Thursday, November 6, 2008

Roll Call Buying HILL ACCESS Through Free Access

While studying the official Transition web site this evening, I was surprised to see members of the Obama team (and other government employees) are given a list of press sites to check out, one of which is which turns out to be a publication filled with tons of POLITICAL NEWS that average citizens have to pay really BIG BUCKS to gain access to. In fact, a one year subscription to the online service fetches a pricey $295 price tag...UNLESS...yes, there is always and happen to work for the Federal Government, or are lucky enough to have a email address that goes through a .gov domain.

Simply stated, if you work for the government, or for one of our elected officials, or you are an elected official, Roll Call GIFTS YOU A MEMBERSHIP! I did some quick CHECKING, and am not finding anyone ADMITTING to these gifts from Roll Call. Correct me if I am wrong here, but aren't elected officials and staffers supposed to DISCLOSE gifts? Even more troubling, seems to me, that giving STAFFERS and ELECTED OFFICIALS free access to Roll Call creates and incestous relationship that gives the Roll Call UNFAIR access to information sources on Capital Hill.

Let us say for example that 10,000 government employees are accessing/using this FREE GIFT. That represents lobbying/favor buying on the part of Roll Call on Capital Hill of $2.75 Million dollars a year. Has the company registered as a lobbyist, reported this lobbying gift to the FEC or other government agency...even more disturbing, are they in any fashion successfully writing this GIFT off of their taxes when they file their IRS reports each year?

A GIFT IS A GIFT, and news sources should not be allowed to GAIN ACCESS OR FAVOR IN THE OFFICES OF POWER THROUGH THE GIFTING OF FREE SUBSCRIPTIONS. I would ask President Obama to instruct his staff NOT TO SUBSCRIBE to Roll Call unless they pay for their subscriptions, and I would further ask that the Inspector General, or perhaps the Attorney General's office open up and investigation of this issue, and if proper pursue charges against Roll Call and other publications that are giving gifts to officials...further, if officials and their staffers have been accepting these gifts, and not REPORTING THEM, charges should be brought against them as well.

I would suggest to Roll Call, that they either CHARGE EVERYONE for internet access to their publication including Washington DC staffers and politicians, or give everyone FREE ACCESS. This article will be followed with a formal letter requesting investigation of this issue. We want change, and change means halting FREEBIES given to elected officials and their staff as a means of BUYING SPECIAL ACCESS....SHAME ON YOU ROLL CALL.

Because you work in Congress, you are eligible for complimentary access (FREE GIFT) to several Roll Call Group services. Simply fill out the form below to access, then select whether you'd also like to receive CongressNow (What is the VALUE of this gift?) and Briefing Room (What is the VALUE of this gift?). If each of these publications, like carries a GIFT VALUE of $295. we have Roll Call giving every staffer on Capital Hill a gift worth almost $1,000 dollars. Have those gifts been properly disclosed by each staffer, and have these gifts been reported on their tax forms?

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