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DNC FOIAs State Department on McCain Contacts

By Michael D. Shear
The Democratic National Committee has submitted a request under the Freedom of Information act to the State Department, asking for records relating to actions by Canadian Ambassador David Wilkins in helping to set up a visit to Ottawa by Sen. John McCain.

In the request, DNC Research Director Mike Gehrke asks for "any and all records (including but not limited to letters, written requests, memorandum, reports, telephone records, electronic communication) created on or after January 1, 2008 and relating to travel by U.S. Senator John McCain to Canada during the period April 1, 2008 to the present. "

The Edmonton Sun reported Thursday that Wilkins contacted Thomas d'Aquino, the president of the Canadian Council of Chief Executives, to help set up what they described as a fundraiser before McCain's visit. McCain is scheduled to give a speech at the the Chateau Laurier Hotel and to meet with several Canadian officials.

Democrats contend that by doing so, Wilkins violated the Hatch Act, which proscribes the kind of political activity a government employee may engage in.

McCain aides have said the event in Ottowa -- a speech hosted by the Economic Club of Canada -- is not a fundraiser or a political event that would fall under the Hatch Act. Brian Rogers, a spokesperson for the campaign, said that "Publicity stunts and meaningless FOIA requests are politics as usual, not change we can believe in."

The full text of the letter follows the jump.

June 20, 2008

Office of Information Programs and Services
A/ISS/IPS/RL
U. S. Department of State
Washington, D. C. 20522-8100
FOIA REQUEST

Via US Mail And Facsimile

Dear Sir or Madame:

I am writing to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act, 5 U.S.C. § 552, and its related statutes and regulations, as detailed below:

NATURE OF RECORDS: Any and all records (including but not limited to letters, written
requests, memorandum, reports, telephone records, electronic communication) created on or after January 1, 2008 and relating to travel by U.S. Senator John McCain to Canada during the period April 1, 2008 to the present.

POSTS/OFFICES IN QUESTION: Documents maintained or held by the US Embassy in
Canada, including its various consulates; the Office of the Legal Advisor; the Executive
Secretariat; the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Western Hemisphere Affairs; the office of the "desk officer" for Canada; and the Office of Legislative Affairs.

TIME FRAME: January 1, 2008 - present

Redactions: I am requesting to receive as much information as possible, including documents and pages that can be partially provided with redactions, as provided
under the relevant statutes and regulations with the reason for each redaction noted.

Format: I would prefer if possible to receive as much of this information as possible in an electronic form, be it on diskette, CD, via e-mail, FTP or other format. This is particularly the case if it reduces the time or cost involved in processing requests.

Request For Expedited Processing: I requested expedited processing under 22 CFR
171.12 (b)(2). This material relates to questions about potential Hatch Act violations by
prominent officials of the Department in connection with the current US presidential election season, clearly a matter of major national importance with a sensitivity to time. (See http://blog.washingtonpost.com/the-trail/2008/06/19/democrats_question_ambassadors.html.)

Given the current backlog and average processing time for State Department FOIA requests, this request most likely would not be processed before this November's general election or even before the end of the year.

Please contact me before incurring costs in excess of $150.

Willingness To Modify Request: Please feel free to contact me to discuss ways to change the scope or amend this request in order to speed its processing. I am certainly willing to make modifications to better suit the format and availability of information you maintain.

I look forward to receiving an initial response within the time period required by FOIA - twenty business days....

Sincerely,


Mike Gehrke
Research Director
Democratic National Committee

By Michael Shear  |  June 20, 2008; 1:55 PM ET
Categories:  A_Blog , B_Blog , John McCain  
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Comments

"McCain aides have said the event in Ottowa -- a speech hosted by the Economic Club of Canada -- is not a fundraiser or a political event..."

I think even John McCain would know that the province is OttAwa, not Ottowa.

Posted by: whatmeregister | June 23, 2008 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Is it true that Jon Mcain was sodimized in the hanoi hiltom and he is a closet gay?

Posted by: AntiMcain | June 23, 2008 10:13 AM | Report abuse

McBush always wanted to annex "Canadia" (to steal a name from Dubya). Soon he will go after Mexico, too. Javol, mein Fuhrer.

Posted by: Shaken AND Stirred | June 20, 2008 6:13 PM | Report abuse

Anyone who disputes a McCain presidency would just be an extension of Bush's policies and tactics is kidding themself.

I hope all the Clinton supporters who say they will vote for McCain are paying attention.

Posted by: Susan | June 20, 2008 6:10 PM | Report abuse

So is John McCain willing to sell out the jobs of Rust Belt workers by making speeches on foreign soil?

Ronald Reagan would never have done this.

Posted by: Jobless white guy | June 20, 2008 5:08 PM | Report abuse

In this case the problem is the Bush administration and it's agent John McCain. Wilkins in the style of Alberto Gonzales was doing campaigning while working for the government. Another example of Bush administration abusing its power. The RNC is so used to this happening that they feel they are entitled to use the government for their personal use.

Nothing has been proven and the punishment will be a slap on the wrist, unfortunately. Anyone who is not convinced that the Bush administration is not the most corrupt administration in post WW II times will hardly be swayed by this revelation. Since every president is concerned about his legacy, we must document each act of corruption so that Bush gets his due when he is evaluated by historians in the future. We hardly would like him to be judged solely on the war and his mounting deficits. Not just on the poor performance of the stock market during his tenure either. Let's remember the increasing number of citizens who could not afford a college education because of the rising expense of loans and the decrease in government support while Bush was in office. The failures of the FDA and the EPA and OSHA.

McCain is running so that the end of the disaster in Iraq will be temporally farther away from the Bush years. All that McCain wants to do is take advantage of this corruption to be elected so he can continue it for four more years. We have had nearly eight years of ineptitude, we hardly need four more.

Posted by: Gator-ron | June 20, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO KEEP MCCAIN AND HIS FLIP FLOPS OR I DIDN'T UNDERSTAND THE QUESTION OUT OF THE WHITE HOUSE. LET HIM PANDER TO THE RADICAL RIGHT FROM THE SENATE.

Posted by: CAROL. | June 20, 2008 3:05 PM | Report abuse

Did McCain lose his bearings again and forget which country he was running in?

Posted by: Abramoff's Cellmate | June 20, 2008 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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