Von Spakovsky Gets Civil Rights Job

Posted August 21, 2008 at 4:12pm

The Bush administration has named Hans von Spakovsky to the staff of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, months after the Senate refused to appoint him to the Federal Election Commission because of allegations that he had politicized the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division.

Von Spakovsky was hired as a special assistant by the commission during a July 28 meeting, during which his name was kept confidential. Von Spakovsky was reportedly hired at the request of Commissioner Todd Gaziano, who had supported his nomination to the FEC.

According to the Talking Points Memo Web site, Spakovsky’s duties could include oversight of the commissions reporting on the 2008 elections.

In May, von Spakovsky withdrew his nomination to the FEC that had languished for months. Democrats contended that during his Justice Department tenure, he had championed policies that aimed to suppress voter turnout.

When he withdrew, he said his action would clear the way for Senate to approve other FEC commissioners and for the agency to conduct oversight in this election year. He also cited personal finances, saying he wasn’t wealthy and his child’s need for braces was the final straw.

Campaign Legal Center Executive Director Gerald Hebert harshly criticized the hiring.

“The hiring of von Spakovsky is a cynical abuse of patronage and a waste of tax dollars. Von Spakovsky has no business collecting a government paycheck in any position dealing with civil rights or voting rights. Congress should be closely examining how this hiring came about,” Hebert said.