Transparency you can believe in?

Changes in our policies deep-sixed to avoid public scrutiny? Government by stealth-here we come.

Politico reports:

In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.

The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.

They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.

A Politico review of Federal Register issuances since Obama took office found three executive orders, one presidential memorandum, one presidential notice, and one proclamation that went unannounced by the White House.

Such notices were routinely released by the White House press office during prior administrations — making their omission all the more unusual given Obama’s oft-repeated pledges of openness.


George Bush’s administration was more open and honest. To those who dismiss these as tyro mistakes, I guide them to Stanley Kurtz’s article in National Review. He examined Barack Obama’s career as a state legislature in Illinois. The title of his article is self-explanatory:

“Senator Stealth: How to Advance Radical Causes When No One’s Looking." The examples provided by Politico are trial balloons, perhaps? In any case, they belie the claim that Obama was ready for the Presidency or that he would run a more open and transparent administration.

 

Watch for another anti-free enterprise move that will probably escape scrutiny but that will have economic consequences: changing the definition of an “independent contractor”. 

Changes in our policies deep-sixed to avoid public scrutiny? Government by stealth-here we come.

Politico reports:

In his first weeks in office, President Barack Obama shut down his predecessor’s system for reviewing regulations, realigned and expanded two key White House policymaking bodies and extended economic sanctions against parties to the conflict in the African nation of Cote D’Ivoire.

Despite the intense scrutiny a president gets just after the inauguration, Obama managed to take all these actions with nary a mention from the White House press corps.

The moves escaped notice because they were never announced by the White House Press Office and were never placed on the White House web site.

They came to light only because the official paperwork was transmitted to the Federal Register, a dense daily compendium of regulatory actions and other formal notices prepared by the National Archives. They were published there several days after the fact.

A Politico review of Federal Register issuances since Obama took office found three executive orders, one presidential memorandum, one presidential notice, and one proclamation that went unannounced by the White House.

Such notices were routinely released by the White House press office during prior administrations — making their omission all the more unusual given Obama’s oft-repeated pledges of openness.


George Bush’s administration was more open and honest. To those who dismiss these as tyro mistakes, I guide them to Stanley Kurtz’s article in National Review. He examined Barack Obama’s career as a state legislature in Illinois. The title of his article is self-explanatory:

“Senator Stealth: How to Advance Radical Causes When No One’s Looking." The examples provided by Politico are trial balloons, perhaps? In any case, they belie the claim that Obama was ready for the Presidency or that he would run a more open and transparent administration.

 

Watch for another anti-free enterprise move that will probably escape scrutiny but that will have economic consequences: changing the definition of an “independent contractor”.