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Veal Pen Watch: Is POGO part of the problem?

Veal! (photo: rinalia/flickr)

Veal! (photo: rinalia/flickr)

A disturbing post was put up by the Project on Government Oversight yesterday, featuring an unthinking quote by its Executive Director, Danielle Brian:

For his part [Nuclear Regulatory Chairman Gregory] Jaczko has said he only recently learned of the allegations, but admitted to sometimes having a brusque management style at times. “There are times when I can question people intensely and that’s something I am aware of in my style,” Jaczko said at a Senate hearing today.

“Whatever the case is regarding the allegations, they do not rise to the level of Inspector General or Congressional scrutiny,” said POGO Executive Director Danielle Brian. “Even if the worst allegations are true, they are hardly unique in Washington, a city full of bullying bosses. They are, however, convenient as a weapon for those who disagree with Jaczko’s voting record.”

Here’s a comment I left on the site (awaiting moderation):

Sorry, dismissing DC culture as one full of “bullying bosses” understates the case and undermines POGO’s credibility. Intimidation, abuse, and reprisal run rampant, and the civil service — and America — are worse off for it. It doesn’t have to be this way – the U.S. Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board could take their statutory mandate seriously – as required by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978.

But then again, POGO (and others) have steadfastly refused to confront lawbreaking by OSC and MSPB for over thirty years.


By the way, bullying is “abuse of authority” – an illegal practice under 5 U.S.C. 2302(b)(8)(A)(ii). It merits a de-politicized, sober investigation, not a brusque dismissal by a purported government oversight organization.

Update: in response to criticism, POGO changed the phrase “bullying bosses” to “mean bosses.” But this is an empty, arrogant gesture that misses the point.

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