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Press Release - Obama Hosts Discussion with Independents on Restoring Trust in Government

December 20, 2007

At roundtable with New Hampshire Independents, pledges most open and transparent administration in history

Manchester, NH -- Today in Exeter, Senator Barack Obama hosted a roundtable discussion with New Hampshire Independents to discuss his commitment to cleaning up government and forging bipartisan solutions on the nation's most pressing challenges. Restoring Americans' trust in government, Obama told the group local residents, begins with turning the page the most secretive administration in recent history.

"I will run the most open and transparent Administration in history," Senator Obama said. "Because when you shut the door on the people, chances are you're not doing the peoples' business, you're doing someone else's…Instead of doing business behind closed doors, we'll bring democracy back to the people. When I put together my health care legislation, I won't do it in a back-room — I'll do it out in the open. And we'll make sure the voices of patients, doctors, nurses, and hospital administrators are heard over the drug and insurance industries. That's how we'll finally lower costs and make sure that every American has affordable, high-quality health care."

As evidence of his ability to enact meaningful reforms, Obama asked the participants to look at his track record of standing up to the special interests and winning — one that is unmatched by any other candidate. In the Illinois State Senate and the United States Senate, Obama stood up to the special interests as well as leaders in both parties to pass sweeping ethics reform. As President, he said, he would show the same courage and conviction to make government work for everyday Americans again.

"These reforms aren't just about changing Washington - they're about making change that you can see in your own lives - change that can end a war, that can finally deliver on health care, and energy independence, and a world-class education for all of our kids. Because government in this country works best when it is of the people, by the people, and for the people.

"To make this change, we're going to have to bring this country together. Instead of just putting someone in office to play the game, we need to finally put an end to the game-playing. Instead of partisan warfare, we need to recapture our sense of a common purpose - and common destiny - in this country."

In Manchester in June, Obama unveiled his plan to launch the most sweeping ethics reform in history on his first day as President. The Obama plan will restore trust in government by:

* Closing the revolving door between government and the private sector;

* Banning gifts to executive branch employees;

* Shining light on federal contracts, tax breaks, and earmarks;

* Ending abuse of no-bid contracts;

* Bringing democracy and policy directly to the people by discussing issues and conducting

business in public; and

* Supporting campaign finance reform.

The plan can be viewed in full HERE.

Barack Obama, Press Release - Obama Hosts Discussion with Independents on Restoring Trust in Government Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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