Tag Archives: accountability

Dems Rip Insurance Industry, GOP Over News About CNN’s Alex Castellanos

Posted by Audiegrl

Alex Castellanos cnnThe Plum Line/Greg Sargent—As expected, Democrats are jumping on the news today that an on-air CNN commentator doubled as the insurance industry’s ad buyer, broadening the attack on the industry and linking it to the GOP, which also enlisted the help of that same commentator to craft anti-reform talking points.

DNC spokesman Hari Sevugan points out that the CNN commentator, GOP consultant Alex Castellanos, who placed a huge AHIP ad buy, also wrote a memo for the Republican National Committee advising Republicans to paint reform as a menacing government takeover that would destroy Medicare.

Dems argue that Castellanos’ work for AHIP and the GOP shows that they share the goal of killing reform — and that they are united in their determination to stop at nothing to make that happen.

AHIP-logoThe news that Mr. Castellanos is a highly paid consultant for the Insurance Lobby sheds piercing light on the motivations of the Republican party in wholeheartedly adopting a strategy he authored to intentionally delay insurance reform in order to kill it,” Sevugan emailed me.

Whether it’s paying for a supposedly independent report that was purposefully skewed to kill reform or paying hired hands to attack reform on tv while passing themselves off independent commentators, the insurance lobby and their agents in the GOP, have proven that they are willing to say and do anything — including misleading the American people — to protect their record profits,” Sevugan added. “They have zero credibility.”

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CNN’s Frank Donatelli Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

Frank Donatelli

Frank Donatelli

A network spokeswoman has confirmed that CNN will soon clarify the conflict of interest Castellanos has in regards to AHIP. However, CNN should note that he has been paid by the RNC, and if he is to continue opining on the health debate, disclosure should be made during every segment in which he appears. Indeed, the policy of full disclosure should extend to other CNN pundits, including Frank Donatelli, a GOP lobbyist who represents Blue Cross Blue Shield.“–Think Progress

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CNN’s Castellanos Problem: On-Air Contributor Revealed To Be Paid By GOP, Insurance Industry

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Filed under Democrats, Lobbyist, Media and Entertainment, News, Partisan Politics, Politics, Republicans, Television, TV Shows

CREW and the Obama Administration Reach Historic Legal Settlement–White House Will Post Visitor Records Online

Guests and their canine companions from the Helen Keller National Center

White House guests and their canine companions from the Helen Keller National Center


Posted by Audiegrl
Today’s statement from the White House says that it will release the names of visitors. Three to four months after the visit they will be posted online. This does not apply to visits that are regarding national security, or extreme confidentiality, or visits to the First Family that are of a personal nature.

This new move will end the lawsuits filed by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics (CREW), a Washington based watchdog group. You can read more about what CREW is calling a ‘historic legal settlement here.

As another indication of his commitment to an open and transparent government, the President announced today that for the first time in history, records of White House visitors will be released. Each month, records of visitors from the previous 90-120 days will be made available online.
“For the first time in history, records of White House visitors will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis,” said President Obama. “We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history not only by opening the doors of the White House to more Americans, but by shining a light on the business conducted inside. Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process.”

Aside from a small group of appointments that cannot be disclosed because of national security imperatives or their necessarily confidential nature (such as a visit by a possible Supreme Court nominee), the record of every visitor who comes to the White House for an appointment, a tour, or to conduct business will be released.

Previous administrations fought disclosure of White House visitor logs in court. This administration began a review of the policy during its first days in office.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a government reform organization which has long objected to administrations keeping White House visitor logs secret, said in a statement from its executive director Melanie Sloan:

“Today the Obama administration has proven its pledge to usher in a new era of government transparency was more than just a campaign promise. The Obama administration will have the most open White House in history. Providing public access to visitor records is an important step in restoring transparency and accountability to our government.”

The administration thanks CREW for their participation in the development of this new policy.

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