Chicago Sun-Times
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Sweet web column: Obama's transparency issues.


MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF.--- White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) at a town hall meeting at the Google headquarters here plans to unveil a technology plan Wednesday describing how an Obama administration would bring a “new level of transparency” to public life. As a candidate, he still has some ways to go on that front himself.

Not on Obama’s public schedule today and Tuesday are three high end fund-raisers in northern California. While Obama released a list of his biggest bundlers on Tuesday—that’s more disclosure than you get from Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.)—Obama is still not ready to bring out in the sunlight when they throw events for him.

Obama is not against publicizing some of his fund-raising activities—a low dollar event in San Francisco later today is on his schedule. Low dollar events fit more into the Obama grass roots narrative.

Not on Obama’s public schedule is a fund-raiser Steve Westly—the former California controller who ran for governor in 2006—is hosting for Obama today in Atherton after Obama's Google town hall. I do know from checking the superbundler list Obama released on Tuesday that Westly has raised at least $200,000 for Obama. Westly is a co-chair of Obama's California campaign.

Obama also was headlining a lunch in Tibourn—that’s in Marin County—hosted by Pam Hamamoto. Hat tip to Obama fund-raising director Julianna Smoot for providing the name after I inquired about the identity of the hostess. That's an encouraging move towards more transparency. Smoot herself is at this Google event, along with other bundlers. Last night (Tuesday) Obama picked up more checks in San Francisco at a dinner hosted by Steven Davis.

Obama’s campaign drew the line at the $200,000 level on their bundlers list. But within the group of elites there is even a more elite level —the members of Obama’s National Finance Council who have pledged to raise at least $250,000.

No presidential campaigns make public their major donor fund-raising activities; Obama, however, is the only one making government transparency a centerpiece of his campaign and he is slamming Clinton on secrecy.

By extension, one would think that Obama's pledges on government transparency could extend to transparency in a political campaign.


So Obama is supposed to play on a higher plane than all of his competitors to satisfy whom exactly?

A lot of times it seems you hit the Obama campaign simply to try and cut the candidate. What other campaign has relased as much information, been as open, or pledged to throw open the white house as the Obama campaign. And yet, his efforts are apparently meaningless and you once again attempt to conflate his record issues with the First Lady's own record problems.

The difference between the two situations are night and day, apples and oranges. Obama "hit" Senator Clinton on citing experience the public NEVER got a full accounting over. Sen. Obama on the other hand has FEC reports and actual VOTES representing his positions from the time he was in office. His personal schedule and constituent correspondence is not readily available - but he did turn over current requests and issues to his successor. Sen. Clinton has yet to turn over any of the files regarding her role in shaping health care policy, advice to the President, and any projects she may have worked on for the West Wing. Yet she cites that as her "experience" proving she is ready to lead from day one.

Obama: a record of votes, and campaign filing showing where the money came from.

Clinton: nothing from her White House days.

Night and Day.

But somehow, I doubt you care. Great job conflating the issue for the Clinton campaign through!

"well, look"...welcome to the front:-)!! conflating? is that a michelle term? a princeton thing? "look", i'm just trying to "get it".lol.

Rhoda makes an excellent point.

I think that the media, you (Lynn) included, have already nominated who SHOULD be the democratic nominee. Transparency? What's your point?

Direct it where it should be directed. What about campaign finance? What about Hillary's record's being held until the race is over? What about her corporate contributions?

Ask what this persons convictions are. I loved tonights debate about the claim of "mudslinging." Give me a break! Pointing out that someone does not directly answer questions does not constitute mudslinging.

"I have 15 years experience with universal healthcare!" Yeah, is that why you bowed down to corporate payoffs and haven't spoken about it since you have started running for president?

The American people need to be very conscious about who they support.

Lynn Sweet did not ask Obama to produce his records and files from his short time in the Illinois Senate, she merely asked where they were. Other than active case files which he said that turned over to his successor, Obama now says that apparently he threw the rest of the records away. Is this the kind of transparency that J-Man wants? Don't be suckered by Obama. He is as pedestrian a politician as any of his colleagues in Washington. He talks about Hillary and the big hospital lobbies but doesn't mention that his wife Michelle earns over $300,000 a year doing community relations work for the University of Chicago Hospital. It was just reported that they had a profit last year of almost $100 million. Come clean Barack and quit talking out of both sides of your mouth.

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on November 14, 2007 5:10 PM.

Sweet blog special: Google to greet Obama. was the previous entry in this blog.

Sweet column: Googler asks Obama about Bill Clinton."So you can’t just copy what Bill Clinton did." is the next entry in this blog.

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