In 2009, Ohio Republican Rep. Steve Chabot took time to list several Democratic “outrages” on his blog, prompting readers to choose which was the worst. One of the political cardinal sins: A lack of transparency. Pointing to President Obama’s campaign promise of transparency, Chabot railed against Obama for closing off the public from attending an event and proceeded to mock the administration’s reasoning for the move:
Candidate Obama, and then newly-elected-President Obama promised that his Administration would be “the most transparent ever.” Then, a few days ago, they held a workshop on “government openness” – and you guessed it, it was closed to the public! That’s hardly the image of openness and transparency the Obama Administration wants to project. Realizing how bad they looked, they scrambled for an excuse and came up with “we needed to make sure there would be room for all the government employees attending.” Right.
But now it’s 2011. Thus, it seems Chabot’s principles are two years past their expiration date. Last night, Chabot hosted a town hall event in Cincinnati, Ohio that was open to the public. However, any reporters and constituents attending the event were greeted by this transparent sign of non-transparency. Via Americans United for Change:
Unless Chabot decided to leak sensitive intelligence information to his constituents, it is hard to see how a camera could pose any kind of security risk at an event that is already open to the public. However, Chabot’s reversal on transparency is hardly surprising given the severe backlash House Republicans are facing over support for their plan to end Medicare. Indeed, several House Republicans have banned recording devices to prevent broadcast of the blowback.
One of the key promises House Republicans made in the 2010 campaign was “to make Congress more transparent.” Given Chabot’s particular “outrage” over broken campaign promises, this is hardly the image of openness and transparency he likely wants to project.