Navy officials called critics of LGBTQ+ Pride efforts ‘bigots’ and ‘a**holes,’ emails show

By Patrick Hauf (Fox News)

May 31, 2023

Navy officials dismissed critics of its promotion of LGBTQ+ Pride as “bigots” and “a**holes,” according to emails obtained by Fox News Digital.

Two Navy officials expressed disgust with negative public response to its social media posts for LGBTQ+ Pride Month last year, according to emails obtained in a Freedom of Information Act request from the Functional Government Initiative. The two officials schemed on how to best post its “rainbow wingtip graphic” for LGBTQ+ Pride Month, which they complained would be flooded with “feedback from trolls and ugliness.”

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Making a Federal FOIA Request? Good Luck!

By Pete McGinnis (Townhall Op-ed)

May 28, 2023

FOIA is the acronym for the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), or it was when it became law in 1966. Since then, it’s come to stand for Feds Obfuscating, Impeding and Abusing. One of the first “open government” laws in the world often just highlights federal agencies shirking transparency and continuing dysfunction.

FOIA was initially conceived by U.S. Representative John E. Moss in the 1950s. It requires U.S. government agencies to disclose full or partial documents upon request, with nine exemptions to protect several types of records from disclosure. Congressman Moss was a champion of transparent and functional government. He would assuredly be dismayed that federal agencies don’t follow the spirit of the law even as they claim to follow the letter of it.

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Politicized Navy Sacrifices Recruitment, Ethics to Push LGBTQ Activism

Circumventing recruiters, impersonating reporters, and changing information all in service to an agenda.

June 1, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, government watchdog Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced it has found troubling evidence of politicization and ethical impropriety in documents obtained from the Navy in response to a Freedom of Information Act request. The documents come from the office of the Navy Chief Information Officer (CHINFO) and regard Navy preparations to participate in “Pride Month” in June 2022.

In a series of e-mails about modifying Navy shields and symbols with rainbow colors and the transgender flag, employees of the Navy Newsroom disparaged those who question the military’s role in pride month as “less savory members of our audience” and “bad actors.” Elsewhere in the documents, CHINFO personnel identified opponents of the military’s celebration of Pride Month as “bigots.” The staff also discussed how to evade objections to the LGBTQ modifications from within the Navy’s own Recruiting Command, with one employee suggesting giving the recruiters no notice of the changes until it was too late for any of the recruiters to express concerns.

In chat messages from May 5, 2022, a naval superior instructed a naval officer, prior to a news conference regarding their LGBTQ posts, to impersonate a reporter and ask questions to advance the agenda: “[Y]ou will act like a non‐navy Journalist. Please use your real name because I will not be able to remember fake names. You’re from [left-wing feminist site] Jezebel and will ask questions like: Before we get started, what is your gender identity and your preferred pronouns?”

Other suggested questions included, “IF THEIR GENDER IDENTIY IS DIFFERENT THAN THEIR OUTWARD IDENTITY: What hardships do you face being in uniform as a ______. Does the Navy and your peers allow you to be your true self?” and “How did you develop Harpy Daniels persona, what made you want to so openly tie her to your service?”

“Harpy Daniels” is the drag stage name of Navy Yeoman 2nd Class Joshua Kelley, whom the Navy recently named a “digital ambassador” to recruit young people.

The Navy also has issued conflicting statements about LGBTQ “safety transfers,” which can be made when stated concerns for the safety of service members and/or their dependents result in a permanent transfer prior to a normal projected rotation date.

Also, it appears that the armed services are offering solutions in search of problems. For example, amid a series of claims that state laws and policies are being enacted to curtail the rights of LGBTQ+ persons, branches of the military were prepared to consider requests for “safety transfers” to new duty stations for service members and their dependents if they felt unsafe or discriminated against on the basis of such state laws. Yet, the Navy candidly acknowledged to a reporter last June that it had not received any requests for safety transfers for reasons related to state laws or policies that may affect LGBTQ+ Service members or their dependents. However, two weeks later, a message to the same reporter said, “The Navy had 433 re‐assignments similar to safety transfers in FY21,” without additional detail about those re-assignments.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“It appears there are personnel in the U.S. Navy who believe promoting the LGBTQ agenda is more important than their ethical responsibilities to keep politics separate from their responsibilities in the military. Devising schemes to circumvent any input of recruiters while the armed forces suffer a recruiting crisis puts the nation at risk. Impersonating reporters as well as offering conflicting answers to inquiries are certainly nothing to be proud of regardless of what month it is.”


