In Culture of Corruption, I exposed Team Obama’s big lie about its commitment to public disclosure and openness in government.
Liberals balked. “How can you possibly make such a judgment so early on in the presidency?” they squawked.
Democrats played hide-and-seek on the Hill.
President Obama cut endless backroom deals and cut C-SPAN out.
The White House carved out a Coffee House loophole to keep lobbyist meetings off the books.
And, finally, the White House press corps started complaining about lack of access.
Now, this today from 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.
…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.
…It’s not only Jackson Place. Another favorite off-campus meeting spot is a nearby Caribou Coffee, which, according to the New York Times, has hosted hundreds of meetings among lobbyists and White House staffers since Obama took office.
And administration officials recently asked some lobbyists and others who met with them to sign confidentiality agreements barring them from disclosing what was discussed at meetings with administration officials, in that case a rental policy working group.
Obama lied, transparency died, Part 989.
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