Despite talk of transparency, Obama Department of Labor has stonewalled the Foundation’s Freedom of Information Act request
Washington, DC (November 19, 2009) – Because the Obama Administration has stonewalled a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request submitted last April, the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation filed a lawsuit today to compel the Department of Labor (DOL) to release information related to high-ranking officials’ contact with union operatives.
“The Administration’s apparent involvement with union officials fatally undermines the integrity of the Department of Labor’s rule-making and administrative oversight,” said Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The public deserves to know the extent of the close ties between this Administration and organized labor bosses.”
National Right to Work originally lodged a FOIA request last spring, seeking disclosure on high-ranking DOL officials’ connections to powerful union lobbying interests. The FOIA submission cited concerns about Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, who previously held a key leadership position at the Big Labor-front group “American Rights at Work,” and Deborah Greenfield, a DOL appointee who previously worked with the AFL-CIO to overturn the same union disclosure guidelines she now oversees.
As of today, the DOL has refused to honor President Obama’s widely touted promise of transparency and has failed to follow federal laws requiring the timely disclosure of public information. As a result, Right to Work attorneys concluded that a federal lawsuit was the only way to compel the level of transparency promised by President Obama and guaranteed under the Freedom of Information Act.
“It’s absolutely vital that this information is made available to the public to dispel real concerns about conflicts of interest at the Department of Labor,” continued Mix. “On the campaign trail, Obama said that ‘the way to hold government accountable is to make it transparent so that the American people can know exactly what decisions are being made [and] how they’re being made.’ We intend to hold him to that promise.”