B-2630, APRIL 10, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 779

B-2630: Apr 10, 1939

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WHOSE COMPENSATION OR ANY PART THEREOF IS PAID FROM FUNDS AUTHORIZED OR APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1938. 1939: I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22. THIS ADMINISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RENDER A RULING UPON THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION OF SUCH PROVISIONS. IS. IS RATHER A LEAGUE COMPRISED OF MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR. THOSE PERSONS INTERESTED IN LABOR'S PROBLEMS WHO HAVE BANDED TOGETHER TO PUBLICIZE FAVORABLE PUBLIC REACTION TO SUCH PROBLEMS AND THE FURTHERANCE OF LEGISLATIVE MEASURES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF LABOR CONDITIONS. THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE NONPARTISAN LEAGUE WHICH HAS IN THE PAST FUNCTIONED AS AN INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY IN CERTAIN OF THE NORTHWEST AND MIDDLE WEST STATES.

B-2630, APRIL 10, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 779

WORK RELIEF AND RELIEF APPROPRIATION RESOLUTION OF FEBRUARY 4, 1939 - PROHIBITION AGAINST EMPLOYEES' USE OF OFFICIAL AUTHORITY OR INFLUENCE FOR ELECTION INTERFERENCE PURPOSES - ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE APPEARING TO ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE OR ENGAGE IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS WITH A PURPOSE OF AFFECTING THE RESULTS OF AN ELECTION ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP THEREIN ON THE PART OF ADMINISTRATIVE OR SUPERVISOR EMPLOYEES OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION WOULD CONTRAVENE THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION 4 (A) AND (B) OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 1, APPROVED FEBRUARY 4, 1939, 53 STAT. 509, AGAINST THE USE BY ANY PERSON, EMPLOYED IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE OR SUPERVISORY CAPACITY BY AN AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, WHOSE COMPENSATION OR ANY PART THEREOF IS PAID FROM FUNDS AUTHORIZED OR APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1938, OR THE SAID PUBLIC RESOLUTION, OF HIS OFFICIAL AUTHORITY OR INFLUENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERFERING WITH AN ELECTION OR AFFECTING THE RESULTS THEREOF, AND AGAINST THE CONTINUANCE OF THE OFFENDER IN HIS POSITION OR OFFICE, OR PAYMENT OF COMPENSATION THEREAFTER.

ACTING COMPTROLLER GENERAL ELLIOTT TO THE ADMINISTRATOR, WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION, APRIL 10, 1939:

I HAVE YOUR LETTER OF MARCH 22, 1939, AS FOLLOWS:

IN CONNECTION WITH THE PROVISIONS CONTAINED IN SECTION 4 (A) AND (B), PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 1, 76TH CONGRESS, APPROVED FEBRUARY 4, 1939, THIS ADMINISTRATION IS REQUIRED TO RENDER A RULING UPON THE QUESTION AS TO WHETHER ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION OF SUCH PROVISIONS.

INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO THIS OFFICE INDICATES THAT THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE, IS, AS THE NAME IMPLIES, A GROUP HAVING NO REQUIRED POLITICAL PARTY AFFILIATION, BUT IS RATHER A LEAGUE COMPRISED OF MEMBERS OF THE AMERICAN FEDERATION OF LABOR, THE COMMITTEE FOR INDUSTRIAL ORGANIZATION, AND INDEPENDENT LABOR UNIONS, AND THOSE PERSONS INTERESTED IN LABOR'S PROBLEMS WHO HAVE BANDED TOGETHER TO PUBLICIZE FAVORABLE PUBLIC REACTION TO SUCH PROBLEMS AND THE FURTHERANCE OF LEGISLATIVE MEASURES FOR THE BETTERMENT OF LABOR CONDITIONS. THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE IS NOT TO BE CONFUSED WITH THE NONPARTISAN LEAGUE WHICH HAS IN THE PAST FUNCTIONED AS AN INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY IN CERTAIN OF THE NORTHWEST AND MIDDLE WEST STATES.

