1,400 Photos of Rick Perry Attending Meetings & Functions, Nov-Dec 2017
PDF: Rick Perry photos [49 megs]
One of my many subprojects here at AltGov2 involves requesting photos of Cabinet Secretaries. Specifically, filing FOIAs for every official photo taking during a certain time period. (“Official” meaning that agency money was spent — the photos were taken by an agency photographer or a contractor or taken with agency-owned equipment, etc.) Not only should all such photos be released on general principle of transparency, they can also give us otherwise unavailable info on who these high-level officials are meeting.
The first to respond was the Department of Housing and Urban Development. They directed me to their Flickr account, which they say contains every official photo of Secretary Ben Carson that gets taken. The Education Department also responded quickly; in June 2018 they sent me 2,500 photos of Secretary Betsy DeVos.
Since then, it’s been a waiting game. No word from Homeland Security, Justice, Treasury, HHS, EPA…. But coming in a distant third, at the end of the year, is the Department of Energy. They’ve sent 1,500 photos of Secretary Rick Perry taken in November and December 2017. (I told them it was okay to exclude publicly released images and photos from holiday parties — they said that including the latter would drastically increase the amount of processing/redaction time).
Rather than send individual JPEGs, as the Education Department did, Energy chose to send a PDF containing small versions of the photos… essentially the digital equivalent of a contact sheet. Each photo becomes pixelated when you try to enlarge it to a decent size.
I hope reporters covering energy and the environment will look at these photos with eagle eyes to see who Perry has been cavorting with. I can tell you that they’re over 90% men and close to 100% white, especially when it comes to meetings at Energy HQ, as opposed to outside functions. (Among the few I recognize are Bill Gates, Scott Pruitt, Ryan Zinke (yukking it up at the National Petroleum Council), former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and of course Trump.)
As photos of more Cabinet officials come in, I’ll be posting them using the tag Cabinet photos.