White House Has Townhouse for Trysts with Lobbyists
posted at 12:30 pm on February 24, 2011 by John Sexton
Caught between their boss’ 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 kept on visitors to the White House and later released to the public.
Politico doesn’t spare the President on the blatant hypocrisy:
During the State of the Union address Obama derided the “parade of lobbyists [that] has rigged the tax code to benefit particular companies and industries.” And, because the public deserves to know when its elected officials are talking to lobbyists, he called on “Congress to do what the White House has already done — put that information online.”
How’s this for openness and transparency:
For years, countless government staffers have been admonished not to write down something they wouldn’t want to read on the front page of The Washington Post. But the Obama administration, some lobbyists say, has taken that approach to new levels.
“I’ve not seen The Washington Post test enforced so ritualistically as this White House,” said one lobbyist, who regularly does business with the administration. The veteran lobbyist said no other administration he’s worked with has so often responded to routine e-mail queries with the same three-word response, “Gimme a ring.”
It’s almost like they know the public would be unhappy if they learned what this White House was really about.