Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hide and Seek: White House hides meetings with lobbyist offsite

Just like all that empty rhetoric about transparency or fiscal responsibility, the Obama White House is pretending they are not meeting with lobbyists.
Politico: Caught between their boss’s anti-lobbyist rhetoric and the reality of governing, President Barack Obama’s aides often steer meetings with lobbyists to a complex just off the White House grounds – and several of the lobbyists involved say they believe the choice of venue is no accident.
It allows the Obama administration to keep these lobbyist meetings shielded from public view — and out of Secret Service logs collected on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.
“They’re doing it on the side. It’s better than nothing,” said immigration reform lobbyist Tamar Jacoby, who has attended meetings at the nearby Jackson Place complex and believes the undisclosed gatherings are better than none.
The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists who’ve been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place – and off the books – so their visits wouldn’t later be made public.
Obama’s administration has touted its release of White House visitors logs as a breakthrough in transparency, as the first White House team ever to reveal the comings and goings around the West Wing and the Old Executive Office Building.
The Jackson Place townhouses are a different story.
There are no records of meetings at the row houses just off Lafayette Square that house the White House Conference Center and the Council on Environmental Quality, home to two of the busiest meeting spaces. The White House can’t say who attended meetings there, or how often. The Secret Service doesn’t log in visitors or require a background check the way it does at the main gates of the White House. [MORE]
This comes as no surprise.  Obama is a great at making the big talk, but extremely poor at living up to it.  Since no records are kept of the coming and goings at the Jackson Place townhouses, God only knows who is lobbying the White House.  I would not be the least bit surprise if some of the lefts' favorite bogymen (Wall Street fat cats, insurance companies, Walmart) were all making visits to the townhouses.  After all, where did all those ObamaCare waivers get cut?
Via: Hot Air


Janelle said...

Clifton, I agree with you 99.9% of the time, but Obama is "not great at making the big talk". He is incapable of speaking without a script and frankly when he is on's not much better. I've heard better at high school graduations - actually, all of us have.

Euripides said...

Can we get this new Congress to start thinking seriously about lobby reform? Maybe if we can blunt the effects of lobbies, we can limit the effects of both big unions and big business playing a role in government spending. If there's no advantage in spending money on a candidate, then the power of the unions gets diluted.

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