennihan/AP)

Former U.S. comptroller general David Walker, who headed the Government Accountability Office in the Clinton and then the Bush administrations and more recently ran the defunct Comeback America Initiative” — warning about debt, spending and fiscal doom —  is looking at a run for lieutenant governor in Connecticut as a Republican — after many years as an independent.

Walker has looked at running for office before. Back in 2011 he was reported to be considering running as a Republican for former Connecticut senator Joe Lieberman’s seat. Sources were saying then that a formal bid was likely. But he decided against it.

He recently sent out an e-mail  announcing his “exploratory” operation, a.k.a water-testing. There was also a link to his Web site, where he explains “it’s time for the people of Connecticut to be told the hard truth” about their fiscal plight and the need to change direction.

So he’s “exploring a run for Lt. Governor and respectfully request your help to make a comeback in Connecticut a reality.” And there’s a link to click on to contribute to his exploration.

All pretty much the usual mailing: except that several hundred e-mails went to Government Accountability Office employees, who, under federal law (the Hatch Act), “may not engage in political activity . . . while the employee is on duty, in any federal room or building. . . [and] may not use any e-mail account or social media to distribute, send, or forward content that advocates for or again a partisan political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group.”

Uh-oh.

“We notified Dave Walker and his campaign right away, and they took steps to make sure it would not happen again,” GAO spokesman Chuck Young  told us. “We also reminded our employees of their responsibilities under the Hatch Act.”

Al Kamen, an award-winning columnist on the national staff of The Washington Post, created the “In the Loop” column in 1993.

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