Acting AG fired for not backing ban

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stella
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Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby stella » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:18 am

http://www.baynews9.com/content/news/ba ... ll_no.html

Is that even legal? He gets to fire people for not agreeing with him?

DsMom
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby DsMom » Tue Jan 31, 2017 12:47 pm

If she's a political appointee, yes, he can. Doesn't sound like she was civil service (and thus protected).

LeoApp
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby LeoApp » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:35 pm

She was going to be replaced anyway by the next AG - who will probably be - shudder - Jeff Sessions. I guess she figured she would say what she thought needed to be said because her days were numbered anyway.

WheresMyWhite
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby WheresMyWhite » Tue Jan 31, 2017 3:39 pm

She was an Obama appointee and yes, any of those appointees can be replaced either by the administration that appointed them or a following adminstration. Over history, she wasn't the first and she won't be the last.

Koolkat
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby Koolkat » Tue Jan 31, 2017 11:58 pm

No, but the context in which she was fired (and which was explicitly stated) is not the same as the usual "rollover".

Literiding
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby Literiding » Wed Feb 01, 2017 12:13 pm

Koolkat wrote:No, but the context in which she was fired (and which was explicitly stated) is not the same as the usual "rollover".


The usual rules do not apply to those some 7000 plus positions listed in the "Plum Book." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... _Positions ). They are treated under employment law as "temporary" positions and the holder of the position has about the same rights as a temporary secretary from a Temp Agency. If you are interested, search on "U.S. Plum Book" and you can download the current copy and see all the positions that President Trump gets to give away.

The positions are a hold over from 19th century political "patronage" - the appointment of one's friends, supporters, and hanger on's to good paying government jobs. Both parties still support the existence of the Plum Book positions to prevent the Civil Service from working at cross purpose to the administration and/or being passive aggressive toward the elected official.

I am firmly opposed to elected office term limits for this reason. As a military officer, I was transferred every two to three years. When I was in a position supervising Civil Servant positions I found frequently that the Civil Servant often viewed the responsible military officer in charge as an impediment to doing the job. I was content with the arrangement as long as the process delivered the desired results. But too often, the bureaucrats were more interested in keeping their work load as small as possible. The Civil Servant has the dual advantage of having a well developed "network" (the good old boys) and a powerful Union backing them. And if they are patient, the military officer would eventually be transferred and the next guy might not have as many opinions on how to run things. Having worked in local government post military and watching how a city manager manages the information flow to the city council convinced me that the only way that "the people" can retain control of the government is to have people that face periodic re-election that have been in the position long enough to see when "the wool" is being pulled over their eyes.

WheresMyWhite
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby WheresMyWhite » Wed Feb 01, 2017 4:10 pm

Literiding, thanks for the detailed response (didn't know about the Plum Book).

Sometimes I wonder if the roles were reverse, dem elected as POTUS to replace rep (which yes, has happened) and AG said something contrary to a new executive order and newly elected dem POTUS fired the AG, would the dem's be as outraged over a "controversial" firing?? It's never popular when it's the "other" side ;)

As for term limits, I am also against them but interesting to read your reasons why. Make perfectly good sense to me and, for me, added more to the consideration that term limits may not be all they sound like :)

Koolkat
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby Koolkat » Wed Feb 01, 2017 8:00 pm

Literiding wrote:
Koolkat wrote:No, but the context in which she was fired (and which was explicitly stated) is not the same as the usual "rollover".


The usual rules do not apply to those some 7000 plus positions listed in the "Plum Book." ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_St ... _Positions ). They are treated under employment law as "temporary" positions and the holder of the position has about the same rights as a temporary secretary from a Temp Agency. If you are interested, search on "U.S. Plum Book" and you can download the current copy and see all the positions that President Trump gets to give away.

The positions are a hold over from 19th century political "patronage" - the appointment of one's friends, supporters, and hanger on's to good paying government jobs. Both parties still support the existence of the Plum Book positions to prevent the Civil Service from working at cross purpose to the administration and/or being passive aggressive toward the elected official.

I am firmly opposed to elected office term limits for this reason. As a military officer, I was transferred every two to three years. When I was in a position supervising Civil Servant positions I found frequently that the Civil Servant often viewed the responsible military officer in charge as an impediment to doing the job. I was content with the arrangement as long as the process delivered the desired results. But too often, the bureaucrats were more interested in keeping their work load as small as possible. The Civil Servant has the dual advantage of having a well developed "network" (the good old boys) and a powerful Union backing them. And if they are patient, the military officer would eventually be transferred and the next guy might not have as many opinions on how to run things. Having worked in local government post military and watching how a city manager manages the information flow to the city council convinced me that the only way that "the people" can retain control of the government is to have people that face periodic re-election that have been in the position long enough to see when "the wool" is being pulled over their eyes.


I'm not sure I understand your point. The distinction was the context in which she was let go as explicitly stated by both me (and him. . . ). Please note that I said "usual rollover" which your point seems to go to.

