June 18th 2009, Fairfax, VA — Americans for Limited Government today filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request to get what it termed the “full, unvarnished truth” about the Obama Administration’s controversial firing of AmeriCorps Inspector General Gerald Walpin.
“Mr. Obama is stonewalling,” ALG president Bill Wilson said. “In direct violation of his own declaration ‘In the face of doubt, openness prevails,’ he has clearly instructed his minions to close ranks and refuse to tell the full, unvarnished truth about why he summarily fired Gerald Walpin despite the IG’s long record of stalwart service.”
Walpin was fired in late June after what all agree was a contentious board meeting in which he had questioned the oversight procedures of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). The AmeriCorps IG had taken issue with the usage of a grant for community related activities in which he believed was being used improperly by former N.B.A. star and current Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson.
When first questioned about the Walpin firing, the White House failed to provide a reason. Only later, after “Walpin-gate” became a major story in the media did Obama spokespersons offer a belated explanation, charging that Walpin was “confused” and “disoriented” at the May 20 board meeting. Both Walpin and at least one witness to the meeting have denied the charges.
“The White House response is nothing more than a mockery wrapped in a sham,” Wilson said. The real intent of the firing is two-fold – first to stop the investigation of AmeriCorps malfeasance by an Obama crony, and, second, to send a message to AmeriCorps IG’s nationwide that they are not to touch the ‘Obama Youth Corps.’
“Knowing the stated intent of Mr. Obama to use AmeriCorp as his own ‘civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded,’ as the United States Army, his message to IG’s nationwide is particularly disturbing,” Wilson said.
The FOIA filed by ALG promises to leave no stone unturned in its pursuit of what actually occurred at the CNCS board meeting many now feel was set up to orchestrate Walpin’s firing. According to the FOIA, ALG is demanding copies of “any records that may exist,” including:
“ … any written, recorded, or graphic matter of any nature whatsoever, regardless of how recorded, and whether original or copy, including, but not limited to, the following: memoranda, reports, expense reports, books, manuals, instructions, financial reports, working papers, records, notes, letters, notices, confirmations, telegrams, receipts, appraisals, pamphlets, magazines, newspapers, prospectuses, interoffice and intra-office communications, electronic mail (e-mail), contracts, cables, notations of any type of conversation, telephone calls, meetings or other communications, bulletins, printed matter, computer printouts, teletypes, invoices, transcripts, diaries, analyses, returns, summaries, minutes, bills, accounts, estimates, projections, comparisons, messages, correspondence, press releases, circulars, financial statements, reviews, opinions, offers, studies and investigations, questionnaires and surveys, and work sheets (and all drafts, preliminary versions, alterations, modifications, revisions, changes, and amendments of any of the foregoing, as well as any attachments or appendices thereto), and graphic or oral records or representations of any kind (including without limitation, photographs, charts, graphs, voicemails, microfiche, microfilm, videotape, recordings and motion pictures), and electronic and mechanical records or representations of any kind (including, without limitation, tapes, cassettes, disks, computer server files, computer hard drive files, CDs, DVDs, memory sticks, and recordings) and other written, printed, typed, or other graphic or recorded matter of any kind of nature.”
“We believe Barack Obama fired Gerald Walpin in order to provide cover for his misuse of AmeriCorps – aka, the Obama Youth Corps. And we believe he is now stonewalling the investigation of Walpin-gate in order to cover his tracks,” Wilson said. “He would do well to remember the oft-repeated refrain after the Watergate scandal that felled an earlier president: It’s not the crime, it’s the cover up, that brings you down.”
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