White House Should Disclose All Lobby Visits, Including Off-Site Meetings

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  • Dale Eisman

Common Cause calls on the White House to publicly disclose all its meetings with lobbyists, wherever they occur.

Early in his presidency, President Obama rightly put in place restrictions to limit the influence of lobbyists in his Administration, and he opened White House visitor logs to the public. A Politico report today, however, says that some administration officials are meeting lobbyists in offices or even coffee shops near the White House to keep them out of the public eye.

“You can’t have a policy for the front door of the White House and then sneak people in through a back door,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “We call on the administration to disclose all meetings with lobbyists, not just with those who come in the main entrance.”

Some of the lobbyists interviewed by Politico were stung by what they view as “Obama bashing their profession as part of what’s wrong with Washington.”

“There’s nothing wrong with being a lobbyist,” said Common Cause President Bob Edgar. “They provide a tremendous service and government would be hard pressed to function without their expertise. The problem is that too many lobbyists have become conduits for campaign money. If nothing untoward is happening when lobbyists meet with our lawmakers and members of the executive branch, all involved should be happy to disclose those meetings to the public.”