The Associated Press is reporting that the Obama administration has denied more than a third of the Freedom of Information Act requests submitted last year.
This is no surprise to PJ Media or myself. We’ve had several refused in just the last year, and we’re still waiting on an answer to one more at least.
In October, we asked the FDIC to release to us records pertaining to their alleged maintenance of a list of politically connected banks which then received special treatment.
The Washington Post wrote at the time:
A Washington Post review of documents and interviews with many involved in the decisions show that regulators flagged the bank early on for its “highly visible” connection — in OneUnited’s case, a former board member who is married to Waters, the chairman of an important banking subcommittee. The alert was part of a previously undisclosed practice at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. of trying to identify banks that might cause “unnecessary press or public relations” problems, according to testimony a top FDIC official gave to House ethics investigators.
That prompted Rep. Darrell Issa (R.-Calif.), then ranking member and currently chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, to write a rather pointed letter demanding answers.
The FDIC’s response? Pound sand. That prompted PJM to send a FOIA request demanding those same answers.
FDIC responded in record time: pound sand.
PJM promptly sent a second FOIA request. That was in early October. We’ve had no response.
This is far from the only case.
PJM’s J. Christian Adams, who broke the selective enforcement of the Voting Rights Act in the Department of Justice story, dropped another bombshell in February of this year. It seems the DoJ has been very selectively complying with FOIA. As Adams wrote then:
Eric Holder’s Justice Department has even politicized compliance with the Freedom of Information Act. According to documents I have obtained, FOIA requests from liberals or politically connected civil rights groups are often given same-day turnaround by the DOJ. But requests from conservatives or Republicans face long delays, if they are fulfilled at all.
It was so bad PJM finally sued under FOIA — perhaps the first time a conservative new media outlet has done so.
For an administration which has touted “openness” left and right, the pattern would be amusing — if it weren’t so frightening.