Rep. Lee Kaldor Announces Resignation From ND House
Earlier today I wrote about state Rep. Lee Kaldor, a former Dorgan staffer who took a job with Obama appointee Jasper Schneider at the Office of Rural Development, failing to resign his post as legislator after taking his position. The Hatch Act prevents federal employees from campaigning for partisan office.
Just hours after the post here on SAB, Kaldor has notified his colleagues in the legislature that he intends to resign. You can read his email, provided by multiple sources in the legislature, below.
Rather than resigning immediately, Kaldor is clinging to his office in the interim session (he’s on the Budget Section, Health Care Reform Review, Legislative Procedure and Arrangements and Water-Related Topics Overview committees) on a loophole in the law which allows new federal employees already holding federal office to finish their terms.
But there’s likely going to be more to this story. Mr. Kaldor is just one of several Democrats who have gone to work for Jasper Schneider, who is presumed to be using his cushy position at the USDA as a stepping stone to an eventual run at higher office, likely a federal race. What I’m told by multiple sources, some within Schneider’s Rural Development office, is that he is bringing in an inappropriate number of political friends.
“It may as well be the Jasper Schneider Political Action Committee,” said one source to me in an email.
I’ve put in a Freedom of Information Act request to Schneider’s office to explore some of his more recent hires and verify these claims with Kaldor’s hire seems to validate.
Tags: jasper schneider, lee kaldor, North Dakota News
From: Kaldor, Lee A.
Sent: Monday, August 01, 2011 9:17 PM
To: -Grp-NDLA All Legislators
Subject: Legislative Future
As many of you know, I have recently joined the staff at USDA-Rural Development at the Bismarck office. I began my work at the beginning of July and am excited about the work that I am doing. My responsibilities will be in the Business and Industry section with a focus on Energy development. I continue to live in Mayville and commute to Bismarck for the work week.
With this position, I will not be allowed to run for re-election in the 2012 cycle because of the federal Hatch Act. While this federal law prevents a federal employee from campaigning for a political office, there is an exception for holding an elective office and serving out the remainder of one’s term in office. I gave resignation very serious consideration, but after having counsel on the subject, I decided to continue my service as my district colleagues and chairman requested.
It will be difficult for me to leave the legislature because of the many good friends I have had the pleasure of serving with, on both sides of the aisle. Serving in the North Dakota legislature is a privilege and an honor. I’m very thankful to the good people of district 20 for giving me this wonderful opportunity, and I’m thankful to all of you for your collegiality and friendship.
I intend to serve throughout the interim and during the special session this fall to the best of my ability. There are significant issues before us this interim that will require our very best efforts. I hope I can make a meaningful contribution to the work that remains.