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Jim Inhofe’s new commercial may violate Hatch Act

5:30 AM EDT on September 25, 2020

Earlier this week, Senator Senile released a new campaign ad touting his endorsement from the authoritarian ideologues at the Fraternal Order of Police.

Titled "Back," and narrated by Tulsa County Sheriff Vic Regalado, the spot naturally goes after those pesky "liberals" and other "socialists" who are hell-bent on destroying the country and state they call home before it's all wiped out by global warming.

Check it out:

I considered filing this under our "Jim Inhofe Is An Idiot" series, but then I remembered it's not very idiotic for an authoritarian nutjob politician who lives in a false reality to release an ad that not only reflects his views, but also panders to his scared and frightened base that lives in the same reality.

Here's the description of the video on YouTube:

"Jim Inhofe is a life-long Oklahoma conservative. He has consistently fought for the values of greater freedoms, a strong national defense, a smaller federal government, and less government intrusion into the lives of the American people."

Yeah, that's right. Nothing says fights for "greater freedoms" and "less government intrusion into lives"  than a political ad that shows a legion of cops taking a stand of solidarity behind you.

On that note, I have no clue if any of the cops in the video, outside of Sheriff Vic Regalado, are real-life cops, or just out-of-work state fair carnies who are looking to make money as extra during the pandemic. If they are real-life cops – and we'd love for you to let us know if they are – this may violate the Hatch Act.

Passed in 1939 when Jim Inhofe was finishing up his first year in the Senate, the Hatch Act is the law that's supposed to prevent cops, members of the military, and other government employees who are vested with the public's trust from making political statements.

The FOP has an article on its website that actually touches on this issue. Here's what they say about cops appearing in TV ads:

Okay, so they're saying it's okay for cops to appear in ads as long as they're not on duty, and not wearing a uniform, badge or insignia. You know, stuff like this:

If that's not wearing a uniform, badge and insignia, I don't know what it is. Then again, who really cares? It's not like they're on-duty. They're simply being used as props in a campaign ad! Plus, in Jim Inhofe's America, cops get to operate above the law. They're not expected to abide by it.

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