January 13, 2010

Grade inflation in D.C.

Good government groups have released a report card grading the White House's "lobbying, ethics and transparency" reforms in the past year.

Their findings? Positively glowing:

The new rules and policies have begun the difficult process of changing the way business is done in Washington.

President Obama deserves recognition and high praise for the ethics, lobbying and transparency rules put in place for the Executive Branch during his first year in office.

Our organizations give the Obama Administration very high grades for the Executive Branch reforms it implemented during 2009. (Emphasis mine)

It seems the authors graded the White House based on what it has promised to do, instead of what it has actually done.

That revolving door for lobbyists and former officials? Still open.

Health care negotiations televised on C-SPAN? Campaign gimmick.

Waiting five days before signing legislation? Not even close to happening.

If you want to talk about ethical behavior to Washington, I suggest you start with Timothy Geithner, Tom Daschle, Nancy Killefer or Vivek Kundra.

Not to mention the ghost districts receiving federal stimulus money and FOIA workshops closed to the public.

In short, the White House does not deserve "very high grades" for their reforms this past year.

The White House's record on ethics, lobbying and transparency has been dismal. Anybody who says otherwise is burying their head in the sand.