Europe and Eurasia Summary for January 25 2012
Number of Pages:3
Date Created:August 9, 2012
Date Uploaded to the Library:February 20, 2014
Autogenerated text from PDF
Anne Weismann, chief counsel for the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics Washington (CREW), told the delegates that regardless party affiliation, CREWs mission to hold politicians accountable for their actions using transparency laws, such the Freedom Information Act (FOIA) obtain documents from federal agenciesand publicly available quarterly filings the Federal Election Commission (FEC)to follow the money and investigate allegations misconduct government officials. CREWs FOIA lawsuit against the Department Veterans Affairs regarding the VAs discouragement costly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) diagnoses was one the cases she cited illustrate CREWs pursuit government transparency and accountability. Tom Devine, legal director the Government Accountability Project (GAP), another Washington, DC, transparency and accountability advocate, told the roundtable participants that GAP essentially protects people who exercise their free speech rights. GAPs mission, stated its Internet site to promote corporate and government accountability protecting whistleblowers, advancing occupational free speech, and empowering citizen activists. GAP focuses primarily the protection government whistleblowers who, stated, commit the truth their exposure waste, fraud, and other government misconduct. cited GAPs efforts protecting FDA whistleblower, whose research exposed the dangers the super pain killer, Vioxx, which was estimated have killed over 50,000 Americans. Ultimately, however, because the courage this FDA scientist blow the whistle, the drug was taken off the market and untold lives were saved result. Public Citizen, another major transparency and accountability group, was represented the roundtable Dr. Craig Holman, currently serving its government affairs lobbyist the areas campaign finance and governmental ethics. Similar the caption its Internet site, which states, Defending democracy, and Resisting corporate power, Dr. Holman described himself lobbyist who lobbies for lobbyist reform. discussed the drafting and implementation the Lobbying Disclosure Act 1995, which marked the first comprehensive reform federal lobbying laws years and included injunction requiring lobbyists file electronic reports every three months. said this legislation has served important check against the corrupt influence peddling and pay-to-play politics prevalent Capitol Hilland was major step forward the fight for enhanced transparency legislation. Judicial Watch was the fourth and final major transparency and accountability organization represented this roundtable event. Chris Farrell, who has served Judicial Watchs director investigations and research for more than decadeand very familiar with the work the other transparency organizations represented the roundtablediscussed the non-partisan aspect the power struggle that ensues between any outside group and presidential administration the area transparency. Mr. Farrell stated that once administration gets into office and gains control, typically refuses cede power unless compelled law. illustration, said Judicial Watch has had file lawsuits for White House visitor logsrecords the American people are entitled lawagainst both the Bush administration Judicial Watchs investigation disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff and, today, against the Obama administration fulfillment its oversight and educational responsibilities. Each transparency group represented the roundtable that daywhether the left right the political spectrumhas encountered similar struggles their exercise the Freedom Information Act vis--vis presidential administration, whether Democratic Republican. set forth its Mission Statement, through its educational endeavors, Judicial Watch advocates high standards ethics and morality the nations public life and seeks ensure that political and judicial officials not abuse the powers entrusted them the American people. Judicial Watch fulfills its educational mission through litigation, investigations, and public outreach. The International Program integral part its educational program.