In May, controversial former Justice Department official Hans Von Spakovsky withdrew his name from consideration for the Federal Election Commission, following months of opposition from lawmakers and civil rights groups. Since then, Spakovsky has busied himself by writing opinion pieces for conservative news outlets like the Wall Street Journal and National Review.
In an article for the right-wing Human Events today, Spakovsky criticizes efforts by Sen. Barack Obama’s (D-IL) presidential campaign to get attack ads by the “American Issues Project” off of TV, saying that the “actions should cause every American to ask, can Obama be trusted with the powers of the Justice Department.” Spakovsky claims that the Justice Department under Obama would be “partisan and politically-biased”:
There is no threat against television stations or a demand by Obama to criminally prosecute NARAL or other liberal organizations that are no different from AIP or the NRA except, of course, that they have spent millions of dollars for independent ads attacking John McCain and supporting Obama. This dichotomy provides a frightening example of just how partisan and politically-biased the Justice Department and other federal agencies would be under an Obama administration, criminally prosecuting political opponents while turning a blind eye to supporters like NARAL.
Spakovsky’s worries are ironic given that six of his former Justice Department colleagues wrote to the Senate Rules Committee in June 2007, claiming that he “injected partisan political factors into decision-making” when he ran the Voting Section of the DoJ’s Civil Rights Division. Critics say Spakovsky used every opportunity “to make it difficult for voters — poor, minority and Democratic — to go to the polls,” including pushing through Texas re-districting that violated the Voting Rights Act.
Additionally, Spakovsky neglects to mention that he has reason to hold a personal grudge against Obama. In Oct. 2007, Obama “derailed” a vote on Spakovsky’s nomination, which eventually led to Spakovsky’s withdrawal from his nomination. In an op-ed explaining his opposition, Obama wrote that Spakovsky had “amassed a record” of “putting partisan politics above upholding our civil rights.”