Shawn Kelly was candidate Lou Barletta's spokesperson in the 2010 election campaign and was given a staff job as Congressman Lou Barletta's spox on official business after the election.
I like Shawn and he has always been great about answering my questions in the election in 2010 and since then. I asked him a political question a few months ago and he referred me to the campaign for an answer. He explained that he is now a pointy headed bureaucrat that couldn't comment on the reelection effort.
So I was shocked when I read this
DANVILLE - The absence of Congressman Lou Barletta at a campaign event
Tuesday night rankled his election opponent, Gene Stilp, and lead to
unanticipated debate over the event's format.
The candidates for the 11th Congressional District were expected to
debate each other at the American Legion during a Candidates Night
hosted by the Danville Area League of Voters.
Instead, it was Stilp and a congressional aide trading barbs.
Stilp attacked Barletta for skipping the event, while Shawn Kelly,
Barletta's communications director, said the congressman was simply
keeping a prior commitment....
Kelly took a long pause and followed with an explanation that, as a
employee of his congressional office and not his campaign, he did not
know what event Barletta was attending Tuesday.
He did, however, say that "He committed to an event over two months ago and he's keeping that commitment.
KP is all over it:
There’s just one problem: staffer, Shawn Kelly, doesn’t work for
Congressman Barletta’s campaign, but is actually his Legislative
Communications Director, who draws a taxpayer salary.
If Kelly in any way charged the taxpayers by using resources issued to him by the United States Congress, that is really bad news
for Barletta–especially considering the fact that Gene Stilp is
responsible for bringing down this type of behavior in Harrisburg.
KP points to this part of Ethics Committee rules:
It is permissible for House employees to do campaign work, but only
outside of congressional space, without the use of any House resources,
and on their own time (as opposed to “official” time for which they are
compensated by the House). Accordingly, any House employee who does
campaign work must ensure that the work – including any telephone
conversations or other communications concerning campaign business – is
performed strictly in compliance with these limitations.
Edit: Executive branch personnel are subject to restrictions on partisan
political activity by the Hatch Act (5 U.S.C. § 7321 et seq.), but those restrictions do not apply to congressional employees