BUT HAS HE LIVED UP TO HIS PLEDGE OF “OPEN GOVERNMENT?”

by Sharon Rondeau

(Jul. 28, 2015) — During the 2003 session of the Illinois legislature, then-State Senator Barack Hussein Obama co-sponsored a bill to require a “verbatim record” of every government meeting, including those considered “closed.”

According to the Hyde Park Herald on April 2, 2003, Senate Bill 1586 was considered “controversial” but strongly advocated by Obama and cosponsor Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie as one that would promote “open government” and “that elected and appointed officials alike are held accountable to their constituents.”

In an editorial published in the “Insight” section of the Rockford Registar Star on April 3, 2003, the citizen author wrote of Obama’s proposal and its prototypes which had failed to pass:

A simple tool to protect legally sensitive information, yet keep governments accountable? We think so. However, a similar bill passed the House overwhelmingly in 2001 and was buried in the Senate, where it went for “improvement.”

This time, a Senate committee unanimously approved the change. Those 13 senators, including the bill’s lead sponsor, Barack Obama, know that public officials who follow the law have nothing to fear. The senators who opposed the law must be protecting someone. Certainly not the people who elected them.

Just before the vote on the bill, Obama was quoted as having said, “The public needs to know what is public officials are up to; otherwise, there’s no check for potential political abuses.”

Obama open government bill full article

On August 20, 2003, then-Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich signed the measure into law, which is not widely attributed to Obama as one of his signature accomplishments.

Obama open meetings bill signed into law 08-20-03

The law now reads, having been amended four more times since Obama’s state senate service:

Public Act 096-1473
HB5483 Enrolled LRB096 16279 JAM 31537 b
    AN ACT concerning government.
    Be it enacted by the People of the State of Illinois,
represented in the General Assembly:
    Section 5. The Open Meetings Act is amended by changing
Section 2.06 as follows:
    (5 ILCS 120/2.06)  (from Ch. 102, par. 42.06)
    Sec. 2.06. Minutes; right to speak.
    (a) All public bodies shall keep written minutes of all
their meetings, whether open or closed, and a verbatim record
of all their closed meetings in the form of an audio or video
recording. Minutes shall include, but need not be limited to:
        (1) the date, time and place of the meeting;
        (2) the members of the public body recorded as either
    present or absent and whether the members were physically
    present or present by means of video or audio conference;
    and
        (3) a summary of discussion on all matters proposed,
    deliberated, or decided, and a record of any votes taken.
    (b) A public body shall approve the minutes of its open
meeting within 30 days after that meeting or at the public
body's second subsequent regular meeting, whichever is later.
The minutes of meetings open to the public shall be available
for public inspection within 10 7 days after of the approval of
such minutes by the public body. Beginning July 1, 2006, at the
time it complies with the other requirements of this
subsection, a public body that has a website that the full-time
staff of the public body maintains shall post the minutes of a
regular meeting of its governing body open to the public on the
public body's website within 10 7 days after of the approval of
the minutes by the public body. Beginning July 1, 2006, any
minutes of meetings open to the public posted on the public
body's website shall remain posted on the website for at least
60 days after their initial posting.
    (c) The verbatim record may be destroyed without
notification to or the approval of a records commission or the
State Archivist under the Local Records Act or the State
Records Act no less than 18 months after the completion of the
meeting recorded but only after:
        (1) the public body approves the destruction of a
    particular recording; and
        (2) the public body approves minutes of the closed
    meeting that meet the written minutes requirements of
    subsection (a) of this Section.
    (d) Each public body shall periodically, but no less than
semi-annually, meet to review minutes of all closed meetings.
At such meetings a determination shall be made, and reported in
an open session that (1) the need for confidentiality still
exists as to all or part of those minutes or (2) that the
minutes or portions thereof no longer require confidential
treatment and are available for public inspection. The failure
of a public body to strictly comply with the semi-annual review
of closed session written minutes, whether before or after the
effective date of this amendatory Act of the 94th General
Assembly, shall not cause the written minutes or related
verbatim record to become public or available for inspection in
any judicial proceeding, other than a proceeding involving an
alleged violation of this Act, if the public body, within 60
days of discovering its failure to strictly comply with the
technical requirements of this subsection, reviews the closed
session minutes and determines and thereafter reports in open
session that either (1) the need for confidentiality still
exists as to all or part of the minutes or verbatim record, or
(2) that the minutes or recordings or portions thereof no
longer require confidential treatment and are available for
public inspection.
    (e) Unless the public body has made a determination that
the verbatim recording no longer requires confidential
treatment or otherwise consents to disclosure, the verbatim
record of a meeting closed to the public shall not be open for
public inspection or subject to discovery in any administrative
or judicial proceeding other than one brought to enforce this
Act. In the case of a civil action brought to enforce this Act,
the court, if the judge believes such an examination is
necessary, must conduct such in camera examination of the
verbatim record as it finds appropriate in order to determine
whether there has been a violation of this Act. In the case of
a criminal proceeding, the court may conduct an examination in
order to determine what portions, if any, must be made
available to the parties for use as evidence in the
prosecution. Any such initial inspection must be held in
camera. If the court determines that a complaint or suit
brought for noncompliance under this Act is valid it may, for
the purposes of discovery, redact from the minutes of the
meeting closed to the public any information deemed to qualify
under the attorney-client privilege. The provisions of this
subsection do not supersede the privacy or confidentiality
provisions of State or federal law.
    (f) Minutes of meetings closed to the public shall be
available only after the public body determines that it is no
longer necessary to protect the public interest or the privacy
of an individual by keeping them confidential.
    (g) Any person shall be permitted an opportunity to address
public officials under the rules established and recorded by
the public body.
(Source: P.A. 93-523, eff. 1-1-04; 93-974, eff. 1-1-05; 94-28,
eff. 1-1-06; 94-542, eff. 8-10-05; 94-1058, eff. 1-1-07.)

