By Kenric Ward | Watchdog.org Virginia Bureau
RICHMOND – Citing Watchdog.org’s exclusive report on communications between Terry McAuliffe’s GreenTech Automotive and top Obama administration officials, the Republican Party of Virginia filed a Freedom of Information Act request for copies of correspondence from the Department of Homeland Security.
“The more we learn about GreenTech, the more questions Virginia voters have,” RPV Chairman Pat Mullins said in a statement Thursday.
“Since Terry McAuliffe won’t answer questions about the company he has so often held up as proof of his business acumen, we’re asking the Department of Homeland Security to release more information about Terry’s dealings.”
The state GOP said that McAuliffe, while serving as chairman of GreenTech, “apparently went to the very top to try to keep his company afloat, asking DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to expedite the process on the EB-5 visas that he needed approved to keep his company going.”
McAuliffe, who is locked in a tight gubernatorial race with Ken Cuccinelli, has touted job creation as the centerpiece of his campaign. But he has taken heat for locating GreenTech in Mississippi, where the company says it employs 78 workers.
“We need to know just what Terry was asking for from his friends in the Obama administration, and whether or not he got it. Virginia voters need answers about GreenTech,” Mullins said.
In search of answers, the RPV sent a letter to three officials at Homeland Security: Jonathan Cantor, chief FOIA officer; Jill Eggleston, FOIA officer for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services; and Catrina Pavlik-Kennan, FOIA officer at Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The letter requests “copies of all correspondence, electronic and written, between Terence R. ‘Terry’ McAuliffe, GreenTech Automotive, Inc., Gulf Coast Funds Management LLC, their subsidiaries, employees, or attorneys representing the same, and the following employees, departments and sections of the Department of Homeland Security.”
The request goes on to list Napolitano and “any employees” of USCIS and ICE.
In addition, Mullins requested copies of “any and all emails and written correspondence between and among DHS employees that may have been generated as a result of correspondence between Mr. McAuliffe and DHS.”
DHS, USCIS and ICE officials contacted by Watchdog were unable or unavailable to comment on the status of the FOI request by deadline.
Watchdog filed similar FOI inquiries with DHS and its immigration agencies in April. The agencies are still processing those requests.
Kenric Ward is chief of Watchdog’s Virginia Bureau. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (571) 319-9824. @Kenricward
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