Media Advisory: No One ‘Less Deserving’ than Obama for ‘Transparency’ Award

March 17, 2011
Jim Lakely

President Barack Obama today accepted an award from a coalition of good government groups and transparency advocates to recognize “his deep commitment to an open and transparent government.”

The following statement from Benjamin Domenech, research fellow at The Heartland Institute, may be used for attribution. For more comment, contact Domenech at bdomenech@heartland.org or 703/509-1741.

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“It is hard to think of anyone in American politics less deserving of such an award. From the censoring of emails to the off-site meetings with lobbyists to the refusal to hand over documents covered under the Freedom of Information Act, Obama’s administration has thus far been marked by the decided lack of transparency.

“Nowhere was this more prominent than during the health care debate. During his campaign, Obama promised this discussion would take place in the open, on C-SPAN – a promise that was junked when the president declined to heed C-SPAN’s request to broadcast such meetings. Just last week, White House attorney Robert Bauer refused a request from the House Energy and Commerce Committee to turn over any documents and records related to the backroom negotiations when deals were being cut to pass his signature health care law.

“Today, President Obama accepts an award even as his own legal representatives prevent access to exactly the kind of information he promised to disclose. The real question is: What is the White House hiding?”

Benjamin Domenech
Managing Editor, Health Care News
Research Fellow for Health Care Policy
The Heartland Institute
bdomenech@heartland.org
703/509-1741

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The Heartland Institute is a 27-year-old national nonprofit organization based in Chicago. Its mission is to discover, develop, and promote free-market solutions to social and economic problems. For more information, visit our Web site at http://www.heartland.org or call 312/377-4000.