Tech experts attack Republicans over subpoena

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WASHINGTON — A group of technology experts has a message for Rep. Darrell Issa, the Republican Oversight Committee chairman who last week disregarded the White House’s insistence that U.S. technology chief Todd Park is too busy to testify about his efforts to repair

“Let Todd Work,” the group proclaims on a website launched after Issa issued a subpoena for Park to appear before his panel on Wednesday.

“Now, instead of continuing to fix (a mess he did not make), Mr. Park has to spend his hours preparing for his testimony,” declares the website on its homepage, before listing some of Park’s accomplishments.

“Mr. Park is a fantastic civil servant, who cares about making government more effective and accountable, just like Mr. Issa,” the group writes. “We hope that they can work together on solving the policies that enabled to fail in the first place. No matter what side of the aisle you sit on, Todd is one of the good guys. Let him do his job.”

A little more than 200 people had signed up to support the website’s cause on Sunday afternoon. The site’s creators are three technology experts with ties to the White House: Clay Johnson and Adam Becker, two former Presidential Innovation fellows, and Michael Aleo, a former White House art director.

After Issa’s initial request for Park’s testimony, the White House wrote back declaring the chief technology officer was too busy fixing the problem-addled health care portal.

“His testimony needs to be scheduled at a time that is less disruptive to that work,” Donna Pignatelli, the White House’s assistant director for legislative affairs, wrote last week, adding later that “pulling him away … even for a short time at this stage would be highly disruptive and would risk slowing the progress that has been made thus far to fix identified issues with the website.”

Issa, incensed, wrote back on Friday, using his power of subpoena to demand that Park show up before his committee this week.

“Your unwillingness to appear before the committee continues an unfortunate pattern of the current administration when it comes to matters of transparency and Congressional oversight,” Issa wrote in a letter to Park that was released to the media.

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