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Analysis: Fed bashing has broader consequences

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Members of Congress and staff members gathered Monday on the east steps of the Capitol to take part in a moment of silence for victims of a deadly weekend shooting spree in Arizona. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) was critically wounded and six others, including a federal judge, were killed.

John Palguta, the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service, said the negative rhetoric against government workers can have negative consequences.

Even though it’s unclear if the shooter was motivated by politics, Palguta said that sometimes “vitriolic disagreements” are increasingly targeting federal employees who carry out programs.

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“There are some individuals out that that fail to make the distinction between programs and policies and activities, and the individual federal employee who carries out those programs and policies,” Palguta said.

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What’s different now compared to decades ago is the access to information and “unfiltered opinions,” he said. “Somebody has a disagreement and someone says, Yeah, you’re right, we need to do something about it.”

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