Podesta pledges transparent transition

Nov. 12, 2008 at 10:28 AM
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CHICAGO, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- The transition from U.S. President George Bush to President-elect Barack Obama will be the most open in history, Obama's transition co-chairman pledged.

"Under President-elect Obama and Vice President-elect (Joe) Biden, the American people will see a transition of government that is efficient, that is organized, that is bipartisan and more open and transparent than others before," co-chairman John Podesta said in a briefing.

But a Chicago Sun-Times columnist wondered how open the transition team would be when providing details on how private money is being raised to help fund the effort.

In all, Obama's transition is budgeted at $12 million -- divided between $5.2 million in federal funds and $6.8 million in private donations, the column published Wednesday said.

All the private money will be raised from individuals and there is a $5,000 limit on donations. Federal lobbyists won't be allowed to contribute, nor will there be any fundraising events, the Sun-Times columnist wrote. However, professional fundraisers will be working on the transition.

Donors' names will be publicly disclosed later in November.

The transition project Podesta is steering is separate from the as-yet named inauguration committee, which will also do fundraising, the Sun-Times said.

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