The still sort-of new Barack Obama Democratic administration has again adopted yet another policy straight out of the administration of his much-criticized Republican predecessor George W. Bush.
Obama administration officials have rejected a watchdog group’s request for a list of healthcare industry executives who’ve been meeting secretly in the White House with Obama staffers to discuss pending healthcare changes being drafted there and in Congress.
According to the Citizens for Ethics and Responsibility in Washington, which is suspicious of the influence of health industry lobbyists and company officers, it received a letter from the Secret Service citing an Obama Justice Dept. directive and denying access to visitor logs under the “presidential communications privilege.”
Remember the holy hulabaloo in the early Bush years when Vice President Dick Cheney met in the White House compound with energy industry officials and refused to release a list of those executives and the frequency of their visits? That controversy was propelled by critical Democrats and was before Obama’s brief Senate tenure.
And it was one of the reasons that candidate Obama promised a government more “open and transparent to the people” – as Andrew Malcolm documents well at the link above. He also notes how VP Biden has been holding what the Obama WH used to officially call “private meetings” at both his home and at the WH. What are they called now?
“Meetings that are closed press.”
Now that’s a “change” – in terminology, anyway – that you can believe in. And yes, it is most definitely “transparent.”