Sad fact is one of politicians' favorite things to tell tales about is how honest and open they are.
Lately the President has been kicking up quite a fuss over transparency, running ads like this:
“More and more Republicans are calling for Mitt Romney to be straight with the American people, and release his tax returns. Put out as much information as you can!”
That's the attack, despite the fact Romney has already released two years of tax returns, and isn't even required to do that.
But the President says he's all about transparency.
On his first day in office he made this promise:
“Starting today, every agency and department should know that this administration stands on the side not of those who seek to withhold information, but those who seek to make it known. Transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this Presidency.”
Didn't happen. He promised to improve how the government handles requests under the Freedom of Information Act.
This is a key tool for holding our leaders accountable by letting citizens demand the government disclose its records. So how well do you think the Obama administration is doing with these requests?
At the end of last year, they had a backlog of over 83,000 requests for information. And when they do answer the requests?
The Obama administration is denying them 33% more often than during George W. Bush's term.
But this is just one of the President's broken promises about transparency.
Do you remember this one about writing the health reform law?
Obama: "I'm going to have all the negotiations around a big table. We'll have doctors and nurses and hospital administrators, insurance companies, drug companies ... We'll have the negotiations televised on C-Span."
Didn't work out that way either. Instead, the Obamacare negotiations happened behind closed doors.
In fact, we were left with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi telling us they had to pass the bill just so we could find out what was in it.
In light of all that, maybe you can appreciate the irony in this:
The President has spent over $15 million on polling this election cycle.
So he doesn't want you to know what he's doing, but he's very interested in keeping tabs on what you're thinking.
At the end of the day, I guess you can say this President is completely transparent. We can all see right through him.
The Willis Report with Gerri Willis investigates the top business stories, outs corporate scams and polices D.C. policy.