Obama Transition Web Site ‘Open for Questions’ — Except on Blagojevich

Dec 10, 2008 10:03pm

News organizations still have plenty of questions for President-elect Obama and his Transition Team about their involvement and possible conversations with Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Apparently so do many Americans.

The Obama Transition Team launched its new "Open for Questions" tool today on the transition Web site Change.gov today.

"This new tool will allow anyone to ask and vote on questions they have for the transition team," says the OTT’s press release.

As of Wednesday night, 2,953 questions from 4,550 users have poured in. Users can vote on the questions they like the most. As of Wednesday evening, those three are:

"What will you do to establish transparency and safeguards against waste with the rest of the Wall Street bailout money?" – Diane, New Jersy (sic)

"What will you do as President to restore the Constitutional protections that have been subverted by the Bush Administration and how will you ensure that our system of checks and balances is renewed?" – Kari, Seattle 

"Will you lift the ban on Stem Cell research in your first 100 days in office?" – James_M, Nashville, TN 

Fifty-six questions have come in from people across the country dealing with Blagojevich. Most of them, however, are not readily visible — one has to use the "search" function to find them.

Why?

Because users of the Transition website are allowed to "flag as inappropriate" any question they don’t like.

Apparently, Obama supporters (one presumes that’s who’s voting this way) think that any question that might make the president-elect uncomfortable is "inappropriate."

So flagged and cordoned off with the warning "This submission was removed because people believe it is inappropriate" are the following:

"Is Obama aware of any communications in the last six weeks between Rod Blagojevich or anyone representing Rod Blagojevich and any of Obama’s top aides?" – J, NYC   
   
"In this story (here), it is reported that Barack Obama was meeting that afternoon with Gov. Rod Blagojevich to discuss filling Obama’s vacated senate seat.  Did that meeting take place?" -Rev4IU 

"Did you or anyone from your transition office or proposed administration meet with or speak to the US Attorney’s Office regarding the investigation of Governor Blagojevich before his arrest on December 9th?" -S, MI   

"If Blagojevich does not resign tomorrow (?) how about President-elect Barack Obama ‘unresign’ his U.S. senate seat for now so there is no vacancy for the ‘Gov’ to fill? this could provide up to a month to impeach Blagojevich if  needed." -Keith, NYC   

"How was Governor Blagojevich able to ascertain that PEBO was against Jesse Jackson Jr. but for Valerie Jarret (sic), and was unwilling to offer anything but words for appointing Jarret (sic) if PEBO or his transition team never spoke to the  governor’s office?"-Brian Francis, Rossford, OH   

"Given the current corruption charges involving Blagojevich, will ‘serious’ campaign finance reform that takes money completely out of politics through publicly funded elections be a priority in the first term?" – Metteyya, Santa Cruz, Ca.   

"In light of the recent corruption scandals (Blagojevich, Rangel, Jefferson, Stevens, etc) that have dominated the political scene,is there any ethics legislation being crafted to actually curb corruption and prevent another wave of nixonian cynicism?" – lupercal, Gainesville 
 
"Will you explain your true connection to all your corrupt buddies? A picture is worth a thousand words. If this is not adoring enough of you then i guess it must be flagged." – anty lopez, manhattan   

One question that had as of Wednesday night not — yet — been flagged as inappropriate: "Why does your website and/or fan base censor any mention of Blagojevich? Will you ever answer any questions regarding him?"

– Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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