Wanted to make sure you saw this piece from POLITICO. Meant to post it yesterday. It’s about how the White House sunshine policy of releasing the visitors logs to the public is undermined by having quiet meetings with lobbyists off campus. A good piece of reporting.
One striking portion of the article noted that lobbyists are being silenced by the White House about their meetings with Obama aides.
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.
The administration has defended the practice as a way to “maintain the integrity of our decision-making process.” But it has come under fire from lobbyists and a top House Republican, who have criticized the demand that participants sign a “gag order” before being allowed into meetings.
One former Bush aide wondered with justification where all the press coverage and outrage was about such secrecy deals.
“This jumped out at me, in the category of ‘We would have gotten killed if we had tried to do that,'” he said.