The chair of the Honolulu County Republican Party admitted quite a few violations of a regulation that prohibits federal workers from participating in political exercise whereas on responsibility or in federal services.
Brett Kulbis, who has been chair of the Oahu GOP since 2017, confirmed Friday that he’s the particular person recognized in a press release from the U.S. Workplace of Particular Counsel earlier this month.
“I’ll verify that it’s me,” stated Kulbis. “I believe that’s all that I need to say right now. I’m not attempting to cover from it. However at this stage within the election course of suppose, I believe this may be a distraction for our get together.”
The OSC, which didn’t establish Kulbis by title, stated it reached an settlement with a former civilian Navy worker in Hawaii who admitted to the violations.
Kulbis later issued this assertion to Civil Beat in a second telephone interview: “OSC and I got here to an amicable settlement. I’m now retired from civil service and having fun with my retirement right here in Hawaii and dealing onerous with the native Republican Occasion to elect our native candidates and to elect President Trump.”
Whereas serving as chair of HCRP, “the worker created and used HCRP social media pages to solicit political contributions. He additionally despatched dozens of emails utilizing an internet advertising and marketing platform to solicit contributions for the Hawaii Republican Occasion (HRP), HCRP, and candidates for partisan political workplace.”
In response to the OSC, an investigation discovered that Kulbis worker additionally had over 1,000 HRP- and HRCP-related paperwork on his Navy desktop laptop.
“Whereas in his Navy office, the worker used that laptop to obtain, draft, edit, and publish partisan political supplies, together with updating the HCRP Fb web page,” stated OSC.
The settlement requires Kulbis to pay a civil high quality of $1,000 and to simply accept a three-year debarment from federal employment. OSC stated that Kulbis retired after the company filed a disciplinary motion with the Advantage Programs Safety Board.
Hawaii GOP Chair Shirlene Ostrov issued this assertion Friday: “Like all of us, Brett Kulbis serves numerous hours in an unpaid, volunteer capability. And sadly typically volunteers make errors. Whereas the foundations are complicated for limiting sure actions for federal workers, they’re nonetheless clear and we emphasize the significance of being in strictest compliance with the legal guidelines.”
The Republican Occasion in Hawaii has struggled to elect get together members to the Legislature, the governor’s workplace and the U.S. Congress. With few exceptions, the Democratic Occasion of Hawaii has lengthy dominated all partisan workplaces.
“Collectively, we are able to take again Hawaii from Democrats after 65 lengthy years and put the Aloha State heading in the right direction,” Kulbis stated in his pitch to be reelected Oahu get together chair in 2019.
Ballotpedia says that Kulbis was an at-large delegate to the 2016 Republican Nationwide Conference.
The Hatch Act was handed in 1939. According to OSC, it limits “sure political actions” of federal workers, in addition to some state, D.C., and native authorities workers who work in reference to federally funded applications.
“The regulation’s functions are to make sure that federal applications are administered in a nonpartisan style, to guard federal workers from political coercion within the office, and to make sure that federal workers are superior primarily based on advantage and never primarily based on political affiliation.”
The act has been within the headlines not too long ago, with critics charging that members of the Trump administration had repeatedly violated the act by participating in marketing campaign actions, together with from the White Home. The president and vice chairman are exempt from the act.