I’ve been posting on FDL for some time now, exposing so-called government accountability groups (GAP, POGO, and others) who exploit whistleblowers and stymie true reform to preserve their need for existence/spot in the pecking order/good copy for fundraising purposes. The Senate just passed a whistleblower bill, now sitting on the president’s desk, that restores protections whistleblowers gained with the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989. The bill could have provided jury trials, the holy grail of whistleblower reforms, but it was taken out in back room negotiations when the advocacy groups negotiated it away, all the while disenfranchising and deceiving the grassroots and maintaining secrecy and control over the deliberations. Textbook veal pen stuff.
On a separate website, www.mspbwatch.net, I cover two government agencies that oversee federal whistleblowing issues: the Office of Special Counsel and the Merit Systems Protection Board. OSC is like a prosecutor that works on behalf of whistleblowers. and the MSPB is an administrative tribunal that hears complaints against agencies. Both were created by the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978, which fulfilled one of Jimmy Carter’s campaign promises. Both agencies have been a disaster for whistleblowers for a long time. OSC is changing for the better. MSPB has not. Both are due for reauthorization in Congress, and the GAO is supposed to study in 2 years whether Congress should add jury trials.
This is where I need your help. Given the way the advocacy groups sold whistleblowers out in the last round, a fresh, new, uncompromised voice is needed to ensure that the reauthorization promotes the public interest and not these orgs’ self interest, and that jury trials and other due process reforms pass through Congress.
The subject matter is technical, no doubt, but I can help with that. What I lack is an army of committed activists that can help pass good legislation in a transparent, accountable manner. Whistleblowers need a trustworthy, reliable voice at the table that is committed to their, and by extension the public’s, interests.
The problem is bigger than the national security whistleblowers, who get prosecuted by the administration. Kevin Gosztola does a wonderful job covering those issues. The whistleblowers I’m fighting for work at civilian agencies that can prevent the next Deepwell Horizon, subprime mortgage crisis, Shuttle Challenger explosion, and other avoidable disasters.
This is important stuff, but it’s held hostage by the whims of a few organizations that act like a cartel. I need your help to break through that cartel.