Media blocked from Biden call with local officials on fiscal cliff topics

HARRISBURG — The front page of the White House’s website for its Office of Intergovernmental Affairs prominently features a quote from President Barack Obama promising “open and honest” government.

Apparently, that office’s idea of open and honest government does not include the public or the media.

The Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, which coordinates presidential efforts with mayors and town councils across the nation, is hosting a conference call on Thursday afternoon with Vice President Joe Biden to discuss the Democrats’ plan to deal with the so-called “fiscal cliff” that is looming at the end of the year. The invitation to the call, which was distributed to local government officials on Tuesday, explicitly forbids the media from participating in the call.

Rob Port is the editor of In 2011 he was a finalist for the Watch Dog of the Year from the Sam Adams Alliance and winner of the Americans For Prosperity Award for Online Excellence. In 2013 the Washington Post named SAB one of the nation's top state-based political blogs, and named Rob one of the state's best political reporters. He writes a weekly column for several North Dakota newspapers, and also serves as a policy fellow for the North Dakota Policy Council.

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