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Obama's 'secret' lobbyist meetings
To keep lobbyists' names off the official White House visitor logs, aides have been chatting them up across the street. Does this violate Obama's transparency pledge?
 
Obama may be getting around his transparency commitment, suggests Politico, by sending staffers off the White House grounds to meet with lobbyists.
Obama may be getting around his transparency commitment, suggests Politico, by sending staffers off the White House grounds to meet with lobbyists.
CC BY: White House

President Obama's promise of transparency came under fresh scrutiny this week, after Politico reported that his aides have been holding meetings with lobbyists off White House grounds so their names won't appear on public visitor logs. Is Obama breaking his promise to operate in the open? (See Jay Carney defend the president)

These "secret" meetings expose Obama's hypocrisy: This is proof that the president's "highfalutin rhetoric" about not meeting with lobbyists was nothing but a "lie," says Erick Erickson at RedState. Maybe Obama isn't inviting folks from the AFL-CIO to the Oval Office, but this amounts to the same thing. So much for "the most transparent administration ever."
"Secret White House meetings"

Obama has been more transparent than past presidents: The White House has a forceful defense against these allegations, says David Jackson at USA Today. The building in question is home to a White House conference center, so White House Press Secretary Jay Carney says it's "laughable" to suggest there's anything sneaky about holding meetings there. And Carney points out that this administration has released White House visitor logs, which he says marks an "unprecedented level of transparency."
"Obama team defends lobbyist meetings — and their location"

Releasing the logs is good, but clearly not enough: The release of the White House visitor logs was indeed a "transformative development," says John Wonderlich at the Sunlight Foundation, but Obama shouldn't "hang his hat on it." By shifting meetings out of the spotlight, the administration can publicize or hide meetings with lobbyists as it sees fit. If Obama wants to prove he's a champion of openness, he should get behind "real lobbying laws."
"Popping the White House visitor logs bubble"

 

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