Media Mentions

Democrat Congressman Used Campaign Funds To Pay His Wife And Ex-Con Son Thousands, Records Reveal

By Gabe Kaminsky (Daily Caller)

June 26, 2022

Democratic Illinois Rep. Bobby Rush, who has a documented history of funneling campaign dollars to family members, has paid roughly $56,000 from his principal campaign committee to his wife and ex-convict son since 2019, Federal Election Commission (FEC) records show….

“Nepotism has long been recognized to be a feature of dysfunctional government,” Pete McGinnis, a spokesman for the Functional Government Initiative, a federal watchdog probing ethics in government, told TheDCNF. “While this practice of hiring family members as campaign workers is not necessarily illegal, it can raise ethics concerns. To pay your spouse with campaign contributions can appear as a self-payment.”

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House GOP Demands Investigation Into Biden Staffers Who Could Benefit From Student Loan Forgiveness

By Gabe Kaminsky (Daily Caller)

June 17, 2022

House Republicans are demanding an ethics probe into potential conflicts of interest among White House staffers and their family members who may benefit from student loan forgiveness, a policy the Biden administration is considering….

“The idea that Biden staffers may be using their positions inside the administration to push the president to use taxpayer dollars on loan forgiveness that may directly benefit them is beyond troubling,” Pete McGinnis, the spokesman for the Functional Government Initiative, a federal watchdog probing abuse in government, told TheDCNF. “It’s exactly the type of insider dealing and government dysfunction that Americans are fed up with.”

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Report: Biden Admin-linked Special Interests Got More PPP Loan Forgiveness

By Joel B. Pollak (Breitbart)

June 14, 2022

A report released Tuesday by the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) suggests that Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients with ties to Biden administration personnel received loan forgiveness at a higher rate than the general population.

The FGI, a new research organization dedicated to “improving the American public’s awareness about the officials, decisions, and priorities of their government,” compiled a database on loan forgiveness using the government’s own data.

The report does not directly allege that specific government officials intervened directly to help firms or organizations connected to them. However, it notes a pattern, and lists several high-ranking officials — including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg, Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm — as among those linked to recipients of PPP loan forgiveness.

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Watchdog Group Sues IRS Over Stonewalled Investigation Into Massive Tax Record Leak

By Laurel Duggan (Daily Caller)

June 8, 2022

A government watchdog group is suing the IRS for allegedly violating transparency requirements after the agency denied the group’s requests for documents regarding confidential tax documents leaked to the press in 2021.

ProPublica published the tax records of some of the wealthiest Americans June 8, 2021, and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and the Treasury Department have failed so far to produce answers as to how Americans’ private tax documents were leaked. The Functional Government Initiative (FGI) began investigating the IRS in February but, after months of conversations, the agency blocked FGI from accessing documents discussing updates about their investigation into the source of the leak, Pete McGinnis, an FGI spokesman, told The Daily Caller News Foundation.

“They seem to be more transparent with information they are supposed to keep confidential than with documents that should be part of the public record,” McGinnis told The DCNF.

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Suit seeks answers on whether FTC has bowed to Biden’s pressure on a gas-prices probe

By Ramsey Touchberry (Washington Times)

June 6, 2022

A government watchdog group is sounding an alarm over concerns that the Federal Trade Commission, under pressure from President Biden and his Democratic allies, is conducting a secret probe into whether oil companies are manipulating prices.

The Functional Government Initiative, a nonprofit transparency organization, will file a lawsuit this week against the FTC over its refusal to turn over public records on whether such an investigation is underway, The Washington Times has learned.

“If the government really is using its resources to investigate and punish energy producers rather than incentivize them to ease Americans’ pain at the pump, the public deserves to know,” FGI spokesman Peter McGinnis said in a statement.

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The Story of Inflation: Government Dysfunction at its Finest

Pete McGinnis’ Op-ed at Townhall

Last week’s leak of a draft decision from the Supreme Court was an unprecedented break from tradition and trust, but it is sadly emblematic of the state of our nation’s government today. The federal government’s dysfunction continues to degrade public trust in our institutions.

