Sunday, December 21, 2008

Obama Uses Loophole To Avoid Disclosing Blagoyevich Contacts

He promised greater transparency in government, but Obama's transition team is relying on a loophole in the Presidential Records Act to deny media requests for e-mails and other documents related to contacts between members of his transition team and the administration of Gov. Rod Blagoyevich according to a Politico report. Instead, the Obama team will release a report summarizing those contacts. Politico writes:

But for now, a spokeswoman for President-elect Barack Obama said the transition team was not covered by a public information law that Politico cited in requesting copies of Obama staffers’ emails and notes about Blagojevich’s efforts to fill the Senate seat Obama vacated after winning the presidency.

Asked if the team would voluntarily release the records, the spokeswoman, Stephanie Cutter, was non-committal. “Let's wait and see what we put out after our internal review,” she told Politico. “I don’t even know if there’s any correspondence to be had, so one step at a time.”

Who needs public disclosure when it comes to Obama? Another Politico headline reads, "Obama to absolve Emanuel in gov. scandal." The story opens, "President-elect Barack Obama’s aides plan to release a report this week absolving incoming chief of staff Rahm Emanuel of any impropriety in his contacts with the disgraced Illinois governor’s office, Democratic sources tell Politico." I guess Obama is the judge and jury when it comes to matters involving potential wrongdoing by those around him. Did anyone think Obama was going to turn over his own text messages he cranks out constantly on his blackberry? Who needs to wait for federal prosecutors to provide answers to these questions?


jbargeusa said...

The transparency promise was a mistake to begin with, but one should note that the promise was for the Presidency, not the transition.
Not until he's in office will that be counted as a broken promise.
It's inevitable, of course.
No President in his or her right mind would allow everyone inside the decision making process 100% of the time.
"Greater" transparency would've been a more realistic promise.
I'm skeptical that Fitzgerald will let Rahm off the hook if Rahm did anything illegal.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Transparency during the transition is critical to make sure federal jobs aren't being auctioned off to the highest bidder. The transition is funded by the federal government.

Downtown Indy said...

"It's good to be the king."

Anonymous said...

I wonder what else we'd know about Bush if he gave us full transparency.

Any guesses?

Do we really want to know?

Would we ever sleep right again?

Thought so.

M Theory said...

Not been hearing too many messages of "hope" lately from Obama, have we?