President Obama’s pick to be the next chief of the Environmental Protection Agency told Congress on Thursday that she never has used private emails or instant-messaging to try to avoid open-records laws, and promised to crack down on those within the agency who do.
Republican senators peppered Gina McCarthy, whom Mr. Obama nominated to be the new administrator, with questions about the agency’s transparency record and demanded she commit to making the agency more responsive to investigative requests than it was under her predecessor, Lisa P. Jackson.
“I want you to know that I care about this as much as you do,” Ms. McCarthy, who is an assistant administrator at the agency, told the Environment and Public Works Committee.
She said has never conducted business through her personal email and said she has never used instant messaging to avoid open-records laws.
“One good thing about being 58 is I don’t even know how to use them,” she said, drawing chuckles and even agreement from some of the senators who likewise shy away from instant messaging.
The focus on transparency comes after independent researchers and members of Congress uncovered evidence that some top EPA officials used private emails to conduct government business, in violation of open-records laws, and that the agency appeared not to be searching instant messages in response to open-records requests.
The researchers also discovered that Ms. Jackson had maintained an alternate email address under the alias Richard Windsor.
Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer, California Democrat, said that practice stretches back to at least the Bush administration, whose EPA administrators also used alternate emails. She read out the various alternate addresses the Bush-era officials used.
The EPA administrator’s main email is published on its website, so the administrators use the alias to conduct business.
From the New York Times. First we learn that, of the 80,000 Americans who the Justice Department (DOJ) knows committed the federal crime of "lying or providing inaccurate information on gun purchase background checks" in 2010, only 44 were charged with a crime. And surprise, surprise, those who lie on background checks are more likely to commit violent crimes than the average person.
The 80,000, of course, are only the ones who got caught lying. Some unmeasured number succeeded and thereby own guns that should legally not be in their possession.
Obviously we need ADDITIONAL gun laws for our Attorney General to ignore.