On August 24, 2016, Campaign for Accountability joined several organizations in opposing a broad exemption to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for the entire Department of Defense (DoD) that would severely undermine FOIA reforms already in place.
On June 8, 2016, CfA filed a lawsuit to force the Department of Justice to release opinions from the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC). The OLC serves as legal advisor for the federal government, issuing opinions on the meaning of laws that are immensely consequential. Some have been used to justify controversial policies such as extraordinary rendition, torture, and the killing of Americans abroad. The Justice Department does not prosecute individuals whose actions are justified by OLC opinions, even if those actions are later determined illegal.
On March 22, 2016, CfA requested that OLC fulfill its legal obligations by publishing its opinions. Deputy Assistant Attorney General John Bies responded to CfA’s request in May, stating that OLC has the discretion to decide on an individualized, case-by-case basis, whether to publish its opinions. Given OLC’s hard and fast position, CfA filed suit in the District Court for the District of Columbia to compel OLC and DOJ to comply with their legal obligations under the FOIA.
On October 6, 2017, United States District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson issued an opinion in the case explaining her reasons for dismissing CfA's complaint but inviting CfA to file an amended complaint. On October 27, 2017, CfA filed an amended complaint.
On July 19, 2016, Campaign for Accountability released a new report, Google’s Silicon Tower, revealing how academics and experts funded by Google have played a major role at academic and government conferences, debating some of the company’s core issues. Nearly all of the Google-funded participants failed to disclose their financial ties to Google, now a subsidiary of Alphabet, Inc.
On July 14, 2016, Campaign for Accountability released a new report, Documenting Discrimination, uncovering how national right wing religious groups – working through smaller local groups – are spearheading the movement to legalize discrimination against LGBT individuals through Religious Freedom Restoration Act (“RFRA”) legislation.
On July 7, 2016, Campaign for Accountability joined a bipartisan coalition of Members of Congress and 2016 congressional candidates in filing a complaint before the Federal Election Commission seeking to end super PAC spending in US elections.
On July 6, 2016, Campaign for Accountability sent a letter to Liberty Counsel, a religious-right group representing Rowan County Clerk Kim Davis, seeking the release of documents responsive to its open records request. The day before, Kentucky Attorney General Andy Beshear issued an opinion concluding Ms. Davis had violated Kentucky’s Open Records Act by failing to provide his office with records she claimed were exempt from disclosure to help in his independent review.
On July 6, 2016, Campaign for Accountability joined a coalition of 18 organizations, led by OpenTheGovernment.org, in opposing the FBI’s proposal to exempt its biometrics database – the Next Generation Identification (NGI) system – from nearly all key provisions of the Privacy Act. The coalition believes that the FBI’s system needs stronger privacy and transparency protections than the FBI’s current proposal incorporates.
On May 9, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt to investigate former Johnson County Election Commissioner Brian Newby for flagrantly violating Kansas criminal law by submitting false expenses, misusing public funds, and conspiring to cover up his conduct.
On April 5, 2016, Campaign for Accountability called on the Department of Defense’s Inspector General to investigate Secretary Ashton Carter for the misuse of his private email account.
On March 16, 2016, Campaign for Accountability asked Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes to investigate State Rep. Ken Ivory (R-West Jordan) for obstructing justice by lying to state investigators and for misusing official resources to promote a nonprofit he started, the American Lands Council (ALC).