On Obama’s first full day in the White House, he signed an executive order altering the way in which “presidential records” can be released to the public by the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA).  The change included review of records to be potentially released by the United States attorney general and assistant attorney general unless executive privilege” is claimed by a “living former President” or current occupant of the White House.  The order is noted to have “revoked” an executive order signed by President George W. Bush on November 1, 2001.

In response to Bush’s order, a lawsuit was filed to gain access to records created under the Reagan administration, citing the need for the public’s access to historical documents.

According to one source:

The Obama executive order restores the presumption that the incumbent president, not former presidents, their heirs or designees should be the one asserting claims of executive privilege. The executive order states that only “living” former Presidents can make claims of executive privilege. This removed one of the most egregious sections of the Bush EO that allowed heirs or designees to make claims of executive privilege for an indefinite period after the death of a former President.

In addition, the provisions in the Bush EO allowing former vice presidents to assert executive privilege are gone. In fact, the Obama EO makes it clear that vice presidential records are to be included under the definition of “presidential records.”

However, Obama’s executive order states, in part:

Sec. 2.  Notice of Intent to Disclose Presidential Records.

(a)  When the Archivist provides notice to the incumbent and former Presidents of his intent to disclose Presidential records pursuant to section 1270.46 of the NARA regulations, the Archivist, using any guidelines provided by the incumbent and former Presidents, shall identify any specific materials, the disclosure of which he believes may raise a substantial question of executive privilege.  However, nothing in this order is intended to affect the right of the incumbent or former Presidents to invoke executive privilege with respect to materials not identified by the Archivist.  Copies of the notice for the incumbent President shall be delivered to the President (through the Counsel to the President) and the Attorney General (through the Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Legal Counsel).  The copy of the notice for the former President shall be delivered to the former President or his designated representative.

The bill known as Obamacare was passed and signed into law by Obama without a majority of congressmen having read it.  “But we have to pass it to find out what is in it,” Rep. Nancy Pelosi famously said at the time.  Obama had promised that taxpayers would not be funding abortion in any of the bill’s plans, which LifeNews reported was later known to be a “falsehood.”

While Obamacare was being deliberated, Obama promised the American people, “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor.  If you like your plan, you can keep your plan.”  As  a result of the implementation of the “Affordable Care Act,” more than 5.5 million Americans lost health plans they could afford and which met their needs.  Many uninsured individuals cannot afford the premiums.

