11 September 26 2006 a Multi Regional Project
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The International Program A Multi-Regional Project September 26, 2006 Guests: Government officials and representatives from Bhutan, Cambodia, Cyprus, Djibouti, Dominica, Ghana, India, Jordan, Mauritius, Mexico, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Slovenia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Czech Republic, Bosnia-Herzegovina, and Serbia and Montenegro Judicial Watch president Tom Fitton was invited participate the U.S. Department States International Visitor Leadership Program discuss Judicial Watchs mission monitoring government activities ensure ethical standards, accountability, transparency and fairness government. The multi-regional project was administered the Institute International Education. Mr. Fitton informed the visiting delegation that Judicial Watch nonprofit organizationa charityamong many others Washington, DC, involved public policy. unique that, nonprofit watchdog group, holds corrupt officials accountable court law. The Freedom Information Act (FOIA), tool for investigation and litigation, was discussed. Mr. Fitton explained the visiting officials that government agencies are allowed days respond FOIA requests. When deadlines are not met and appropriate responses are not forthcoming, lawsuit may filed against the government agency federal court. And once litigation, there are other bureaucratic hurdles that are often encountered, including protracted delays litigation, which would daunting for any ordinary citizen. This where Judicial Watch has found its niche. has honed the skills necessary counter these obstaclesand has the time and financial resourcesthanks its supportersto pursue such cases their conclusion. The Commerce Department lawsuit, which commenced 1994 and still ongoingwas cited one example Judicial Watchs extraordinary ability stay the course. Mr. Fitton also discussed the impact FOIA investigations can have public policy. From the documents received from Clintons Commerce Department response Judicial Watchs FOIA request, the scheme sell seats publicly funded trade missions exchange for campaign contributions the DNC was discovered. Not only was this cash for access illegal and direct violation campaign finance law, was highly unethical. essence, was the selling access the highest bidder. result Judicial Watchs findings, there was fundamental public policy change for the selection candidates trade missions. Today, selection made strictly the basis merit. Mr. Fitton also discussed Judicial Watchs conservatism with respect its nonpartisanship rooting out corruption government and the judiciary. stated that, general, conservatives believe limited government. The larger the federal budget, the greater the temptation and, hence, the greater incidence corruption. Corruption failure ethicsand non-partisan. And Judicial Watch pursues both liberal and conservative administrations cases involving public corruption. The Cheney Energy Task Force lawsuit one the most recent examples action filed against conservative administration for allegedly violating federal open meetings lawa lawsuit that was appealed all the way the U.S. Supreme Court. issue the lawsuit were meetings held the task force with top energy officials and the privileged influence these individuals may have had the development national energy policy. the close the briefing, Mr. Fitton acknowledged the difficulty many the visiting officials face tackling government corruption. Mr. Fitton nevertheless urged the officials creativeand not underestimate the power the media. The mere threat exposure can very powerful deterrent for public figures they know they will held accountable the court public opinion.