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Cause of Action Institute sues Trump White House over OMB’s failure to support transparency

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The Washington-based legal watchdog Cause of Action Institute filed a federal lawsuit Thursday demanding the White House Office of Management and Budget, run by former South Carolina congressman John M. “Mick” Mulvaney, complete and enact rules to promote public disclosure of agency records.

James Valvo, CoA Institute counsel and senior policy advisor, said President Donald J. Trump and his OMB do not act as though they have any plan to finalize rules and update the Freedom of Information Request fee schedule to bring the rules in line with legislation and judicial rulings.

“This lawsuit is a great opportunity for the Trump administration to show its leadership on transparency issues,” Valvo said.

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“FOIA requesters are often deterred due to high costs agencies charge to produce records,” he said.

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“In recent years, the courts have clarified that many groups beyond traditional journalists are now eligible for news media fee waivers,” he said. “Updating OMB’s FOIA guidance to reflect this broad definition is critical.”

The lawsuit is made up of two petitions. The first requests the OMB align the FOIA fees in current law and the second requests the Trump administration follow the example of previous administrations with transparency with earmarks requests from federal agencies of the executive branch.

“The FOIA law requires OMB to establish these guidelines and requires every agencies’ fee rules to conform to OMB’s guidance,” Valvo said. “The FOIA Advisory Committee and the Archivist of the United States have also recommended that OMB update this guidance.”

Cause of Action’s second petition is based on a continuum of executive orders that began with President George W. Bush’s Executive Order 13457, he said. “The Trump administration has yet to address this issue.”

Read the lawsuit here.

 

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‘WHAT A DISASTER:’ Iowa Caucus Results Delayed in Vote Count Catastrophe

The nation is left with more questions than answers on the night of the Iowa Caucus.

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The Iowa Caucus was intended to kick off the Democratic Presidential primary by highlighting candidates with a credible shot of winning the nomination.

Instead, the first-in-the nation caucus seems to be more representative of the Democratic Party’s incompetence, after results for the caucus are delayed for an unforeseen “quality assurance” tabulation process. The development has many election hawks and Democrats howling mad, with many suspecting the DNC is dipping into its bag of old tricks with the hopes of blunting or preventing a Bernie Sanders victory in the caucus.

There are many reports of caucus precinct coordinators being totally ignored when trying to report the results of their local caucuses to the Iowa Democratic Party. At least one caucus organizer was outright hung up on by the party when he called in to report results- while speaking to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer live on air.

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The mass of confusion is being traced to the failure of an app designed to report results. Iowa Democrats simply explained the unusual delay as the result of “inconsistencies,” offering little to no in depth explanation for what seems to be third world election practices.

Although we’re inexplicably left without any vote tallies the night of the election, exit polls and crowd sizes suggest that polling frontrunner Sanders has a strong chance to win. Pete Buttigieg also appears set for a strong second place performance. Sanders expressed confidence in a strong performance when addressing his supporters in the state.

Former Vice President Joe Biden appears slated for an embarrassment, outright failing to advance to the “viable” stage in many precinct and regional caucus. It’s not entirely impossible that Biden finishes fourth in the primary, a surprise development that would leave the candidate many assumed to be an easy frontrunner for the Democratic nomination struggling as he lags to New Hampshire and later primary states.

MSNBC talking heads could be overheard referring to the caucus as a “disaster” in a some capacity in leaked audio.

As of late Monday night, the Iowa Democratic Party is yet to report any vote results, let alone declare a winner. Big League Politics is continuing to monitor the situation.

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