Sunday, January 01, 2006

Cheney Sidesteps Travel Disclosure Rules

"WASHINGTON, November 16, 2005 — Vice President Dick Cheney and his staff have been unilaterally exempting themselves from long-standing travel disclosure rules followed by the rest of the executive branch, including the Office of the President, the Center for Public Integrity has discovered.

Cheney's office also appears to have stuck taxpayers with untold millions in travel costs rather than accepting trip sponsors' funds that the rules would require to be disclosed.

It's not as if those in Cheney's office don't indulge in the type of junkets that are routinely funded by private sources. Instead of accepting reimbursement for such trips like other government travelers, it appears that his office labels them "official travel." As a result, however, the public is kept largely unaware of where he and his staff are traveling, with whom they are meeting with and how much it costs, even though tax dollars are covering the bill.

It's also not as if Cheney hasn't faced questions about secrecy and his travel in the past. In January 2003, Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia was reportedly Cheney's guest aboard Air Force Two on a flight south for a winter duck hunting trip at a property owned by an oil executive in southern Louisiana.

The trip took place shortly after the Supreme Court had agreed to hear Cheney's appeal of a lawsuit that sought to force him to disclose the details about the national energy policy task force he chaired behind closed doors in 2001. Cheney had refused to disclose the substance of the discussions or to list those who met with the task force; that list was believed to include major players in the energy industry.

Some would credit the vice president's office for not accepting outside cash to cover his travel costs. That may be true, but critics point out that the Office of the Vice President's lack of disclosure also creates an opaque situation, with little or no transparency or accountability and at a substantial cost to taxpayers."


Blogger Dreadnaught said...

Mad Tom
Getting upset,at something like this, is what the pols want us to do. Then we are not asking about something they really don't want to talk about. I don't like closed door meetings on something this important[energy] either. When you have a two-party political process then I think it makes it too easy for deals to be made[w/o concerns for us, the voters]. These two parties switch roles every 50 yrs. or so. In the early part of the 20th century, the Dems were the common man's[their words, not mine] party and the Rep's were the planet rapers. Now, the Rep's are more for the "common man" than the Dem's but, still toady to the big corps. The Dem's don't have an agenda now, except screw everybody except themselves. If you have the money, you can buy an American political party, Dems[Frenchman in the last presidential election, can' remember his name]. If you are a big multi-national corp then you can buy just about any legislation you want, Reps[banks and credit card companies just got a bill passed to nearly wipe out bankruptcy for us but not big business]. DOOMSDAY PROPHECY!!! If we don't get off our asses and create another viable political party, then [I believe] the Gulags will reappear here this time[ for people considered mentally unstable, by their definition, and people who don't toe whatever political line that has been drawn, possibly mental there too]. When a company like IBM says they are not citizens of just one country, but are citizens of the world, it kinda makes me wonder. If the shit really hits the fan and big business didn't like our side[even though this country made them what the HELL they are] would they still help us?
Just a few things to think about on this lovely 2nd day of 2006.

7:17 AM  

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