Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times notes that while Barack Obama is making government transparency a centerpiece of this phase of his campaign, his own record of disclosure is somewhat lacking:
- An Obama spokesman, Ben Labolt, last week declined to say where Obama's records from his years in the Illinois State Senate are located. There is no law mandating the state to archive the records. The records from Obama's office -- if he kept them -- would potentially show appointments with lobbyists, policy memos, meetings, etc.
- Obama has supported more earmark disclosure to bolster government transparency. Last June, Obama disclosed the earmarks he requested for Illinois and national interests. However, his office, after repeated requests since June, has yet to disclose earmarks Obama sought in 2006, before he was running for president.
- Obama does list the names of hundreds of bundlers -- people committed to raising at least $50,000 for the campaign -- on his Web site. He brags about the disclosure on the stump.
But that's literally all Obama does, list a name. No cities or states, information that is available to his campaign. Some names are well known because the bundlers are celebrities or longtime activists. But it's a big country, and there are more than one Bob Clark and Lou Cohen. Just listing a name does lip service to meaningful disclosure. [....]
- Obama's campaign has refused to identify the biggest bundlers, people who are raising at least $200,000 for him and are given membership in his National Finance Council. Obama, as all major candidates, declines most of the time to disclose details about most fund-raising events.
- During a town hall meeting last month in Dover, N.H., Obama pledged that he would post all meetings he would hold as president on the Internet. As a senator, Obama has never done that.