This story is from the Washington Times.
Political operatives within the Obama administration wrongly punished conservative legal group Judicial Watch, stripping it of “media” status and trying to force it to pay higher fees for its open records requests, the General Services Administration inspector general said in a letter released Thursday.
The GSA botched several high-profile open records requests, delaying them for months while political appointees got involved, Inspector General Carol F. Ochoa said. The findings were released while the administration was facing charges of slow-walking open records requests for Hillary Clinton’s emails, as well as other requests.
In the case of Judicial Watch, the order to strip it of media status came from political operatives with long ties to Democratic causes — and even from the White House.
The inspector general said the decision came at the behest of Gregory Mecher, a former Democratic campaign fundraiser who at the time was liaison to the White House. He is married to Jen Psaki, a longtime spokeswoman with the Obama administration and its election campaigns.
[…] Judicial Watch ended up suing over the request, the agency finally agreed to waive all fees and even ended up paying Judicial Watch $750 as part of the settlement.
Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, questioned the agency’s decision to fight a losing case that ended up costing it money.
Let’s recall what Obama confidently promised his naive supporters during election campaigns:
Just remember the confidence sound of the words – the confidence is what caused so many people to vote for him. Just his handsome face and confident words.
But the reality after he won the election was quite different, of course.
And this is not an isolated case – it’s a pattern of deliberate concealment of government abuse of power:
Last year, the administration spent $31.3 million to fight FOIA cases — more than twice the $15.4 million the administration spent in 2008, the final year under President George W. Bush.
So the intention was never to be more transparent. The words were put out as bait to catch voters who didn’t want to dig into the man’s record before choosing him. And it worked! And it worked again in 2012, even after the truth was known. This is the problem with choosing men based on confident words, rather than based on demonstrated ability. The word “transparency” sounds so good, but there was no passion for transparency anywhere demonstrated in his actions prior to campaigning. Some people just don’t have the self-control to override their feelings and intuitions. We can’t be like that – we have to insist on seeing demonstrated ability before voting.
Unfortunately, the voters who believed the confident words will not see this story about Judicial Watch on CNN or MSNBC or the Comedy Channel, and so they will probably never learn from their mistakes. Or maybe they just don’t care to vote based on evidence, when they can vote based on feelings, intuitions and first impressions. Vote based on self-delusion, in short. Or maybe they just vote out of a greedy desire to be transferred more of their neighbor’s earned money. It certainly isn’t because of a desire for more transparency in government.