Obama’s new law scoffs at transparency

by Sam Adolphsen on July 28, 2010

in Open Government

Obama hurts transparencyNancy Pelosi said this  Congress was supposed to be the “most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history.” President Obama said, “My Administration is committed to creating an unprecedented level of openness in Government.”

So much for that.

We find out today that in the monster financial-regulation legislation signed into law last week by Obama, the Securities and Exchange Commission will no longer have to comply with nearly any public records request, including requests made under the Freedom of Information Act.

This a travesty. Steven Mintz, founding partner of law firm Mintz & Gold LLC in New York said ““the next time there is a Bernie Madoff failure the American public will not be able to obtain the SEC documents that describe the failure.” So why this added layer of secrecy from Obama and Pelosi’s Congress?

“The backroom deal that was cut between Congress and the SEC to keep the  SEC’s failures secret. The only losers here are the American public,” according to Mintz.

This is the wrong direction for transparency, and it reminds of a “backwards step” in transparency that the Maine Senate democrats tried to take last year when Lisa Marrache and Libby Mitchell sponsored a bill to try and hide public workers salary information.

Fortunately, because of public outcry, that bill went down in flames. Hopefully public backlash against this new bad law will shed some light on yet another dark corner of the Obama / Pelosi reign.

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