Obama Promises Tougher Ethics Rules, Greater Transparency

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January 21, 2009 8:59 a.m.

Barack Obama just publicly announced a far-reaching set of ethics rules and other changes from prior practices for his White House staff:

• Over a hundred senior staffers making over $100,000 per year will have their pay frozen at current levels.

• There will be a two-year waiting period for any former lobbyists to work on issues for which they had previously done lobbying work.

• Extra openness will be practiced with any information that the Administration might want to keep secret.

This was perhaps the most striking quote: “Information will not be withheld just because I say so. It will be withheld because a separate authority believes my request is well grounded in the Constitution. Let me say it as simply as I can, transparency and the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency.”

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