It's Hatch Act Season

It's election time, so that means it has to be Hatch Act time, too.

At least two federal employees are entangled in the nuances of the law, which prohibits federal employees from running in partisan elections. The San Diego Union-Tribune reported on Friday that Christopher Newcomb, identified only as a military employee, is running for the Alpine Union school board. From the Tribune:

School-board elections in California, by law, are supposed to be nonpartisan. But the U.S. Office of Special Counsel informed Newcomb in an April letter that if other candidates pick up partisan endorsements, he could be deemed ineligible even though he is running as an independent.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a lawsuit on behalf of Newcomb, challenging the special counsel's investigation.

In Virginia, the Alexandria Times reported this week town council member Alicia Hughes may be the subject of an inquiry by the special counsel. Hughes works for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Like Newcomb, Hughes is an independent with no partisan endorsements. But as the Times reported:

Hughes ran for City Council as an Independent last year but was backed by factions like the Alexandria Republican City Committee. Her photograph and name appear on the ARCC website under the heading "On Council," below Republican Councilman Frank Fannon and above a photo President Ronald Regan.