Marcia Fudge

Biden’s HUD Director Criticized And Sanctioned For Playing Politics On Behalf Of Democrats

A week after Joe Biden was elected, Ohio Democratic Rep. Marcia Fudge lamented that prominent black officials were relegated to less than stellar outposts of the government.

“As this country becomes more and more diverse, we’re going to have to stop looking at only certain agencies as those that people like me fit in. You know, it’s always ‘we want to put the Black person in labor or HUD,'” Fudge told Politico in November.

So, as might be expected, Biden picked Fudge to run HUD.

Yet as The Intercept noted in December, Fudge had “never led a public housing authority or developed an affordable housing complex.” She also is not “a trained urban planner or former advocate for indigent clients,” nor has she “represented tenants in housing court nor investigated the banks that fueled the foreclosure crisis.” And she had not managed a homeless shelter, “administered disaster relief grants, taught the complex scheme that governs federal housing on Native American land, or published research on housing market conditions.”

In short, The Intercept concluded, “Fudge’s tenure in Congress reveals no interest in the housing universe.”

But once on the job Fudge showed an interest in continuing politics, and that earned her a reprimand from the U.S. Office of Special Counsel, which adjudicates complaints about ethical violations.

The controversy stems from March when Fudge weighed in on the 2022 Ohio Senate race.

According to Newsmax, she told reporters that one of two Democrats, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley or U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, would be strong candidates.

Newsmax noted that Fudge violated the federal Hatch Act, which precludes federal employees from using their official positions to engage in political activity. That includes “any activity directed at the success or failure of a political party, candidate for partisan political office, or partisan political group,” according to Newsmax.

In a letter to a conservative group that filed a complaint against Fudge, ethics regulators agreed she went too far.

“By stating, for example, that ‘we have a good shot at it’ and ‘I believe we can win the Senate race,’ Secretary Fudge showed support for the Democratic Party with respect to the Ohio Senate race while speaking in her official capacity,” the letter said. “Accordingly, OSC has concluded that she violated the Hatch Act during her official appearance at the March 18 press briefing.”

Fudge reportedly acknowledged she ran afoul of the law, and since making the comments had “expressed remorse” for them.

Thus, she was let off with a warning.

But, Newsmax added, Fudge was counseled by HUD ethics officials about the Hatch Act, and according to the letter, was “advised that if in the future she engages in prohibited political activity we will consider such activity to be a willful and knowing violation of the law that could result in further action.”

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