One source states that the uninsured rate has dropped by 35% since Obamacare’s inception, although the goal was to provide coverage to an estimated 41 million uninsured Americans.

As a state senator, Obama advocated for “universal” health coverage, something he did not stress while the Affordable Care Act was under consideration by Congress.

While Obama has been in the White House, states seeking transparency in the election process by requiring voter photo identification have been sued by the Department of Justice, as have states passing immigration laws in an attempt to enforce existing federal immigration statutes.  “The federal government has been making the nation safer by aggressively prosecuting and deporting criminal aliens in record numbers, and it has done so with the cooperation of our sheriffs and police departments,” Vance said. “But H.B. 56 diverted the attention of our state and local partners from violent criminals to ordinary families. The law forced parents to uproot their sons and daughters from their home, and it punished immigrant children for exercising their constitutional right to go to school. Today’s decision marks a return to common-sense immigration law enforcement,” Obama’s DOJ reported on November 25, 2013.

Obama has promised to strengthen border security but has housed, fed, clothed, transported, resettled, and educated illegal aliens entering through the U.S.’s unprotected borders at taxpayer expense in the tens of thousands, including at U.S. military bases.  Medical personnel treating the illegals who arrived with diseases and other medical and emotional problems were reportedly threatened if they should make public the conditions in which they were working.

Tens of thousands of criminal illegal aliens convicted of heinous crimes have been released into American neighborhoods unbeknownst to their residents.

In a recent admission, the Obama regime stated that it has been conducting “secret” negotiations with the rogue government of Iran for two years purportedly to assure that Iran does not obtain nuclear weapons. However, many analysts state that the exact opposite could be the result of the “deal” which Obama and putative Secretary of State John Kerry are touting.

The regime has been unwilling to release official visitor logs when requested and has hosted Islamic clerics with connections to The Muslim Brotherhood and other radical Islamic groups.

The deployment of U.S. soldiers into Samson Alabama on March 10, 2009 was declared a violation of the Posse Comitatus Act by the Army Inspector General following an ensuing investigation.  Gen. Martin Dempsey, then in charge of Ft. Rucker, was subsequently promoted by Obama to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

In 2013, Obama’s IRS was exposed as having targeted groups and individuals for extra scrutiny because of their political stances, including effectively silencing the Tea Party movement prior to the 2012 presidential election.  The same year, the Obama White House was exposed as having scrutinized FOIA requests which it deemed involved “White House equities,” a practice which reportedly affected the Treasury Department, State Department, IRS, and DHS.

According to Judicial Watch in May 2013, its multiple FOIA requests sought to expose “the unethical and dangerous connections between the Obama administration and a wide swath of radical leftwing special interest groups.  These groups are helping to create and to advance in secret illicit government policies ranging from stealth amnesty to reverse discrimination to attacks on election integrity.”

The release of five Taliban commanders from the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba purportedly to secure the freedom of Bowe Bergdahl without congressional knowledge was found to be a violation of a law which Obama himself signed.

Last summer, 39 mainstream journalists wrote a formal letter of complaint expressing their frustration at the difficulty they experienced in obtaining responses to FOIA requests and other information from the regime. The journalists wrote, in part:

Over the past two decades, public agencies have increasingly prohibited staff from communicating with journalists unless they go through public affairs offices or through political appointees. This trend has been especially pronounced in the federal government. We consider these restrictions a form of censorship — an attempt to control what the public is allowed to see and hear.

The stifling of free expression is happening despite your pledge on your first day in office to bring “a new era of openness” to federal government – and the subsequent executive orders and directives which were supposed to bring such openness about.

Recent research has indicated the problem is getting worse throughout the nation, particularly at the federal level. Journalists are reporting that most federal agencies prohibit their employees from communicating with the press unless the bosses have public relations staffers sitting in on the conversations. Contact is often blocked completely…

Obama’s former Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, has been exposed as having used a private server to conduct government business for which a criminal investigation has been recommended by two inspectors general.

On Tuesday, while speaking in Ethiopia, Obama insisted that he is “not above the law” and urged leaders of African countries to “end the cancer of corruption.”  He likened government corruption to “an anchor that weighs you down.”

