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Change.gov Pulls Its Agenda

BY Michael Whitney | Sunday, November 9 2008

As Nancy noted on Thursday, President-elect Obama's transition website, Change.gov, "echoes [the] campaign pledge of open government." The site's "Agenda" section detailed the Obama Administration's policy promises and proposals, "from 'Civil Rights' to 'Women,' and describes their vision for an American service corps."

But as of last night, the entire "Agenda" section has been removed from Change.gov, replaced by three broad sentences about what Obama hopes to do.

Here's what it looks like now:

change.gov changed agenda

If you try to go to the old links, like this one to the economic agenda, the site tells you "The page you requested is not available right now." (Jim Gilliam, who first noticed the disappearance, archived the priorities at WhiteHouse2.org.)

It appears as though the text of the original agenda section was identical to BarackObama.com's Issues section. Now, it could be that because of campaign finance regulations, the text from a campaign website can't be copied wholesale to a 501(c)(4)'s website. I don't know, I'm not a lawyer.

But the question remains: why did Obama transition team remove the agenda from Change.gov? Is this the first blow to Obama's pledge of government transparency, or something else?