Phillip Chen, a Republican candidate for the 55th Assembly District, which includes part of north Orange County, is the “health deputy for Los Angeles County Supervisor Mike Antonovich, he is responsible for helping to formulate policy in all aspects of County health and mental health service,” according to Chen’s Linkedin Page.
That might be a problem. The Hatch Act is a federal law enacted in 1939 that prohibits federal employees, and state and local municipal workers whose jobs are paid for in part or in whole with federal funding, from seeking partisan elected office.
So is Chen’s job at all funded by the federal government? Given that he is allegedly involved in “all aspects of County health” it sure does seem likely that his job is at least partially funded by federal grants – and if that is the case then he will have no choice but to withdraw from the race for the 55th Assembly District.
Further complicating things for Chen is the fact that he is also a Los Angeles County Sheriff Reserves Deputy. That agency also is at least partially federally funded.
This happened to Jose “Joe” Moreno, the GOP candidate for the 69th Assembly District, in 2012. Moreno eventually had to withdraw from the race as it became apparent that he could get fired for running for a partisan office while working for the Orange County Health Care Agency.
Moreno had three problems, 1) He identified His party affiliation on the ballot, 2) He sought and received support for his campaign directly from the the Republican Party of Orange County, and 3) he campaigned as a Republican (as reported by the Liberal OC).
Guess what? All of that applies to Chen too.
The media fully went after Moreno. Why is Chen getting a free pass on his apparent violation of the Hatch Act?