A website which had documented Obama’s “lies” year by year has been taken down or obscured.

When Obama entered the White House in January 2009, he promised “an unprecedented level of openness in government” but lied about the cause of the deadly attack on a CIA compound in Benghazi, Libya on September 11, 2012.  Following numerous FOIA requests filed by Judicial Watch which morphed into lawsuits and the subsequent release of thousands of emails exchanged between Clinton and Obama regime colleagues surrounding the attack, the State Department has “withheld” the contents of a telephone call exchanged between Clinton and Obama, claiming that it represents “internal deliberations” not required to be made public under FOIA.

Since 2007, millions of Americans have speculated about Obama’s birthplace, background, childhood, and the identity of his parents.  Conflicting stories of his childhood have never been explained, including a Washington Post reporter’s claim that Obama was “raised in the Kansas heartland.”  From Kenya this past weekend, Obama joked that “Some of my critics back home might be suggesting I’m here to look for my birth certificate.”

After more than six years in office, Obama has released virtually no documentation about his life, and that which has been produced has been deemed fraudulent by a law enforcement investigation conducted by the Maricopa County Cold Case Posse assigned the task by Sheriff Joe Arpaio.

The “short-form” Certification of Live Birth released by an unknown party at The Daily KOS and Obama’s campaign website in June 2008 was quickly denounced as a forgery. It now appears at whitehouse.gov in a different color scheme, with former Communications Director Dan Pfeiffer having claimed that the document came from the Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) apparently absent any public announcement at the time.

The Founding Fathers were thought to have intended to insulate the president and commander-in-chief from any foreign influence, as “hinted” at by the future first U.S. Supreme Court chief justice, John Jay, to George Washington in July 1787.

Reports dated before 2008 stated that Obama was born in Kenya or Indonesia.  Article II, Section 1, clause 5 of the U.S. Constitution requires the president to be a “natural born Citizen.”  In 2011, after Donald Trump pressured the White House to release Obama’s more detailed, long-form birth certificate to prove that he was born in the United States and was presumably eligible to serve as president, a birth certificate image was posted at whitehouse.gov which was also reported by experts to be a poor forgery.  The posse’s nearly-four-year investigation determined after approximately six months that the image could not have originated with a paper document.

Since July 2012, Arpaio has continued to say that the long-form image is a fraudulent document and has decried the media’s lack of curiosity about the crime.

In early 2013, posse lead investigator Michael Zullo attempted to present evidence gathered by the investigation to members of Congress and other attendees at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), stressing that a “federal felony” had been committed in the forgery of Obama’s long-form birth certificate.

The posse also found that Obama’s purported Selective Service registration form is a “computer-generated forgery.”  Selective Service System Director Lawrence Romo, an Obama appointee, declined to show Zullo and Arpaio an original or certified copy at SSS headquarters.

Arpaio has stated in recent interviews that the posse has been closing in on the identity of the individual or individuals who created the birth certificate forgery.  Posse lead investigator Michael Zullo has stated that “gut-wrenching” information gathered by Arpaio in a separate criminal investigation will be released to the public if a third and last “legal hurdle” can be overcome.

Arpaio has been sued by the Obama Justice Department three times. In April, the federal judge overseeing a contempt of court case against Arpaio, G. Murray Snow, asked Arpaio under oath if an investigation Arpaio had ordered sought to uncover “collusion” between Snow and the DOJ.

Arpaio responded that Snow’s email account had been found to have been breached by “someone.”  On Friday, Snow ordered the confiscation of 50 hard drives and other materials from Arpaio’s office after claiming that the monitor he appointed reported that Arpaio had refused to turn them over voluntarily.   The media have consistently erroneously reported that Snow was the object of an investigation authorized by Arpaio.

While claiming that he was born in Hawaii to an American mother and Kenyan father and qualified for the U.S. presidency as a “natural born Citizen,” Obama’s half-sister described him on his recent trip to Kenya as “one of us.”  Obama described himself to the Africans as “a friend.”

Michelle Obama has described the East African nation as her husband’s “home country.”

“The public needs to know what its public officials are up to…”

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