President Obama may claim that his administration is the most transparent in history — an assertion widely debated — but don’t expect that ‘transparency’ to extend to his old campaign organization.
On Wednesday night, Organizing for Action, the newly rebooted campaign-organization-turned-nonprofit, livestreamed a “special briefing for OFA volunteers on gun violence prevention,” according to an email sent out about the call. Stephanie Cutter, former deputy campaign manager for Obama’s 2012 campaign, invited OFA volunteers to listen in to learn more about the Obama’s gun proposal and discuss ways to “take action,” “spread the word and pressure Congress to pass legislation to reduce gun violence.”
Yet not a minute into the call, members of the press were told the whole livestream was “off the record.”
So much for transparency.
Organizing for Action is technically ‘separate’ from the Obama administration, but in name only. By all appearances, they’re still closely linked, as the OFA website URL remains barackobama.com, Obama and Vice President Joe Biden frequently use the OFA list to send emails to supporters and the organization held a post-SOTU call featuring a recording from the President. At best, the organization is pushing the bounds of what is legal under their tax-exempt status, a classification that restricts them from primarily engaging in campaign-like political activities.
And lest you think Obama is alone in claiming ‘transparency,’ let’s take a look at Cutter’s own words.
During an appearance on ‘This Week with George Stephanopoulos‘ where the topic of discussion was the drone program, Cutter said Obama’s administration wants “transparency, accountability and a process to ensure that … everybody’s aware of what we’re doing going forward.”
Following the debacle in Benghazi, Libya, Cutter also appeared on ‘The Today Show‘ and asserted that the Obama administration had been totally open with the public during the entire situation.
“Every step of the way, information is learned, as intelligence is approved, of what happened on the ground that night, the President makes it available to members of Congress and the public,” she said. “It’s been a very transparent process and he’s determined to bring whoever perpetrated this against our four Americans to justice.”
Except the President himself said the Benghazi attack wasn’t a good example of transparency.
And if you asked Cutter today about the call Wednesday night, she might conveniently forget it happened. After all, isn’t that the case regarding the phone call with Joe Soptic?