Among the top issues affecting the American public in 2022, there is no better example than inflation to demonstrate the ongoing dysfunction of our federal government. In the early days of 2021, after nearly a year of economic chaos stemming from the global pandemic and government-imposed shutdowns, the federal government passed yet another massive bill known as the American Rescue Plan. It was sold under the guise of distributing vaccines and stimulating the economy. However, the $2 trillion price tag raised eyebrows as the fourth major COVID related legislation in a year, leading many critics to predict it would trigger inflationary concerns. As my group and others have analyzed the spending coming out of the American Rescue Plan, the apparent frivolity of many programs has bolstered assessments of critics that the law’s price tag was excessive. So much of this massive bill is going to long-term spending priorities, and even part of the spending that could arguably be related to the pandemic is stretched out over years.

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Interior Department Demands Thousands Of Dollars To Release Records On Critical Mine Cancellation

By Tristan Justice (The Federalist)

May 2, 2022

The U.S. Department of the Interior is stonewalling a request for public records made through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) with claims that the disclosure of documents related to a critical minerals project is irrelevant to agency decision-making.

In March, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI), a nonprofit transparency group based in Washington D.C., filed a FOIA request compelling the release of internal records related to the Interior Department’s lease cancellation for the Twin Metals project in Minnesota. The proposed nickel and cobalt mine in the Superior National Forest would be one of the largest in the nation, putting critical minerals on the market currently dominated by China. President Joe Biden’s Department of the Interior, however, blocked approval for the project in January despite the minerals’ importance in electric car batteries.

“You have asked us to waive the fees for processing your request,” wrote Department of the Interior Deputy FOIA Officer Leah Fairman in an April response reviewed by The Federalist, outlining the criteria for approval. Such a request must be “in the public interest because it is likely to contribute to public understanding of government operations or activities, and not primarily in your commercial interest.”

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FGI’S MCGINNIS: ‘TAX DAY SHOULD REMIND EVERY AMERICAN OF THE NEED FOR ACCOUNTABILITY AT THE IRS’

By Emily Bevard (Georgia Business Daily)

April 19, 2022

Monday, April 18, was Tax Day here in the U.S. — a day Americans give the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) information about their sensitive financial matters, expecting the IRS to keep such information private. But in light of recent scandals at the IRS, the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) is concerned about the possibility of Americans’ private information being leaked.

In a release Monday, FGI Spokesperson Peter McGinnis noted that accountability begins with transparency, which the group is still waiting to obtain through their many requests to the IRS. FGI has launched multiple investigations into scandals associated with the IRS in recent years, pressing the agency for accountability.

“Tax Day may not be a fun day, and it certainly isn’t a cheap day, but it shouldn’t be a scary day,” McGinnis said in the release. “Yet with leaks of sensitive data, targeting of organizations based on their politics and an unprecedented power grab for more authority and IRS agents, this Tax Day should remind every American of the need for accountability at the IRS.”

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FUNCTIONAL GOVERNMENT INITIATIVE LOOKS INTO IRS ON TAX DAY IN NORTH CAROLINA: ‘ACCOUNTABILITY BEGINS WITH TRANSPARENCY’

By Laurie A. Luebbert (North Carolina Business Daily)

April 18, 2022

Considering that Americans have to provide sensitive and private financial information to the IRS, Tax Day (Monday this year) is becoming more of a concern.

The possibility of the IRS leaking private information looms for many, including the Functional Government Initiative (FGI). Against that backdrop, the group has opened investigations in an effort to achieve transparency from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

“Tax Day may not be a fun day, and it certainly isn’t a cheap day, but it shouldn’t be a scary day,” Peter McGinnis, spokesperson for the FGI, told North Carolina Business Daily. “Yet, with leaks of sensitive data, targeting of organizations based on their politics, and an unprecedented power grab for more authority and IRS agents, this Tax Day should remind every American of the need for accountability at the IRS.”

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Functional Government Initiative: ‘Nothing of substance has been done’ about high gas prices in North Carolina

By David Hutton (Cabarrus Today)

April 18, 2022

The Biden administration’s latest move concerning high gas prices has been to invoke the Defense Production Act, which concerns electric vehicles, not American energy production.

This is drawing the ire of the Functional Government Initiative (FGI) and is fueling its latest government investigation.

According to FGI, “The Functional Government Initiative is a new organization dedicated to improving the American public’s awareness about the officials, decisions and priorities of their government.”

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