Once again Trump gives us the fickle finger

Jim Renne was one of the key players in a Bush-era anti-gay scandal. Renne is now in a senior position at the U.S.D.A. although his actual responsibilities are unknown according to the investigative journalists at Pro Publica.

In 2004 Rennee was hired as deputy special counsel of the Office of Special Counsel. His primary responsibility was to protect employees across the federal government from retaliation for whistle-blowing. In short order Rennee and his boss, Special Counsel Scott Bloch created controversy. Career employees were complaining that they were improperly fired. Language that protected workers from sexual orientation discrimination disappeared from the agency’s website.

According to an inspector general report authored in 2013, Renne and Bloch hatched a plan to open a Midwest field office in Detroit and then transfer undesirable employees there. Employees who refused the transfer were abruptly fired.

According to the report Renne and Bloch had anti-gay attitudes and the new office was used to transfer career employees who were suspected of being gay.

In a formal complaint filed at the time, the employees who were reassigned to Detroit pointed to a “Concerned Catholic Attorneys” letter
Renne had signed in 2000. In the letter (published at Priests for Life) Renne warned that the “homosexual lobby’s power has grown
exponentially.” Paragraph after paragraph constitutes an attack against gay rights or every kind calling them “special rights.”

According to the IG report, retired Lt. Gen. Richard Trefry (hired as a consultant), told investigators:

Mr. Bloch indicated to General Trefry that there was a sizeable group of homosexuals employed by OSC, which had developed during the years prior to his taking office, that he “had a license” to get rid of homosexual employees, and that he intended to “ship them out.”

The report continues:

Further, in the portions of Mr. Bloch’s official e-mail account that were available to the investigative team, there were crude and vulgar messages containing anti-homosexual themes that appeared to have been forwarded from his personal email. … Similarly, Mr. Bloch’s public media references to [his predecessor as Special Counsel, Elaine] Kaplan contained repeated, negatively-phrased assertions regarding her sexual orientation. For example, in interviews he granted during 2007, Mr. Bloch described her as a “lesbian activist,” a “public lesbian,” a “well-known gay activist”, and similar depictions.

Some of you might recall that the FBI raided Bloch’s home and office. He ultimately pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge arising from his hiring the company Geeks on Call to do a “seven-level wipe” on his government computers. Years later, Bloch unsuccessfully sued the government over his firing.

Did they go out of their way to find someone this fucking offensive?

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By David Cary Hart

Retired CEO. Formerly a W.E. Deming-trained quality-management consultant. Now just a cranky Jewish queer. Gay cis. He/Him/His.