June 03, 2013 at 10:53 am
Judicial Watch on April 22, 2013 received a last installment of documents from the U.S. Department of the Treasury (Treasury) responsive to an October 19, 2011 request for records filed pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. 552. The request sought documentary evidence of Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) contact with specific news reporters. The purpose of JW’s investigation was to ferret out leaking of government policy by federal officials to select media outlets based on the outlets’ apparent political leanings. JW’s investigation was prompted by the disclosure of a White House email that showed Obama administration officials excluding Fox News from national event coverage based on political bias at the White House: http://dailycaller.com/2011/07/14/emails-reveal-white-house-calling-fox-news-host-baier-a-lunatic/
The documents collected by Judicial Watch over the course of the last two years demonstrate a pattern and practice of left-leaning media cooperating with the Obama administration in keeping secrets from the American public respecting both the day-to-day and long-range implementation of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform & Consumer Protection Act. The documents also show that, in addition to letting the agency’s most senior officials speak on condition of anonymity regarding the simplest items, these same media outlets permitted CFPB officials to edit news articles about themselves rather than seek independent verification of the agency’s claims.
The issues of secrecy and collusion are aggravated by facts recently brought to light: namely, that the CFPB has been using taxpayer funds to buy consumer data on the open market from credit-reporting companies among others: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-04-23/u-s-consumer-bureau-says-425-million-went-to-6-million.html . (According to usaspending.gov, CFPB paid Experian $1,622,800 in taxpayer dollars on Sept. 26, 2012 for broad access to consumer records). The agency’s director, Richard Cordray, was appointed in January 2012 by the president in a purported recess appointment that has since been invalidated as unconstitutional by a federal court. Noel Canning v. NLRB, Civ. No. 12-1115, (D.C. Cir. Jan. 25, 2013)
Details of the one Experian contract referenced above, appear below: