The Strange Case of Richard Windsor
[Update – 12/15/12 – I just heard that Susan Rice withdrew her name from consideration as Secretary of State. Republican racists seem to have had a particular problem with a strong black woman. And a strong black woman representing the US as Secretary of State just made their ignorant racist little heads explode. But, Obama threw Rice under the bus, in ways similar to the Van Jones affair – both were victims of manufactured fraudulent right wing attacks. Lisa Jackson is a strong black woman too, and no doubt, racism is involved in the attacks on her (see below). But, in contrast to the meritless attacks on Rice and Jones, I think the attacks on Jackson are drive more by ideological opposition to EPA regulation than racism. And Jackson did given them the ammo to attack by using a secret email account – been there, done that. – end update]
Here’s something you likely won’t read in the Hometown NJ newspapers –
Looks like Jersey Girl and US EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson has gotten herself immersed in a growing beltway scandal related to the use of secret email accounts – redolent of the Bush Administration White House. Prelude to second term exit? Get some popcorn and check it out:
House Republicans press Jackson for more info on internal email accounts
John McArdle, E&E reporter
Published: Thursday, December 13, 2012
Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee are again pressing U.S. EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to explain her use of a nonpublic email account to conduct agency business — and to name names if she knows of other heads of federal agencies who also make use of alias accounts.
House Republicans in recent months have accused officials at EPA, the Department of Energy, the Department of Commerce and the White House of using questionable methods of communication to avoid having documents relating to official business captured by federally mandated government record-keeping systems (E&ENews PM, Nov. 20).
Energy and Commerce Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and his Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Cliff Stearns (R-Fla.) also asked Jackson today whether the internal email address could have been used to avoid providing information for congressional inquiries over the past two years.
EPA has acknowledged that Jackson was assigned two official government email addresses and that the practice has been going on for more than a decade for agency administrators. The so-called public account address is posted on EPA’s website; a second, internal one is what the administrator uses to communicate with staff and government officials.
Jackson’s internal account went by the name Richard Windsor, a combination of the name of a family pet and East Windsor, N.J., the town where she lived. EPA has said that given the large volume of emails sent to Jackson’s public account — more than 1.5 million communications in fiscal 2012 — the internal email account is necessary for effective management and communication between the administrator and agency colleagues.
EPA has said both accounts are subject to the Freedom of Information Act.
In their letter today, Upton and Stearns noted that over the past two years the committee has initiated numerous inquiries seeking documents relating to actions and policy decisions at the agency.
“We recognize the utility of a secondary, internal email account for the conduct of agency business,” the congressmen wrote. “We seek to understand whether conducting business with an alias has in any way affected the transparency of the agency’s activities or the quality or completeness of information provided to the Committee.”
In the list of questions included in today’s letter — which the members want answered by Dec. 21 — they also ask whether any other heads of federal agencies are assigned an internal email address. If so, Upton and Stearns asked Jackson to name those agencies.
Click here to read Upton and Stearns’ letter.