Saturday, 22 November 2014 / TRUTH-OUT.ORG

Jim Hightower: Obama's Unethical End Run

Monday, 01 April 2013 10:33 By Jim Hightower, OtherWords | Op-Ed

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President Barack Obama speaks to employees at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. March 15, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)President Barack Obama speaks to employees at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. March 15, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)Back in 2010, President Obama declared: “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.”

That was so 2010.

By 2013, the mist of corporate money has fogged over Team Obama’s commitment to such ethical niceties. For example, take a glance at all the special interests that paid $50 million for his January inaugural festivities. Except…you can’t.

While the White House pledged that it would put the names of every donor online so people could see that there’s no conflict of interest, that’s all they disclosed. Just names of individuals. There’s no info on where they live, what corporation they represent, or how much they gave.

Even the highly-skilled watchdogs of the Sunlight Foundation haven’t managed to identify 40 percent of the individuals. They’ve traced some donors back to such “powerful interests” as AT&T, Coca Cola, FedEx, and Microsoft. But they have no clue how much these special interests paid — i.e. how many presidential favors they purchased.

And now, another layer of fog has descended over the White House. The Obamacans have set up a dark-money haven called Organizing For Action (OFA), again making a show of transparency by pledging to issue quarterly lists of donors.

But the listings again won’t include the donors’ corporate identities. And why only quarterly? Why not reveal the names online the moment the checks arrive? Plus, some checks from corporate executives will be bundled, but OFA won’t disclose the corporations delivering the bundles.

OFA donors will have access to special White House briefings. But, as the Sunlight group asks, will someone who gives $50 be invited — or just those giving $50,000 and up? I think you can guess the answer.

To help oppose this sad end run around real ethics, visit SunlightFoundation.com.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.


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Jim Hightower: Obama's Unethical End Run

Monday, 01 April 2013 10:33 By Jim Hightower, OtherWords | Op-Ed

Truthout needs your support to produce grassroots journalism and disseminate conscientious visions for a brighter future. Contribute now by clicking here.

President Barack Obama speaks to employees at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. March 15, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)President Barack Obama speaks to employees at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Ill. March 15, 2013. (Photo: Stephen Crowley / The New York Times)Back in 2010, President Obama declared: “I don’t think American elections should be bankrolled by America’s most powerful interests.”

That was so 2010.

By 2013, the mist of corporate money has fogged over Team Obama’s commitment to such ethical niceties. For example, take a glance at all the special interests that paid $50 million for his January inaugural festivities. Except…you can’t.

While the White House pledged that it would put the names of every donor online so people could see that there’s no conflict of interest, that’s all they disclosed. Just names of individuals. There’s no info on where they live, what corporation they represent, or how much they gave.

Even the highly-skilled watchdogs of the Sunlight Foundation haven’t managed to identify 40 percent of the individuals. They’ve traced some donors back to such “powerful interests” as AT&T, Coca Cola, FedEx, and Microsoft. But they have no clue how much these special interests paid — i.e. how many presidential favors they purchased.

And now, another layer of fog has descended over the White House. The Obamacans have set up a dark-money haven called Organizing For Action (OFA), again making a show of transparency by pledging to issue quarterly lists of donors.

But the listings again won’t include the donors’ corporate identities. And why only quarterly? Why not reveal the names online the moment the checks arrive? Plus, some checks from corporate executives will be bundled, but OFA won’t disclose the corporations delivering the bundles.

OFA donors will have access to special White House briefings. But, as the Sunlight group asks, will someone who gives $50 be invited — or just those giving $50,000 and up? I think you can guess the answer.

To help oppose this sad end run around real ethics, visit SunlightFoundation.com.

This piece was reprinted by Truthout with permission or license. It may not be reproduced in any form without permission or license from the source.

Jim Hightower

National radio commentator, writer, public speaker, and author of the book, Swim Against The Current: Even A Dead Fish Can Go With The Flow, Jim Hightower has spent three decades battling the Powers That Be on behalf of the Powers That Ought To Be - consumers, working families, environmentalists, small businesses, and just-plain-folks.


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