That's typical stereotyping of government employees. I have less than one degree of separation (brother) from a civil servant that works at a very high level position (under AG) in state government. He has been recognized at the national level on multiple occasions for streamlining/innovative restructuring of his bailiwick. Although he certainly has coworkers that might fit your descriptions on some level, he has many that do not. ANYONE in any big business can relate to that scenario. There are most certainly civil servants that are there because their vocation is "serving the people", a job description you should recognize.

This is not to say that the system can not be improved.

Literiding
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Re: Acting AG fired for not backing ban

Postby Literiding » Thu Feb 02, 2017 11:37 am

Koolkat wrote:I'm not sure I understand your point. The distinction was the context in which she was let go as explicitly stated by both me (and him. . . ). Please note that I said "usual rollover" which your point seems to go to.


In the Federal government there are positions of "trust." For example, in the military, command (the authority to issue orders to a military unit) is a position of trust. My familiarity is based on having held several positions of "command" internal to a military "unit" which included the full authority to use the entire weapons suite of a Navy warship. The officer that the unit reports to needs only say that the officer in command has lost his trust and/or confidence of the supervising officer and the commanding officer will be replaced by the service immediately. From time to time, if the relieved officer can successfully demonstrate the senior officer acted capriciously, the legal effect of the detachment will be overturned, but by long standing tradition, the officer will never be offered another command. The Presidential appointments are another group of positions based on trust. The Acting Attorney General's original appointment ended when Mr. Trump took the Presidential Oath. The usual procedure is the transition staff will offer the "acting" appointees a temporary appointment subject to conditions and limitations. The appointment letter is signed by Mr. Trump as president. When she publicly refused to follow the President's order, I expect that she violated the terms of her appointment and was publicly terminated for cause. Since the position is based on a contract between two individuals, the president and the appointee, the usual rules and customs regarding employment do not apply.


Koolkat wrote:That's typical stereotyping of government employees. I have less than one degree of separation (brother) from a civil servant that works at a very high level position (under AG) in state government. He has been recognized at the national level on multiple occasions for streamlining/innovative restructuring of his bailiwick. Although he certainly has coworkers that might fit your descriptions on some level, he has many that do not. ANYONE in any big business can relate to that scenario. There are most certainly civil servants that are there because their vocation is "serving the people", a job description you should recognize.

This is not to say that the system can not be improved.


I have a certain amount of personal experience with government civil service. In order to provide a bit of credence to an otherwise unconvincing position, I hope you'll forgive me a bit of bragging.

I was the "Assistant Chief of Staff for Communications" assigned to a three star admiral (Vice Admiral) stationed in the Middle East right after Desert Storm. (Having lived among the Arab population for more than a year, I formed some fairly strong opinions regarding their culture. But that's not part of this post. <G>) During two Tomahawk missile strikes against Iraq, I was the officer responsible for all communications systems in theater and the uplink to the eastern side of the Atlantic Communications satellite. I was in charge of a mixed group of service members, civil service employees and contractors as well as a number of subordinate commands for the operation of the communication network.

After that tour of duty, I was assigned as the Communications Officer to the Commander, Navy Surface Fleet Atlantic (COMNAVSURFLANT) and was responsible for all communications to and from the surface ships of the Atlantic Fleet as well as running the communications center for the Admiral's staff. Needless to say, there were significant numbers of civil service personnel involved at all levels of the process.

After I retired from the Navy, I was a Chief Information Officer (CIO) of an eighteen million dollar a year medical group managing a digital network moving diagnostic images from the point of origin to the location of the appropriately qualified radiologist for interpretation. I also managed subsidiary medical billing company's mainframe computer handling over a million transactions a month.

I later moved on to working for a "Constitutional Officer" (elected official) working for a medium sized city. The funding for elected official's public safety budget was a mixture of both state and local funding so I had to work with both state and local civil service staff. I was responsible for ensuring the IT resources of the City satisfied the needs of the Public Safety Agency I was employed by and interfaced correctly with the State's.

So I've had significant experience working with Federal, State and Local civil service employees and had enough private experience to be able to compare the civil service to private employer's practices as well as contractors in both government and private business models. My position regarding all sources of employees is that in the aggregate, the "bell shape curve" applies. There are very good employees, there are very bad employees and most fall somewhere in-between. I've worked with some groups that had tremendous "esprit de corps" that had uniformly high worker productivity. I also worked with groups that you had to give written directions to get even a basic level of service out of. But to generalize (standard disclaimers apply <G>), the "typical stereotyping of government employees" works pretty well when sizing up a group. Most people without motivation follow the "path of least resistance" unless management gives them a compelling reason to apply more effort. The military has the most powerful tools to motivate good productivity and is usually the easiest to establish a sense of esprit de corps. The civilian employee is the next easiest to convince to increase productivity by the ever present threat of termination. Usually business is much easier to reward exceptional effort with bonuses but the civil servant is the hardest to motivate because they know that termination is a remote threat and manager has the fewest tools to cause the civil servant to take pride in their work. Contractors provide the highest productivity for the least amount of effort by management. Their income is usually directly connected to productivity.


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