Labor Department Official Poses As ‘Conservative Analyst’ On Fox News, PBS

Karen Czarnecki

Labor Department deputy assistant secretary Karen Czarnecki has repeatedly appeared on television — including Fox News and PBS — as a pundit. While she apparently filed leave papers before heading to the studios and was cleared by the department’s ethics staff (political activity by federal employees is restricted by the Hatch Act), Czarnecki never revealed her government position. Instead she identified herself as a “conservative analyst.”

Some highlights of Czarnecki’s off-duty conservative analyses on PBS:

On abstinence:

CZARNECKI: Absolutely [abstinence is an option for African women], if Uganda can reduce its HIV infected population 50% to 60 over the years, it’s definitely an option.

HOST: It’s no more an option than to tell them their option is to marry a millionaire.

CZARNECKI: If you have free — you have free choice to choose abstinence. [7/16/06]

On intelligent design:

Intelligent design doesn’t equate religion with science. It is based on scientific premise.” [5/7/05]

On No Child Left Behind:

This program has been well funded by the federal government, and states have billions of dollars unspent for education cost. They can apply to doing this.” [4/30/05]

While some of the shorter appearances were apparently freebies, the Wasington Post’s Al Kamen notes that “the regular PBS gig does supplement her government pay.”