Small Business Administration Agrees to Turn Over PR Executive's E-Mail
April 2, 2008
Petaluma, Calif. – The Small Business Administration (SBA) has agreed to turn over two years of correspondence from Mike Stamler, the agency’s Press Office Director, to the American Small Business League (ASBL).
The ASBL requested the information under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). The ASBL believes Stamler’s correspondence will help to expose the SBA’s long-standing public relations campaign to misrepresent the diversion of billions of dollars in federal small business contracts to Fortune 1000 firms. The SBA has consistently tried to deny the problem by describing it as “miscoding” and a “myth”. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/news_07-30.pdf )
The ASBL was preparing to file suit against the SBA in federal district court in San Francisco when the agency finally decided to release the information. The SBA is charging the ASBL $2300.00 to provide the information.
Since 2003, a series of federal investigations found the SBA had inflated the Bush Administration’s small business contracting statistics by including billions of dollars in awards to such firms as: Rolls Royce, Wal-Mart, Hewlett-Packard, Raytheon, Titan Industries, Lockheed Martin and British Aerospace and Engineering (BAE). (https://www.asbl.com/asbl.resource/content/supdoc.html)
ASBL projects that more than $100 billion a year in federal small business contracts have actually gone to hundreds of Fortune 1000 firms and other large businesses since 2000.
The SBA responded to the federal investigations and more than 400 stories in the main stream media exposing the problem, by claiming that every year since 2000 billions of dollars in federal small business contracts accidentally went to big businesses as the result of “miscoding” or data entry errors. The SBA has now been using the ‘miscoding” excuse for more than seven years.
In 2007, SBA Administrator Steven Preston finally admitted that Fortune 500 firms had received federal small business contracts because of “old regs”. In June of 2007, Preston adopted a new regulation that will allow hundreds of Fortune 1000 firms to continue to receive federal small business contracts until the year 2012. (http://www.sba.gov/idc/groups/public/documents/sba_homepage/sba_news_07-51.pdf)
The ASBL intends to review Stamler’s communications thoroughly. They expect to uncover evidence showing the SBA has maintained an aggressive campaign to mislead Congress, the media and the general public on the Bush Administration’s efforts to divert federal small business contracts to Fortune 1000 firms and dismantle federal programs to assist small businesses.
“Mike Stamler’s office has made blatantly false and misleading statements to the media for years on this issue and tried to pressure journalists to drop the story.” Lloyd Chapman, President of the ASBL said. “Stamler’s absurd ‘Myth vs. Fact’ press release is a prime example of the worst kind of government propaganda designed to mislead the public. Americans want an open and transparent government and people like Mike Stamler are an obvious barrier to that principle.”