New York Times
: "A better argument might be that transparency could help smoke out the special-interest players hiding in Washington’s crevices. You’d never know from Mrs. Clinton’s criticisms of subprime lenders that one of the most notorious, Countrywide, was a client as recently as October of Burson-Marsteller, the public relations giant where her chief strategist, Mark Penn, is the sitting chief executive. Other high-level operatives in her campaign belong to Dewey Square Group, an outfit that just last year provided lobbying services for Countrywide."
OK... so I haven't followed the links in the original... which might provide more support but...
Seriously... She might be awful but let me get this straight: her chief strategist is the CEO of a PR firm who had countrywide as a client... and this is meant to be a problem?
Even if it really is a "public relations giant" (the giant makes it sound scary. and big.) and depending on exactly what PR services were being provided for what part of countrywide's operations and presuming the size of the contract was sufficient for him to know, is it realistic to expect him to actually share the same goals as a client? Now sure, both PR and Lobbying are activities subject to abuse, but the mere presence of an established six-degrees of separation (or 3) does not establish wrong doing or wrong influences. (Tobacco Oil and Agricultural industries might need additional attention... perhaps.)
Which brings me back to a point that I particularly like: Obama's Plan to put Everything on c-span. Assuming for a moment that nefarious schemes are being cooked up (not really a stretch is it?) making everything public would solve a lot or at least give people a better sense of what the issues actually are and who's playing even if many people don't care about the rules.
Of course the effectiveness of making everything public depends upon some kind of trusted intermediary to filter it effectively... cause I have things to do besides watch c-span. Ideally in some way that would guard against that intermediary becoming beholden to special interests. I'm less than adequately satisfied that the current american media system would be wholly up to the job.
On a final and divergent note... often times it would be worth it for more people to pay more attention to more special interest groups. Be sure to follow the money, but the people who pay that much attention to an issue or subject know a lot about it.
Boy that's a half baked idea if ever I've had one.
Damn was heading for bed 2 hours ago. damn.