JW Obtains Documents on Obama FCC “Diversity Czar” Mark Lloyd’s Official Mission, Duties and Responsibilities
NOVEMBER 18, 2009
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has obtained documents from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) regarding President Obama’s “Diversity Czar” Mark Lloyd’s official mission and responsibilities.
According to the documents, provided in response to a Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, Lloyd’s mission is “to open up opportunities for all Americans, in particular women, minorities, small business owners, to participate in and benefit from a robust communications marketplace.” Among Lloyd’s duties and responsibilities: “To work with the Consumer Bureau (and other bureaus as appropriate) to collect relevant data and assess the interaction between communications service providers and consumers in minority communities…” and “to consult with other federal agencies to determine best practices for advancing the goal of greater inclusion and diversity in government programs.”
Judicial Watch also requested information pertaining to Chief Diversity Officer Lloyd’s office staffing and budget for operation and administration. However, according to FCC Associate General Counsel Joel Kaufman, “We could locate no records responsive to…parts of your request. While Mr. Lloyd shares support staff with others in OGC (Office of General Counsel), no one was hired or assigned specifically to support him in his work. His position is funded out of the agency’s fiscal year budget…but he has no separate budget for operation and administration.”
In May 2009, Judicial Watch uncovered documents that demonstrate the FCC plans to use the professed goal of “diversity” to regulate free speech in the media. For example, in December 2007, the FCC proposed new “localism” measures to force broadcast stations to offer programming more “responsive to the needs and interests of the communities that they are licensed to serve.” Some legal analysts have said such “localism” policies represent a back-door into the controversial Fairness Doctrine, which the Obama administration claims to oppose.
Lloyd, meanwhile, has been criticized heavily for making a number of controversial statements on race. For example, during a conference in 2005, Lloyd said, “There’s nothing more difficult than this. Because we have really, truly good white people in important positions. And the fact of the matter is that there are a limited number of those positions. And unless we are conscious of the need to have more people of color, gays, other people in those positions we will not change the problem. We’re in a position where you have to say who is going to step down so someone else can have power.” During a 2008 National Conference for Media Reform, Lloyd also said Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez’s rise to power was “really an incredible revolution – a democratic revolution.”
Judicial Watch’s FOIA request regarding Mark Lloyd is part of the organization’s comprehensive investigation of all Obama administration czars. Judicial Watch has filed a FOIA request with the Office of Management and Budget as well as requests with each separate “czar” office. Article II section 2 of the Constitution, states that, “…[the President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.”
Unlike the heads of other executive departments (such as the Secretaries of Energy, Transportation, etc.), most of Obama’s “czars” have not been confirmed by the U.S. Senate or have had their positions authorized by Congress. Some of these appointees might not have even been subjected to a basic FBI background check. Importantly, some of “czars” work for the president in the White House — these individuals could claim “executive privilege” if ever subpoenaed to testify before Congress. And they may not be subject to transparency laws.
“Obama seems to have a ‘czar’ for everything and too many wield power with zero congressional and public accountability. And considering the radical views of ‘czars’ like Mark Lloyd, the more information the American people can get on them the better. Do we really want a race-baiting promoter of Hugo Chavez presiding over questionable diversity programs at the FCC?” said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton.