President Obama, in his State of the Union address:
That's what I came to Washington to do. That's why -- for the first time in history -- my administration posts on our White House visitors online. That's why we've excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs, or seats on federal boards and commissions.
But we can't stop there. It's time to require lobbyists to disclose each contact they make on behalf of a client with my administration or with Congress. It's time to put strict limits on the contributions that lobbyists give to candidates for federal office.
Last month, Congress scoured the spending bill--all 1,000 pages of it--trying to find the most wasteful, pork-filled programs to cut.
They finally found one they could agree on: the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, which provides vouchers that get poor children out of bad and dangerous public schools into good private ones.
Cutting this program is a disgraceful example of how our leaders often pander to special interest groups than protect our most needy citizens.
And it's not that the voucher program didn't work. A federal study showed that the mostly black and Hispanic participants were making great academic gains, narrowing the achievement gap. And more than 70 percent of Washingtonians supported the program.
So why did Congress cut it out? The National Education Association wanted them to do so.
So our lawmakers--many of whom have their own kids in private schools--had a tough choice to make: Should they pander to the special interests that fund their campaigns, or help disadvantaged kids?
President Obama--who was the recipient of educational scholarships, and whose daughters attend an elite private school--signed the bill abolishing the program. His own secretary of education, Arnie Duncan, publically acknowledged that the voucher program had been a big success.
There are no bigger lobbyists in DC than the NEA... no bigger... and there's no bigger hypocrite that the one occupying the oval office... no bigger...
Your hope and change.
C'mon 2012... get here...