Small Business Administration Stalls Release of PR Executives E-mails
SBA PR executive's e-mail shows evidence of an aggressive campaign to kill stories on contracting abuses.
April 22, 2008
Petaluma, Calif. - The Small Business Administration (SBA) is delaying the release of SBA Press Office Director, Mike Stamler's inbound and outbound e-mails from 2006 and 2007. The American Small Business League (ASBL) requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The ASBL requested Stamler's e-mails after it discovered that Stamler had sent a number of aggressive and threatening e-mails to journalists and publications which ran stories on ASBL's efforts. Specifically, the ASBL's effort to expose the diversion of federal small business contracts to Fortune 1000 firms. The ASBL has also received information from journalists that Stamler has made a number of libelous statements about the ASBL and its President, Lloyd Chapman.
The ASBL believes the SBA's decision to stall the release of Stamler's e-mails is an attempt to allow SBA attorneys more time to review Stamler's communications and scrub them of any damaging information. The ASBL believes that Stamler's emails will indicate that the SBA has made a significant effort to pressure journalists into dropping stories on the diversion of federal small business contracts to major corporations.
"Mike Stamler has been browbeating, threatening and bullying journalists to drop this story for years," President of the ASBL, Lloyd Chapman said. "Our goal is to simply uncover the facts and expose the SBA's campaign to discredit the ASBL and to mislead Congress, the public and the media on this issue. SBA Administrator Steven Preston is obviously stalling the release of Stamler's e-mails so they can remove all the damaging information."
"Mr. Stamler wants to impugn my credibility with the media, but he knows that I have won every federal lawsuit I have filed against the Department of Defense (DOD), NASA (https://www.asbl.com/showmedia.php?id=223) and the SBA. He also knows that information I provided prompted the first General Accounting Office (GAO) investigation (http://www.gao.gov/new.items/d03704t.pdf ) and the first Congressional hearing into the diversion of government small business contracts to Fortune 1000 firms. He knows I provided information to the SBA that resulted in the removal of 600 large businesses (http://www.washingtontechnology.com/print/17_22/20094-1.html) from the SBA's small business database. He also knows I worked with the SBA's Office of Inspector General and provided information that led to one firm being recommended for debarment and a second firm paying a $1 million fine for misrepresenting themselves as a small business," Chapman stated. (http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=33735&ref=rellink)
In one example, Stamler sent an e-mail to the Long Island Business Journal that was so aggressive and profane that it prompted LIBJ Staff Writer, Ambrose Clancy to write a piece on the paper's blog entitled, "Expletives the SBA's forte?" (http://libizblog.wordpress.com/2008/02/22/expletives-the-sbas-forte/)
In other cases, Stamler has threatened to remove publications that ran stories on the SBA's role in the diversion of federal small business contracts to large businesses from the SBA's media list.
Stamler has reportedly made hostile and aggressive calls to journalists, editors and publishers that were preparing to publish stories on the issue and tried to bully or pressure them into dropping the stories.
The ASBL is preparing to file suit against the SBA in the event that all of Stamler's 2006 and 2007 e-mails are not released promptly.