MEMORANDUM FOR THE HEADS OF EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND AGENCIES
SUBJECT: Transparency and Open Government
My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government. We will work together to ensure the public trust and establish a system of transparency, public participation, and collaboration. Openness will strengthen our democracy and promote efficiency and effectiveness in Government. – Barack Obama <Source>
Lobbyists win out over citizen’s need to know …
The Hill.com is reporting …
“White House eases stimulus lobbyist restrictions”
“In a significant change, the Obama administration will now allow lobbyists to meet and have telephonic discussions with government officials regarding economic recovery projects.”
“The lifting of the ban comes after K Street has cried foul for months and has challenged the White House on its restrictions.”
Nothing in politics trumps the man with the cash and the offer of voter support …
“In March, President Obama announced that government officials would not be allowed to consider the views of lobbyists regarding specific stimulus projects unless the requests are put in writing. The materials also had to be posted on an agency’s website within three business days of receipt.”
Lobbyists have said that the policy was one more example of the administration's disdain for their industry.
Disdain for their industry: organized corruption of the government and the promotion of practices which may be harmful to citizens and consumers? I did not know that prostitution was legal in Washington D.C. and that you could buy a politician as easily as you could buy a hooker’s attention for an hour.
New guidance …
“Now, the just-revised rules will allow government personnel to accept meetings and calls from federally registered lobbyists on the implementation of stimulus projects. The head of the Office of Management and Budget, Peter Orszag, issued a new guidance late Friday regarding the administration's communications with registered lobbyists about economic recovery funds.”
“Lobbyists can make their cases -- and agency officials can listen to them – at ‘widely attended gatherings.’ Government officials have to ask whether the person they are talking to at such events is a federally registered lobbyist speaking on behalf of a client.”
“Agency officials are required to promptly disclose on the Internet all oral and written communications with lobbyists concerning policy or projects funded under the recovery act. They also have to disclose any written communications with lobbyists regarding pending applications for competitive funding.”
“The one caveat, however, is that lobbyists can talk to agency representatives only about logistical issues or general questions regarding stimulus grants. Agency officials have to document any discussion with a lobbyist that veers toward advocacy of stimulus policy or a particular project.”
Government officials are still banned from talking to lobbyists representing companies that have already applied for grants and are awaiting a competitive decision. In those cases, agency officials are allowed to accept ‘oral communication’ only if the matter is purely logistical.”
The far-left meets the special interests …
“Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the American League of Lobbyists (ALL) joined forced to advocate that the White House revise its rules. ALL informed its members Saturday morning of the changes.”
I find it extremely interesting that CREW, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics, is described as:
"Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a watchdog group founded in 2003. Its stated mission is to 'promote ethics and accountability in government and public life by targeting government officials - regardless of party affiliation - who sacrifice the common good to special interests.' CREW advances its mission by engaging in litigation, public advocacy, Freedom of Information Act requests, media outreach and official complaints to government agencies such as the Federal Election Commission and the Internal Revenue Service."
Apparently, its objective nature is somewhat questionable when one considers the statement of its communications director.
"We are progressive," said Naomi Seligman, the group's deputy director and communications director. "We do work within a larger progressive infrastructure." Seligman suggested her group is the progressive counterweight to Judicial Watch. <Source>
And there is very little doubt in my mind that the ACLU represents a threat to our freedoms and is openly representing those who would destroy the American way of life, both foreign and domestic.
We know, understand and honor the openness of the lobbyists – paid advocates of their clients – where it is all about money, power and quid pro quo favoritism.
But with far-left organizations that purport to represent and protect the people, it is all about advancing their political ideology – and in this case, one that might prove toxic, or even fatal, to American citizens.
What the lobbyists said to there members …
"Essentially, you will be able to once again meet and have telephonic conversations with personnel in charge of the projects and be able to provide your subject matter expertise to them to help them make the best ‘merit based’ decisions possible for the stimulus projects," Dave Wenhold, the president of ALL, wrote in an e-mail message to members.”
"Getting us back to the table and ensuring that we are treated equally has been the main goal for ALL. We are also thankful to our partners in this effort, especially the Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington (CREW) and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Between the main three groups and others, we made a diverse and strong coalition that advocated for these revisions."
A coalition against the American citizen and taxpayers is about the only way I can describe organizations which promote harmful legislative initiatives and administration policies to support their own political ideology and/or profits. As an advocate of free speech, I also support their right to have their voice heard… just not their undisclosed whispers in the ear of influential policy makers in some dark back room.
Bottom line …
Once again we find the special interests: the wealthy, the powerful,the politically-connected and the ideologically-driven, calling the shots through their lobbyists and lawyers who are busy collecting promises of campaign cash and voter support for the upcoming 2010/2012 election cycle which may prove to be one of the most contentious political contests in the history of the United States. An Orwellian contest between those who are attempting to redefine good and evil, truth and falsity, black and white, responsibility and political ideology.
In the final analysis, nothing about the Obama Administration has been open and transparent. All clouded with the taint and stink of politics where perception often trumps reality.
OneCitizenSpeaking: Saying out loud what you may be thinking …
Reference Links …
“Nullius in verba.”-- take nobody's word for it!
“Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.”-- George Bernard Shaw
“Progressive, liberal, Socialist, Marxist, Democratic Socialist -- they are all COMMUNISTS.”
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS "The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius “A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell “Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar “Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS
“The key to fighting the craziness of the progressives is to hold them responsible for their actions, not their intentions.” – OCS
"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." -- Marcus Aurelius
“A people that elect corrupt politicians, imposters, thieves, and traitors are not victims... but accomplices” -- George Orwell
“Fere libenter homines id quod volunt credunt." (The people gladly believe what they wish to.) ~Julius Caesar
“Describing the problem is quite different from knowing the solution. Except in politics." ~ OCS