Efforts to Ban Gas Stoves Subject of New Litigation

Gas stoves, a staple in many Americans’ homes, targeted by a new proposed ban despite public claims to the contrary

June 1, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced lawsuits against three federal agencies, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, regarding records about the Biden Administration’s plans to ban new gas stoves.

FGI submitted FOIA requests to those agencies to clarify the Administration’s reasoning and to make sense of seemingly conflicting statements regarding the scope of proposed regulations that could effectively ban gas stoves. With no response within the time limits under the law, FGI is filing its lawsuits to compel their release.

The ostensible spur to government action was a December 2022 research study that indicated 12.7 percent of childhood asthma in the United States is attributable to gas stove use. In a January 2023 interview, CPSC Commissioner Richard Trumka, Jr. stated that gas stoves were a “hidden hazard” and “products that can’t be made safe can be banned.” Later, Trumka clarified in a tweet that the proposed new gas stove regulations would apply only to new ones. Americans who currently have gas and choose to switch to electric would receive a rebate under the Inflation Reduction Act.

CPSC Chair Commissioner Alexander Hoehn-Saric also stated that “CPSC is looking for ways to reduce related indoor air quality hazards. But to be clear, I am not looking to ban gas stoves and the CPSC has no proceeding to do so.” However, a leaked internal memo written by Trumka stated there was sufficient evidence to move forward with a gas stove ban. That memo pre-dated the release of the asthma study, showing that the CPSC’s move to ban gas stoves was already long in the works.

Meanwhile, the DOE proposed its first-ever efficiency regulation on cooking appliances, which could potentially make 50 percent of currently available gas stove models non-compliant. The contradictory actions raise questions over the outside influence and intentions behind the apparent dysfunction driving the Administration’s approach toward gas stoves. Also, there are calls for HUD to ban stoves in public housing, potentially adding another agency to the effort.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issues the following statement:

“The Biden Administration has been anything but clear with the public about its intentions relating to gas stoves. The various efforts to ‘study’ their use has been seen as a predicate for a future ban while other federal agencies have taken actions that fly in the face of what they’ve told the public. FGI intends to find out who is driving the push to regulate or ban gas stoves. The American people deserve to know why they’re home appliance options may be curtailed even further.”


‘Public Deserves Answers’: Watchdogs Light Up Dem Gov Over Potential Conflict Surrounding His Pot Industry Investments

By Trevor Schakohl (Daily Caller)

May 12, 2023

Democratic Maryland Gov. Wes Moore should fully disclose his ties to the cannabis industry given recent actions he has taken as governor to benefit recreational cannabis businesses, experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

Possessing 1.5 ounces of cannabis for recreational use will become legal in Maryland in July, and Moore has signed a law creating a recreational cannabis business licensing framework and released $40 million in previously-withheld funding for the Maryland Commerce Department’s Cannabis Business Assistance Fund. On May 1, Moore announced a blind trust for his investments, including $1.17 million of stock in the Chicago-based cannabis company Green Thumb Industries, the Associated Press reported, and now oversight experts are calling for Moore to fully disclose any potential conflict of interests he might have in the industry.

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Report: Signatories of Spy Letter Have Scored Numerous Biden WH Visits

By Kristina Wong (Breitbart)

May 11, 2023

At least 11 of the signatories on the spy letter discrediting the Hunter Biden laptop story as Russian disinformation have scored “numerous visits” to the Biden White House, according to a report. The Washington Examiner reported Wednesday that between October 2021 and January 2023, at least 11 of the letter signers visited the White House a total of 24 times, according to visitor logs.

The signatories’ visits to the Biden White House underscore that the purpose of the letter was to help Joe Biden win the presidency, according to the recent testimony of one of its drafters, former deputy CIA Director Mike Morell.

