President Tightens Screws on Special Interests
Music to our ears.
The President will keep surprising people for eight years if all goes well. And maybe beyond that if his successor is hip. The result wll be government by as well as for the people. Step by undramatic step. Like this tightening of the screws on special interest just announced.
Here’s an excerpt:
First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.
Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest –after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.
Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact.
This is particularly important as huge reforms come up for consideration. We are already aware of the monstrous efforts of the right to submarine health care. No way. We are revving up a people’s campaign that kicks off June 6, but as usual it is already rolling. Stay tuned because pledges are becoming actuality as we speak.
And with these new rules we have some hooks to hang miscreants on if they try to run around the rules.