Mayor Bill de Blasio vowed today to be more transparent after drawing criticism for delivering a fiery pro-Israel speech at an AIPAC event last night that was not disclosed on his public schedule and closed to press.
Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and Florida Congressman Cliff Stearns held a conference call this afternoon to discuss a report released yesterday by the Republican-controlled House Energy and Commerce Committee, which revealed former White House deputy Chief of Staff Jim Messina (who is currently President Barack Obama’s campaign manager) used his personal email to conduct official business and White House staffers conducted meetings outside the building to avoid being included in the official record. Mr. Priebus said this represented a hypocritical failure of the Obama administration to live up to their promises of transparency and suggested it may indicate illegal activity.
“We got more news today that the self-proclaimed ‘most transparent administration in history isn’t transparent at all. They’ve been using the Caribou Coffee shop across the street from the White House as an executive branch annex to hold secret meetings with lobbyists and political cronies,” said Mr. Priebus. “These newly uncovered emails showed one White House staffer explicitly asking an industry insider to meet him at Caribou so that he wouldn’t have to appear on the White House visitor logs. The White House doesn’t want the American people to know who they’re meeting with on a day-to-day basis. They’ve had hundreds of meetings at Caribou, so we have no way of knowing what insider deals they’re cutting.” Continue reading “RNC: ‘The Obama White House is Actively Deceiving The American People’”→
On The Capitol Pressroom this morning, the host, Susan Arbetter, pressed Governor Andrew Cuomo on whether he values the end product of legislation is more important than having a democratic and open process when passing it. Mr. Cuomo, who worked with the Legislature to pass a massive set of bills while you were probably asleep last night, said he wasn’t especially worried about the issue.
“The issue of transparency always comes up in Albany,” Mr. Cuomo admitted. “It’s true, you can always have more transparency. On the other hand, I think you can become overly fixated with observing … process with no product.”
In a Q&A session with reporters following his executive budget presentation in Yonkers this morning, Governor Cuomo addressed criticism he hasn’t been transparent enough during his first year in office.
The City Council voted today to require the mayor’s office to post all executive orders and MOUs online in an effort to make documents only available through FOIA requests available to a broader audience.
Under the new legislation, beginning next month the administration will have to submit newly-enacted executive orders to the City Council as well as posting them on the city’s website.
“The public should have access to how the City operates and not have to go through an arduous process just to get to information that they want,” said Council Speaker Christine Quinn. “Now, with a click of a button that information will be right at their fingertips instead of waiting for weeks to get information that they are entitled to.”
MOUs that would hamper law enforcement or emergency response operations are exempt from the new bill.