This weekend's Transparency Recap starts with an article about the securities industry and its decision to back Barack Obama. While Wall Street is typically cozy with Republicans, industry funding has been pouring in for Obama for months now -- even though many Wall Streeters prefer McCain's policies to Obama's. Clearly, this shows their inclination that Obama might win come November, with their contributions serving as a peace gift (i.e. they want to be on his side if he is, indeed, elected):
"It's true that the Republican-friendly securities industry has been sending the most contributions to Obama's campaign above all other contenders for months. But Wall Street is largely reacting to a mood change and antagonism toward Bush. Whatever happens come January, investors want to make nice with the party in power."
OpenSecrets' Capital Eye blog weighs in on the security industry's apparent change of heart:
Over on All Things Whistleblower, the FDA is being questioned for allowing the re-admittance of Proheart 6 -- a drug that was pulled in 2004 after being linked to more than 500 canine deaths -- back into the marketplace.
And CREW reports on an issue that's close to the hearts of all members of the government transparency community -- revolving door syndrome. As per the CREW blog, a New York Times editorial focuses on Dennis Hassert's new position at a D.C. lobbying firm:
"Mr. Hastert, the G.O.P. stalwart who presided during the Jack Abramoff lobbying corruption debacle and the Mark Foley House page scandal, joined a blue-chip lobbying firm this week as a “strategic counsellor” at an annual salary estimated at $500,000-plus. Mr. Hastert…joins the more prized Congressional and executive alumni who schmooze old pals still in power without the need to formally register as day-to-day lobbyists."
And let's not forget about gaps in reporting when it comes to supposed terrorism suspects. It turns out that, while local law enforcement offices are supposed to contact federal authorities if and when they run across potential terror suspects, they often fail to do so. Clearly, this is unacceptable, considering that the American people's safety is at stake:
"Local police departments are supposed to notify the FBI’s terrorist center every time routine computerized background checks trigger electronic alerts from the TSC. This usually happens in the case of individuals who violate traffic rules or are involved in domestic disturbances in municipalities around the country."
According to the Corruption Chronicles, the FBI's Terrorist Screening Center was created after 9/11 as an oversight measure to catch potential security gaps.
And on a more victorious note, Secrecy News reports that the Department of Energy is "committed" to government declassification -- or so it seems. The energy department responded favorably to a request from President Bush that asked for responses to recommendations from the Public Interest Declassification Board. According to The National Archives:
"The Public Interest Declassification Board is an advisory committee established by Congress in order to promote the fullest possible public access to a thorough, accurate, and reliable documentary record of significant U.S. national security decisions and activities."
And over on All Things Reform, you're being encouraged to let your representative and two senators know that you'd like to see enhanced whistleblower protections for government employees.