Theodore's World: White House Moves to Restrict Criticism of Stimulus Projects

« Church Bulletin Bloopers | Main | Obama Changes Mind About Uighur Terrorists at GITMO »

May 31, 2009

White House Moves to Restrict Criticism of Stimulus Projects

White House moves to restrict criticism of stimulus projects

By: Mark Tapscott

The Washington Examiner

A new White House policy on permissible lobbying on economic recovery and stimulus project has taken a decidedly anti-First Amendment turn. It’s a classic illustration of Big Government trying to control every aspect of a particular activity and in the process running up against civil liberty.

Check out this passage from a post on the White House blog by Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President on Ethics and Government Reform :

“First, we will expand the restriction on oral communications to cover all persons, not just federally registered lobbyists. For the first time, we will reach contacts not only by registered lobbyists but also by unregistered ones, as well as anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program.
"Second, we will focus the restriction on oral communications to target the scenario where concerns about merit-based decision-making are greatest –after competitive grant applications are submitted and before awards are made. Once such applications are on file, the competition should be strictly on the merits. To that end, comments (unless initiated by an agency official) must be in writing and will be posted on the Internet for every American to see.
"Third, we will continue to require immediate internet disclosure of all other communications with registered lobbyists. If registered lobbyists have conversations or meetings before an application is filed, a form must be completed and posted to each agency’s website documenting the contact."

The White House blog post by Eisen, go here.

The key passage is the reference to expanding regulation from registered lobbyists to "anyone else exerting influence on the process. We concluded this was necessary under the unique circumstances of the stimulus program."

This is the Camel's nose under the tent, being poked because of special circumstances. Let government restrict political expression - i.e. lobbying of government officials regarding policy - in one small, supposedly specialized area and not long after the specialized area starts expanding. Eventually, all political expression regarding all policy will become subject to government regulation.

Wild Thing's comment..........

More of the Obama thugery and force as they don't want critics to speak up or anyone to speak up or question what is going on.

The other night on the Hannity TV show, he decided to show the 100 worst wastes of 2009 and see all 100 it is really bad! ONe would be horrible and to see all 100 just makes your stomach sick and outrage at all these jerks doing this.

Something else about this too, I think this is that indication of just how big a disaster porkulous is turning out to be. I heard on TV the other day they( Obama and his administration) have no clue where most of the money has gone. It is a total mess!!!

Posted by Wild Thing at May 31, 2009 04:49 AM


On his site the first statement says, "in the spirit of transparency".

Well so far there is 2 Trillion dollars missing and nobody has a clue where it went, if anyone does they are not saying. So much for the illusive transparency.

Posted by: Mark at May 31, 2009 12:38 PM

Clearly this is the change THEY voted for.

Posted by: Jack at May 31, 2009 02:15 PM

The Democrats are as wicked and evil as we thought they would be if they ever got absolute power. Stealing the wealth of America to buy votes is cowardly. Not allowing public criticism of it is also cowardly and dictatorial.

Sadly a lot of Americans will continue to vote for these Democrats. Thee Americans think this is "free" money taken only from the wealthy.

Posted by: TomR at May 31, 2009 02:15 PM