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Rachel Maddow's Open Letter To Orrin Hatch

The Rachel Maddow Show: Dear Senator Hatch - You don't call, you don't write... I've just about exhausted myself trying to get someone

maddow.jpg The Rachel Maddow Show:

Dear Senator Hatch -

You don't call, you don't write...

I've just about exhausted myself trying to get someone in your office to call me back this week. Please apologize to your adorable receptionist on my behalf - the poor man now gets audibly exasperated as soon as I say "hello".

What I'd like to talk with you about is very simple: on NBC's Meet the Press this past Sunday, you said this about Carol Lam, the US Attorney for San Diego who was fired by the Justice Department in December:

"She was a former law professor, no prosecutorial experience, and the former campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton"

I checked the transcript against the video (or click here for the specific clip) and it's clear to me that you weren't misquoted.

Here's my question for you or your staff: what in the Lord's name are you talking about?

Here at Air America, we called John Emerson, who managed Clinton's California campaign in '92 and again in '96 to ask if Carol Lam had been the "campaign manager in Southern California for Clinton" - you might have thought we'd asked him if the sky was green.

First of all, uh, NO, she wasn't.

And second, Carol Lam was an Assistant US Attorney at the time of Clinton's campaigns, and she therefore couldn't have also been a campaign manager for any presidential candidate without violating the (ironically-named) Hatch Act, which restricts political activity by federal government employees.

Then we called a source close to Carol Lam in California, who expressed utter bewilderment at what old Orrin said on Meet the Press.

The source confirmed for us publicly-available documents about Lam's career which indicate that she is not a law professor, she's "been a federal prosecutor for nearly 18 years and [has] never been a fundraiser for any president".
Senator Hatch, what's going on here?

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