When the Romney campaign announced in early May that Scott Jennings would be Mitt's senior advisor and campaign manager in Ohio, it was largely underplayed or not at all in some Northern Ohio newspapers. The Plain Dealer ran the a pro forma story and photo of Jennings with the usual laudatory comments from the campaign about Jennings', a former Kentucky operative, aggressive political style. "We're excited," crowed Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the forever somber Bluegrass Republican.
But earlier, a couple of out-of-state newspapers did take some time to record a blemish in Jennings' political past that tells us more about his labors for ex-president George W.Bush as a White House political appointee. On Jan. 26, the Lexington (Ky.) Herald-Leader reported that Jennings was among those in the White House Office of Political Affairs cited for violating the Hatch Act by the U. S. Office of Special Counsel.
The Hatch Acts restricts a federal employe from using federal money to work on political missions. In this instance, Jennings was among a group of operatives named in the report for spending taxpayer money to help Republicans win elections. Jennings worked for the biggest gorilla in the Bush operation, Karl Rove.
Jennings has responded by contending that he was exempt from the Hatch Act.
The Office of Special Counsel said he's guilty but exempt from penalties - but only because he's no longer a federal employe.
Now working with Rove's brain, he'll be an interesting fellow to watch in the next four months. We're happy that Mitch McConnell is so excited about this. Jeez.