– Police state: County censors government employee who dares criticize Obamacare (The Daily Caller, Dec 8, 2013):
A California county has banned a veteran employee from criticizing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act because a coworker who overheard the criticism was offended.
The employee is Norina Mooney, who has logged some 20 years of work experience with Santa Clara County, the epicenter of Silicon Valley.
According to Mooney’s attorneys with the Pacific Justice Institute, she made some water-cooler talk with a fellow employee about the high number people who have had their insurance policies canceled under Obamacare.
Later, a supervisor called Mooney into a private meeting and allegedly dressed her down for the attempt at chitchat because an unidentified person had overheard the small talk and been offended.
In the future, the supervisor said, Mooney must exit the government building should she have anything adverse about Obamacare or otherwise political to say.
Mooney’s attorneys noted that this edict is an odd one considering Mooney’s claim that the office environment is replete with pro-Obama paraphernalia. She noted that her coworkers openly wore Obama campaign attire to work at election time as well.
The longtime employee currently works for the child support enforcement division, which doesn’t involve the promotion or implementation of the controversial heath insurance legislation.
Pacific Justice Institute president Brad Dacus noted the obvious, numerous concerns with the way Mooney was treated.
“Just when we thought the disastrous ObamaCare rollout couldn’t get much worse, the county of Santa Clara is compounding those problems by claiming that criticism is off-limits,” Dacus said. “Liberals and conservatives alike should be able to agree that this type of censorship is chilling and unconstitutional.”
Mooney’s attorneys have sent a letter to Santa Clara County officials demanding answers and seeking an affirmation of public employees’ rights to comment on matters of public concern. Several weeks have passed with no response.
They are now contemplating legal action.
The Pacific Justice Institute is a conservative legal defense organization.