Issa press spokesman Calvin Moore blows back on concept of ‘federal holiday’

Darrell Issa press spokesman Calvin Moore/Linkedin

Welcome to journalistic transparency. Here’s what goes on when it comes to the new Trump Republican Party dealing with information.

Over two dozen 49th Congressional District voters went to Rep. Darrell Issa’s Vista office on Friday, Jan. 20 to deliver a letter protesting Donald Trump’s installation. While Issa staffers were at the office, they refused to open the locked door to accept the letter.

Although Issa press spokesman Calvin Moore’s statements as to what happened were printed without editing, exactly as received, he objected to information in the story pertaining to whether the office was closed, employees actually were working there that day and the very fact, as stated by the  U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), of what constituted a federal holiday.

As a personal note, I learned long ago to “get it in writing,” a reason I exclusively use emails or written communication these days so no ambiguity exists.

Me, Dan Weisman, on assignment at Petco Park.

Here’s the entire email conversation between myself and Moore, starting with his last word first and scrolling through the discussion in reverse-time from the top.

I’d like to hear from you, our readers: Do you agree with my characterization of “federal holiday” or with Moore’s interpretation? email escondidograpevine@gmail.

For continued behind-the-scenes views of how we do journalism in the age of fact-free blowback…

Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GrapevineEsco

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheEscondidoGrapevine/

— Dan Weisman

 

Moore, Calvin

4:42 PM (6 minutes ago)
to me

I would agree with the need for an honest press – just wish you were one of them!

 

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 7:40 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

 

Federal employees around D.C. only, as noted in the article, not Vista. I don’t need validation, I’m just going to do the right thing and from the huge traffic my site is getting with these political articles, obviously a lot of people agree wth the need for an honest press.

OPM: “An employee who works in the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Fairfax in Virginia, and who is regularly scheduled to perform nonovertime work on Inauguration Day, is entitled to a holiday.”

 

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 4:27 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

Yes, a day granted by my boss to his employees — and also by OPM to thousands of federal employees.

Glad to know your level of integrity. Will keep in mind for the future.

 

CM

 

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 7:16 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

 

Seriously, you’re the one dealing with alternate facts. I’ve cited the official OPM page as far as federal holidays as well as another source for Inauguration Day closures. You’ve conflated that term “federal holiday” with a day off granted by your boss to his employees — and without telling anybody out of your office. This was a full work day at Vista where the incident occurred. I totally stand by the journalism. Dan

 

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 2:04 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

No. You have an obligation to report accurately. This isn’t about opinion, this is about your duty to report what is accurate and factual. There is nothing to “decide.” This isn’t opinion, this is about your intentional misrepresentation of the truth even after being given evidence that disproves the misguided information you include in the story.

What is your phone number?

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 4:57 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

 

I’ll add your quote to the story and let the readers decide. Thanks! Dan

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:51 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

You should really remove all references to OPM and strike that paragraph from the article, otherwise you mislead your readers. OPM guidelines do not apply to Congressional staff.

CM

From: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:38 PM
To: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

Here is from the House Handbook from the House Committee on Administration:

General

The Member determines the terms and conditions of employment, including provisions for leave (e.g., Annual, Administrative, and Sick).

https://cha.house.gov/handbooks/members-congressional-handbook#Members-Handbook-Leave-General

General

Each Member is the employing authority; the Member determines the terms and conditions of employment and service for their staff.

https://cha.house.gov/handbooks/members-congressional-handbook#Members-Handbook-Leave-General

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:34 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

Then it’s like any time you say an employee can take the day off for whatever reason and not directed by the federal government.

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:33 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

Again, OPM guidelines do not apply to Congressional staff. Holidays, leave, office hours and attendance are subject to the discretion of the individual employing office.

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:31 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

http://heavy.com/social/2017/01/is-mail-delivered-on-inauguration-day-usps-schedule-delivery-are-open-post-office-2017-closings/

“Some may have called off work to participate in marches or protests across the country because of today’s Inauguration, but it is not a federal holiday, so you do not have to wonder if post offices are still running their mail delivery as usual. However, there are just a few exceptions. According to Postal Employee Network, several businesses in the D.C. area will suspend their working hours during the Inauguration, which means that residents served by these particular units may not receive mail.”

“Banks are open, financial services are open and federal offices are open as well. So, this means that Inauguration Day mail delivery is the same as normal.”

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:28 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

OPM doesn’t set time, holidays, or attendance schedules for Members of Congress and their staff. That is for executive branch employees

 

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:27 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

The only exception is for workers in the DC area, not outside of the area, so it is true.

