-- Labor Secretary Hilda Solis failed to disclose that she was director and treasurer of a union-promoting lobbying group pushing legislation that she was co-sponsoring.
-- Attorney General Eric Holder overruled his own lawyers in the Justice Department on the issue of D.C. voting rights (which he and Obama support) and refused to make public the staffers' opinion that a House bill on the matter was unconstitutional.
-- And as I reported last month, Obama's nominee for the No. 2 official at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, former King County, Wash., executive Ron Sims, has the distinction of being the most fined government official in his state's history for suppressing public records from taxpayers.
Obama set the tone, breaking his transparency pledge with the very first bill he signed into law. On January 29, the White House announced that the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act had been posted online for review. One problem: Obama had already signed it -- in violation of his "sunlight before signing" pledge to post legislation for public comment on the White House website five days before he sealed any deal.
Obama broke the pledge again with the mad rush to pass his trillion-dollar pork-stuffed stimulus package full of earmarks he denied existed. Jim Harper of the Cato Institute reported in April 2009: "Of the eleven bills President Obama has signed, only six have been posted on Whitehouse.gov. None have been posted for a full five days after presentment from Congress…"
It's this utter disregard for taxpayer accountability that prompted hundreds of thousands of citizens to take to the streets on Tax Day for Tea Party protests. The trampling of transparency inspired signs that read: "No legislation without deliberation" and "READ THE BILL FIRST." Obama's response was first to claim that he hadn't even heard of the Tea Party movement, and then, on his 100-day celebration, to deride all those Americans he is supposed to represent for "playing games."
Projection, anyone? When it comes to toying with transparency, President Obama is a master at "playing games."
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