Friday, April 15, 2005

No Catholics Need Apply

From TAS:

Washington special interest groups -- notorious for their anti-religious hostility toward conservatives -- are conducting a coordinated smear campaign against Scott Bloch, George Bush's appointee to the Office of Special Counsel (OSC), which reviews and refers whistleblower disclosures to agency heads. In an interview with TAS, Pete Leon, legislative director for Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.), who has called for Bloch's resignation, revealed the fundamental anti-religious bigotry at the heart of the campaign. Articulating his objections to Bloch, Leon said, "He is a devout Catholic," then quickly added, after he realized his gaffe, the famously insincere line from Seinfeld, "Not that there's anything wrong with that."

By "cronies," PEER [Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility] means Catholics. PEER's problem with Bloch is not that he has hired people he knows, but that he has hired Catholics he knows. Last Monday, PEER's press release made sure to mention that Hicks oversaw a Catholic boarding school. Its Nov. 17, 2004 press release smeared Hicks by suggesting he was complicit in the Scranton, Pennsylvania, diocese's sexual abuse scandal. He had nothing to do with it. In that release, Ruch, citing a popular anti-Catholic book, said, "Scott Bloch's personnel practices are taken straight from The DaVinci Code rather than the civil service manual."

The PEER press release also said Bloch "is a religious conservative who had served as deputy director in the Justice Department's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives." PEER cited Bloch's hires of graduates from "ultra-conservative" Ave Maria Law School as Schedule A attorneys, who can be hired non-competitively, ignoring that he has also hired attorneys from George Washington, Georgetown, and the University of Virginia. And what exactly is Ruch's objection to Ave Maria? It is an accredited law school in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and its first class of graduates performed better on the bar exam than any other Michigan school. Are graduates there prohibited from government service in his view?


Hat tip to Amy Welborn.

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