Groups to Super Committee: “Transparency” is Not Just for Ghosts


Written by Chris Thomas, Public News Service

The Sunlight Foundation has organized Halloween visits by members of more than 30 grassroots groups to local congressional offices, to call attention to the “scary” secrecy of the Super Committee. Political watchdog groups say the budget-cutting committee’s real work is being done out of the public eye, which runs counter to congressional ethics rules that they fought for just two years ago.

Robert Weissman, president of the organization Public Citizen, calls the Super Committee’s few public meetings “show hearings.”

“It’s very hard to expect that you’ll get good recommendations from a bad process, just generally. But also substantively: It’s a near certainty that what comes out will be worse for having been done behind closed doors – if in fact an agreement is reached.”

When the Super Committee members are not in their closed-door meetings, most are busy raising funds for reelection campaigns, the groups charge – and they’ve been tracking campaign donations for all 12 members of the Super Committee since they were appointed.

Mary Boyle, vice president of communications for Common Cause, says Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) actually has raised less money than in the previous quarter – while others have tripled their fundraising take.

“It was clear from the get-go that this Super Committee would be a magnet for special interests to give money to influence their decisions. For Senator Murray in the third quarter, that has not happened to the extent that some other members have continued to raise money.”

The Sunlight Foundation visits today include Sen. Murray’s offices in Seattle and Vancouver. The groups’ Halloween message is that “transparency” is not just for ghosts. They’re asking for open meetings and members’ voluntary disclosure of campaign contributions and lobbying contacts.

The visits to Murray’s offices, 915 2nd Ave., Seattle, and the Marshall House, 1323 Officer’s Row, Vancouver, are scheduled at 9:00 a.m. The Super Committee’s next public meeting is scheduled for Nov. 1.

This post was originally published by Public News Service.


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Photo from via flickr


James C.
James C7 years ago

This illegal committee has already done its job as theres no way that congress and the senate are stupid enough to vote up or down in this illegal action and if they dont all hell breaks loose .That people is what they have planned all along.Then they can say we tried now we get to do whatever we want and we want to take away Social security and medacare and to hell with the old the sick and they dying. Meanwhile they also dont have to end the free ride the super rich are on at our expense. Nothing this committee is doing is even constitutional.

Pamela A.
P A7 years ago

Hearing discussions and having knowledge of legislative processes is absolutely necessary. When did we vote for a secret government? These discussions should be televised. What are they afraid of?

Lynn C.
Past Member 7 years ago

This has been a farce from the beginning and just keeps getting worse. Occupy the Super Committee!

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L7 years ago


Barbara V.
Barbara V7 years ago

Some ghosts are not transparent, but these imbeciles certainly ARE. I have never heard of anything so blatantly hideous as this group, dedicated to undermining everything American for their own interests. Super Committee, my foot. The government has turned into a coven of slimebags, told what to do by the big corporations, and God help Main Street Americans. Why can't people see this? Why are they so BLIND?

Janice Redinger
Janice Redinger7 years ago

I want to see TELEVISED ruminations of the super committee ruminations. Allowing 12 people to decide my fate is WRONG! Especially in secret.

Marianna B M.

kenny w and william e excellent comments

Charles Wasserman

I would agree with you, if you also ban contributions from labor unions and trial lawyers.

Charles Wasserman

Kathy r.,
It's not just the republicans.
The democrats in Chicago still have dead people voting in every election.

Patricia A.
Patricia A. A7 years ago

What pisses me off is that they are getting 2K plus for doing this. It's their job and they are already earning more than they're worth!