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Home > Publications > Quill > Then vs. Now


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Monday, October 11, 2010
Then vs. Now

What open records advocates say now compared to 2009

In the October 2009 issue, Quill asked open government advocates how President Obama was doing on access issues. The article “President Obama: Opaque Transparency?” featured input from various people. Quill contacted some of those sources again to see if their views had changed a year later.

Read the new Quill feature: Is the Obama administration turning its back on promises of greater transparency? Click here.

Lucy Dalglish, executive director, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press

2009

Obama’s administration has the potential to be “the most open administration in history.”

2010

“The longer the Obama administration is in office, the more they want to control the message. They can no longer point a finger at the old guys. It would be surprising if they didn’t want to control things more. These people are very, very conscious and aggressive when it comes to identifying leakers. They singlehandedly want to abolish government leaking.”

Patrice McDermott, director, OpenTheGovernment.org

2009

“There was a sense that he would turn his back on (Bush administration) policies, and I think that the jury is still out. A lot of folks in our community are still holding fire, although we’re very, very disappointed so far.”

2010

“They’ve done the glitz and the directives and the initial executive orders, but it’s the implementation that really requires the administration’s attention, the attention of the (agencies) and some resources. That’s the hard part. It’s not sexy.”

Bryan Sears, political editor, Patuxent Publishing Co., SPJ FOI Committee member

2009

“The current president has to overcome the institutional memory of what the (past) seven years were, and some of that will take time. But it has to be more than just pretty and inspiring words. He said the right thing, but the implementation isn’t there yet. Time will tell if those words have any meaning.”

2010

“When President Obama came into office, he issued an executive order calling for agencies to make changes. A lot of these agencies haven’t responded in any concrete way to the administration’s directive.”

Read the new Quill feature: Is the Obama administration turning its back on promises of greater transparency? Click here.

Anne Weismann, chief counsel, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

2009

“Having transparency on their terms in the limited way they are proceeding so far is the wrong course. It’s a dangerous course, ultimately. You can’t dip your toes in transparency.”

2010

“The real task is less on what’s going on in the White House, but what’s going on in the agencies. That’s where I’m convinced we’re not getting that much of a greater window.”

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Quill
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Annual FOI Reports

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