Note:

Inauguration Day, January 20, 2017, falls on a Friday. An employee who works in the District of Columbia, Montgomery or Prince George’s Counties in Maryland, Arlington or Fairfax Counties in Virginia, or the cities of Alexandria or Fairfax in Virginia, and who is regularly scheduled to perform nonovertime work on Inauguration Day, is entitled to a holiday. (See 5 U.S.C. 6103(c).) There is no in-lieu-of holiday for employees who are not regularly scheduled to work on Inauguration Day./p>

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 12:25 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

Not true:

 

https://issa.house.gov/news-room/in-the-news/town-hall-meeting-youre-invited

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Thursday, January 26, 2017 at 3:24 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

 

OPM official website shows it is not a federal holiday:

https://www.opm.gov/policy-data-oversight/snow-dismissal-procedures/federal-holidays/#url=2017

 

On Thu, Jan 26, 2017 at 6:45 AM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

Hey Dan – saw your write up today. In your article you write:

For the record, according to the Federal Office of Personnel Management that establishes public holidays for federal employees under Federal law (5 U.S.C. 6103) Friday, Jan. 20, 2017 was NOT a federal holiday. However, it was Inauguration Day, a day now-President Trump subsequently proclaimed “National Day of Patriotic Devotion,” although all federal employees were required to work normal hours.”

However, as I noted in my response to you, January 20th was in fact a federal holiday and most federal employees actually had the day off. It is included on OPM’s calendar of federal holidays here and many news outlets have noted this as well:

http://www.ibtimes.com/inauguration-day-federal-holiday-why-washington-dc-federal-employees-can-expect-time-2478010

 

http://federalnewsradio.com/workforce/2016/12/dc-area-feds-3-day-work-week-due-inauguration/

 

It’s also equally important to note that Congress is not subject to the Office of Personnel Management. Work schedules, office hours and holiday observances as up to the discretion of the individual employing office – not OPM — which is why you will often see our staff meeting with constituents at 7AM breakfasts, working well into the wee hours of the night, and often even on weekends to help advance solutions to the issues people are facing here in our district.

 

Do you think you could go ahead and correct that passage? I think its important we remain accurate for your readers.

CM

 

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 5:27 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

Sounds good. Thanks! Dan

 

On Wed, Jan 25, 2017 at 1:37 PM, Moore, Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov> wrote:

Hey Dan — Thanks for reaching out. As I’m sure you are aware, January 20th was a federal holiday and our offices were closed when the group arrived. One of the women in the group later returned during business hours that day and was able to talk with our district director for about 20 minutes or so about her concerns on several issues and deliver a copy of their letter to us in person. I’m told they had a very productive and pleasant conversation. We, of course, are always happy to accommodate constituents who want to meet with us to discuss any issue. We encourage groups and others interested in meeting with us to reach out in advance so we can schedule a meeting at any time that is convenient to them. Scheduling meetings in advance helps us be respectful the constituents who have calendared time out of their day to meet with us for appointments, help with casework or other scheduled meetings to share their views and ideas.

 

But again, January 20th was a federal holiday. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help or clarify.

CM

 

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 3:19 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

This was posted on Facebook and Youtube today. any comments on this constituent’s video?

 

Thanks!

Dan

Nanci Bjorklund Oechsle

20 hrs

Issa’s office not answering the door to constituents.

I don’t know if this has been shared here or not yet. Later she went back and asked about the letter…they said letter, what letter? and why didn’t you deliver it in person?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KY8B0T-UbUQ&feature=youtu.be

Attachments area

Preview YouTube video Darrell Issa won’t open his door

Darrell Issa won’t open his door

Moore, Calvin

Jan 25 (1 day ago)
to me

Hey Dan — Thanks for reaching out. As I’m sure you are aware, January 20th was a federal holiday and our offices were closed when the group arrived. One of the women in the group later returned during business hours that day and was able to talk with our district director for about 20 minutes or so about her concerns on several issues and deliver a copy of their letter to us in person. I’m told they had a very productive and pleasant conversation. We, of course, are always happy to accommodate constituents who want to meet with us to discuss any issue. We encourage groups and others interested in meeting with us to reach out in advance so we can schedule a meeting at any time that is convenient to them. Scheduling meetings in advance helps us be respectful the constituents who have calendared time out of their day to meet with us for appointments, help with casework or other scheduled meetings to share their views and ideas.

But again, January 20th was a federal holiday. Let me know if you have any questions. I’m happy to help or clarify.

CM

From: Escondido Grapevine <escondidograpevine@gmail.com>
Date: Wednesday, January 25, 2017 at 3:19 PM
To: Calvin <Calvin.Moore@mail.house.gov>
Subject: Re: Reps. Issa & Wittman Introduce Bill To Ease Tax Burden on Military Families

This was posted on Facebook and Youtube today. any comments on this constituent’s video?

 

Thanks!

 

Dan

1 Comment on "Issa press spokesman Calvin Moore blows back on concept of ‘federal holiday’"

  1. Sounds like alternative facts. Maybe the media needs to be more flexible in its definition of “facts” in the Trump era? It is very hard to keep up with all of the alternative scenarios. Perhaps the office really was closed for a “holiday”, and the constituents simply hallucinated hearing voices inside the office while they knocked. But I’m still confused about how the letter disappeared while the last volunteer was outside. And why did the receptionist tell the volunteer she was there the whole time if it was a holiday? I’m not sure Calvin’s alternative version is holding together very well. Perhaps he should try again with a new version?

Leave a Reply to Linda B Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.


*