Obama wrote letters to federal employees

WASHINGTON, Nov. 17 (UPI) -- President-elect Barack Obama wrote letters outlining his goals in specific language to federal employees while he was a candidate, observers said.

Obama said he would reduce reliance on private firms doing government work, remove censorship from scientific research and fight for tougher industry regulation to protect workers and the environment, The Washington Post (NYSE:WPO) reported Monday.

"I asked him to put it in writing, something I could use with my members, and he didn't flinch," said John Gage, president of the 600,000-member American Federation of Government Employees, who asked that Obama write the letters, which were distributed through the union.

Many of Obama's promises would require additional funding, which he has said would be difficult to achieve under current economic conditions. Obama transition spokeswoman Stephanie Cutter said to the newspaper that the letters were meant to communicate to federal workers his position on their agencies, and the missives' messages were tailored to particular departments.

Gage said he isn't expecting all of Obama's desires to be fulfilled, but he was hopeful.

"I think Obama's going to be fair, he's going to take seriously the missions of these agencies, and he's going to respect federal employees," Gage told the Post. "After the last eight years, that's good enough for me."

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