In a response to accusations by the Republican Governor’s Association that outgoing U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham isn’t being transparent about her family’s business dealings, Graham all but admitted she plans to run for Florida governor in 2018. The statement, quoted in the Tampa Bay Times, is unusually clear in terms of intent:
“We are 23 months away from the governor’s election in Florida, and there will be plenty of time for the RGA to engage in this petty nonsense and partisan attacks.”
It’s no secret she’s been planning a run, which is precisely why the RGA is already doing what they can to shine a bit more light on some of her family’s less-well-known business dealings. The group submitted multiple FOIA requests to her office, which they say she has ignored. And while the Tampa Bay Times points out that she’s under no obligation under the law to respond to FOIA since she’s in Congress and not a member of the executive or judicial branch, her refusal to respond to the requests for transparency provide an opening for the RGA. Here’s the group’s full statement on the matter:
Congresswoman Gwen Graham has talked a big game on transparency, but her actions show she’s just another Washington politician who says one thing, but does another.
Graham’s congressional office has failed to respond to multiple Freedom of Information Act requests to make her congressional records public – records that would give voters valuable insight into how she conducts her congressional office.
Graham is on the record stating that “Florida families deserve full transparency.” But now that she is running for governor, she is desperate to hide her record as a Washington politician. Florida voters deserve to know if she used her position in government to benefit any Graham companies or affiliated businesses – and she can only prove that by immediately releasing these congressional records and communications.
“When it comes to transparency, Gwen Graham says one thing, but does another,” said RGA Communications Director Jon Thompson. “Graham says she believes that Florida families deserve full transparency, but as her actions have demonstrated, she only believes in full transparency until it could impact her quest for political power. Graham should immediately release her congressional records so that Florida voters know exactly how she was using her influence as a Washington politician to benefit her political ambitions.”