THERE IS ATTACHED HERETO A RECENT BULLETIN ISSUED BY THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE WHICH WILL TEND TO CONVEY THE SCOPE OF THE ACTIVITY OF THE ORGANIZATION.

THE ASSISTANCE OF YOUR OFFICE IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED IN ARRIVING AT A DETERMINATION AS TO WHETHER ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE ON THE PART OF THE SUPERVISORY STAFF OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION CONSTITUTES A VIOLATION OF THE PROVISIONS REFERRED TO IN THE FIRST PARAGRAPH OF THIS LETTER.

SECTION 4 (A) AND (B) OF PUBLIC RESOLUTION NO. 1, APPROVED FEBRUARY 4, 1939, 53 STAT. 509, PROVIDES:

(A) IT SHALL BE UNLAWFUL FOR ANY PERSON EMPLOYED IN ANY ADMINISTRATIVE OR SUPERVISORY CAPACITY BY ANY AGENCY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT WHOSE COMPENSATION OR ANY PART THEREOF IS PAID FROM FUNDS AUTHORIZED OR APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1938 OR THIS JOINT RESOLUTION, TO USE HIS OFFICIAL AUTHORITY OR INFLUENCE FOR THE PURPOSE OF INTERFERING WITH AN ELECTION OR AFFECTING THE RESULTS THEREOF. WHILE SUCH PERSONS SHALL RETAIN THE RIGHT TO VOTE AS THEY PLEASE AND TO EXPRESS PRIVATELY THEIR OPINIONS ON ALL POLITICAL SUBJECTS, THEY SHALL TAKE NO ACTIVE PART IN POLITICAL MANAGEMENT OR IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS.

(B) ANY PERSON VIOLATING THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE IMMEDIATELY REMOVED FROM THE POSITION OR OFFICE HELD BY HIM, AND THEREAFTER NO PART OF THE FUNDS APPROPRIATED BY THE EMERGENCY RELIEF APPROPRIATION ACT OF 1938 OR THIS JOINT RESOLUTION SHALL BE USED TO PAY THE COMPENSATION OF SUCH PERSON. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE IN ADDITION TO, NOT IN SUBSTITUTION FOR, ANY OTHER SECTIONS OF EXISTING LAW, OR OF THIS JOINT RESOLUTION.

A READING OF THE COPY OF NATIONAL BULLETIN ISSUED BY THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE, ENCLOSED WITH YOUR LETTER, DISCLOSES NUMEROUS REFERENCES TO POLITICAL ACTIVITIES, THE FRONT PAGE CONTAINING A BOLD HEADLINE: "ORGANIZE FOR 1940, LEAGUE VICE PRESIDENT ADVISES GEORGIA PROGRESSIVES.' ALSO, THERE ARE ARTICLES ON THE SAME PAGE BEGINNING WITH THE STATEMENTS:

THE CLEAR-CUT PROGRESSIVE VICTORY IN CALIFORNIA LAST NOVEMBER HAS GIVEN A NEW IMPETUS TO THE ACTIVITIES OF THE STATE'S LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE.

THE EFFECTIVENESS OF LABOR POLITICAL SOLIDARITY WAS DEMONSTRATED IN THE RECENT DEMOCRATIC MAYORALTY PRIMARIES IN CHICAGO. * * *

IT WOULD SEEM FROM SUCH STATEMENTS THAT THE NAMED ORGANIZATION ACTIVELY PARTICIPATES OR ENGAGES IN POLITICAL CAMPAIGNS WITH A PURPOSE OF AFFECTING THE RESULTS OF AN ELECTION, AND THEREFORE, THAT ACTIVE MEMBERSHIP IN THE LABOR'S NONPARTISAN LEAGUE ON THE PART OF ADMINISTRATIVE OR SUPERVISORY EMPLOYEES OF THE WORKS PROGRESS ADMINISTRATION WOULD CONTRAVENE THE PROVISIONS OF THE ABOVE-QUOTED STATUTE. COMPARE DECISION B-1979, DATED MARCH 6, 1939, 18 COMP. GEN. 689, TO YOU.