March 23, 2009

Murky Report Card for White House Transparency

On his first full day as president, Barack Obama promised to usher in “a new era of openness in our government.”

Then last month, the White House asked government workers to submit suggestions for greater openness — through a website inaccessible to the public.

That’s a bit like Obama’s transparency push, eight weeks into his presidency — lots of major promises and some fairly significant actions, mixed in with a few flat-out dodges.

It’s left open-government advocates grateful for what they’re getting from Obama — who is, in their view, miles ahead of the Bush administration — but also left some feeling let down that his often lawyerly actions are falling short of his soaring words.

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