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August 02, 2012

"Most Transparent Administration in History" Secret Deals Exposed

While we're waiting for the Blogger-in-Chief, has this been covered?

We knew that the White House made some shady deals with PhRMA during the Obamacare negotiations, even though he'd promised the American people that healthcare negotiations would be done in public. But we now know that the White House went even further than that in deceiving voters.

Not only did they hold these shady meetings. They held these shady meetings outside the White House, so they could escape federal disclosure law. And the chief negotiator for this, Jim Messina, then deputy chief of staff and current manager of Obama's reelection campaign, concealed even this by using his private email account to arrange the meetings.

A House Energy and Commerce Committee report out Tuesday is stocked with emails sent from private addresses and meetings scheduled away from the building to avoid official record. Among these are several sent to a pharmaceutical industry lobbyist by Messina, then President Barack Obama’s then-deputy White House chief of staff, making promises about language for the health care reforms despite the resistance of then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to the measure.

“I will roll [P]elosi to get the 4 billion,” Messina wrote Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) lobbyist Jeffrey Forbes from his personal account just days before the Affordable Care Act cleared Congress in March 2010. “As you may have heard I am literally rolling over the house. But there just isn’t 8-10 billion.”

Messina arranged for these clandestine meetings to take place at a Caribou Coffee near the White House.

Now, the White House isn't denying this. Press Secretary Jay Carney is merely replying that Messina was "diligent in copying his official email address to preserve records of the emails."

That's a fine deflection. It doesn't answer the question at all. Did Messina copy these particular messages to his official account? The White House isn't saying. And that's answer enough.


digg this
posted by Gabriel Malor at 12:10 PM

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