SD GOP Press Release:
TAXPAYER-PAID JOHNSON STAFFER ATTACKING CONGRESSWOMAN NOEM, IN CAMPAIGN MODE
SDGOP Calls on Sen. Johnson to Explain How Staffer’s Activity Isn’t in Violation of the Hatch Act
As reported by Tom Lawrence of the Mitchell Daily Republic, Tim Johnson staffer Matt Varilek went off-script in his remarks to the Davison County Democrats and “sounded like a candidate.”
“Varilek needs to realize that South Dakotans do not want to fund this type of hate-filled attack,” said Tony Post, Executive Director of the South Dakota Republican Party.
Typically, federal-level staffers do not level this type of attack to steer clear of Hatch Act improprieties, but Matt Varilek’s brazen attack seems troubling in this regard.
“Matt Varilek has two very simple options to rectify this,” outlined Post: “1. Stop campaigning. 2. Keep campaigning but don’t ask taxpayers to pay your $90,000 salary. I hope Mr. Varilek does the right thing.”
In light of the clear Hatch Act questions Varilek’s activities have raised, Post called on Senator Johnson to defend his employee’s actions and explain to South Dakota’s taxpayers how this is not in violation of the law.
“It appears Senator Johnson is allowing his employees to play loose and fast with the rules,” Post said. “South Dakotans deserve to know whether Matt Varilek is working for them or promoting his political ambitions at their expense. At the very least, Sen. Johnson’s office should provide proof that Varilek was not reimbursed by taxpayers for expenses incurred while he campaigned yesterday. How many other campaign meetings has Varilek had across the state – either public or private – at the expense of South Dakota taxpayers?”
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