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Eleven Hunter Biden intel laptop letter signers have visited Joe Biden’s White House, records reveal

By Gabe Kaminsky (Washington Examiner)

May 10, 2023

At least 11 ex-intelligence officials who signed the infamous letter baselessly linking Hunter Biden’s abandoned laptop to Russia have scored numerous visits to President Joe Biden’s White House, according to records reviewed by the Washington Examiner.

Between October 2021 and January 2023, 11 letter signers frequented the White House a total of 24 times, White House visitor logs show. The letter has come back under the spotlight following a handful of revelations, including that its organizer, ex-Obama CIA head Mike Morell, was “triggered” by then-Biden campaign adviser and now-Secretary of State Antony Blinken to write the letter and that a CIA official solicited signatures for it, according to testimony and an email obtained by the House Judiciary Committee.

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FGI Sues EPA to Uncover Frank Biden’s Potential Influence over Environmental Justice Issues

Did Frank Biden use his family name to incite government actions that would likely benefit an ongoing legal action from his employer?

May 2, 2023

(Washington, DC) – Today, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) announced a transparency lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for withholding records regarding potential communication between Frank Biden and associates at the Berman Law Group, his employer. The FOIA request also sought related records on the practice of sugar cane field burning during harvest, the subject of a class action effort spearheaded by Mr. Biden’s employer.

Environmental activists have latched on to sugar cane field burning as a reason to demand the government lower the already controversial National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS). The Berman Law Group, where Frank Biden is a non-attorney senior advisor, ran a newspaper ad on President Biden’s Inauguration Day, promoting a class action lawsuit against Florida sugar cane growers, claiming that the controlled sugar cane field burns were affecting the health of nearby residents. Frank Biden’s promoting his firm while invoking his family name raises questions as to whether there were also communications with federal regulators that could bolster the prospects of its class action and, if so, whether those communications resulted in inappropriate political pressure being placed on career officials.

Powerful environmental special interest groups, including the Sierra Club and others, have touted their support of the same issues involved in the President’s brother’s work. With the EPA considering stricter NAAQS standards at the same time as the Department of Justice opening up a new litigation office to target private sector actors over environmental justice concerns, the situation raises the question of whether Frank Biden’s personal financial interests are playing any role in the government’s policy and litigation efforts. The records FGI requested would allow public scrutiny and bring transparency to several major government actions fraught with ethics landmines. At this stage in FGI’s transparency efforts, the government’s non-response has made litigation the only option.

Peter McGinnis, spokesman for FGI, issued the following statement:

“The combination of Berman Law Group’s class action lawsuit and the administration’s environmental justice initiatives raise potential ethical concerns. We already know that Frank Biden invoked his relationship with his brother in an ad for his employer. Did he, his colleagues, and their special interest allies do the same with any communications with regulators whose actions could impact their case? Is the DOJ getting in on the act by preparing to file litigation against the same sugar industry players at the center of Frank Biden’s class action effort? The withheld records could likely assist the public in assessing whether these concerns are warranted.”

The Biden Administration Continues to Undercut Its Own EV Goals

Op-ed by Pete McGinnis (Townhall)

May 6, 2023

In the midst of electric vehicle mandates and increased concerns about overreliance on China for critical mineral supply chains, the Biden Administration continues to make some dubious decisions. Enter the once-highly respected space agency.

In NASA’s quest to develop a satellite calibration site, it landed on an area on top of lithium deposits in Nevada – and squarely in the way of President Biden’s own environmental goals.

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Watchdog Group Sues EPA For Records Of Frank Biden’s Potential Communication With The Agency

By James Lynch (The Daily Caller)

May 2, 2023

The Functional Government Initiative (FGI), a watchdog legal group, is filing a transparency lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for any potential communications between Frank Biden and the agency.

FGI filed its transparency lawsuit Monday after the EPA failed to provide records in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed in February. The FOIA request also sought records from a sugar cane lawsuit filed by Frank Biden’s employer, the Berman Law Group, where Biden works as a non-attorney senior advisor, according to its website.

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