Recently Senator John McCain told Politico that President Obama has flunked the bipartisanship promise he made on the campaign trail. "And, look, they've go the votes. We understand that. They had the votes in the stimulus package, in the budget, in the omnibus, in the SCHIP, all this legislation. And they have picked off, sometimes, two or three Republicans." "But that's not changing the climate in Washington. What that is, is exercising a significant majority. And so I respect their successes, but please don't call it changing the climate in Washington."
On August 4, 2009 Representative Issa (R-CA) sent a letter on his Committee on Oversight and Government Reform stationary - http://republicans.oversight.house.gov - telling White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel to back off. He told Emanuel to lay off the Chicago style of intimidation using stimulus monies to Arizona, for example, after Senator Jon Kyl questioned whether the stimulus is working and stated he wants to cancel projects that are not already underway. Both Sec of Transportation, Ray LaHood and Sec of the Interior Ken Salazar sent Kyl's office letters with the same sentence included: "However, if you prefer to forfeit the money we are making available to your state, as Senator Kyl suggests, please let me know." It was a copy of a letter sent to threaten Gov Brewer of Arizona to get onboard the Obama express.
"At what point do you believe your practice of Chicago-style politics violates a public official's right to speak out in favor of alternative policies," Issa asks. "The American people have a right to know what role you played in developing the threatening letters to Governor Brewer and whether you intend to continue to engage in these tactics in the future." He then went on to demand four inquiries be answered. All concerned concerted efforts of intimidation to Gov Brewer as reported by Politico and in letters from Sec LaHood, Sec Salazar, Sec Donovan, and Sec Vilsack in July 13 letters to the Governor.
This also ties into Issa's request for information from Emanuel concerning the testimony from LaHood on July 24 before a House budget hearing. He was asked if anyone in the White House had put him up to writing a letter to Gov Brewer. "After several evasions by LaHood, Rep. Scott Garrett, R-N.J. finally complained to the chairman: "Mr. Chairman, would the witness please answer the question?" "LaHood finally answered "no". That from David Freddoso in the Washington Examiner on August 5, 2009.
So, did Secretary LaHood, from Chicago, lie to Congress? Or was it all just a big coincidence that his letter said the same thing as three other Cabinet Secretaries in the White House?
We can thank Senator John Cornyn for speaking up about the office of communications in the White House, Linda Douglass a former journalist in specific, going online and requesting that citizens report any "fishy" e-mails they may receive from their friends or loved ones. She would like them to be forwarded to her at the White House. She doesn't, however, bother to let the viewer of the video know that under federal law, the White House has to save the correspondence, therefore developing quite a database of those questioning the Obama health care legislation.
"As Congress debates health care reform and other critical policy matters, citizen engagement must not be chilled by fear of government monitoring the exercise of free speech rights," he wrote. "I can only imagine the level of justifiable outrage had your predecessor asked Americans to forward emails critical of his policies to the White House," Cornyn wrote. "I suspect that you would have been leading the charge in condemning such a program - and I would have been at your side denouncing such heavy-handed government action."