Among President Barack Obama’s many promises was he would curtail the power of Washington lobbyists. However, an examination of White House logs found that apparently the only thing that changed was which lobbyists were visiting.
“The White House visitor records make it clear that Obama’s senior officials are granting that access to some of K Street’s most influential representatives,” The Washington Post found. “In many cases, those lobbyists have long-standing connections to the president or his aides. Republican lobbyists coming to visit are rare, while Democratic lobbyists are common, whether they are representing corporate clients or liberal causes.”
The Post examined visitor logs which track the thousands who come to the White House and executive office buildings, matching them with lobbying registrations and other records. Obama had promised to limit the influence of lobbyists and has barred recent lobbyists from his administration and from advisory boards, the Post reported.
However, the logs show that AFL-CIO lobbyist Bill Samuel has been to the White House more than 50 times since Obama took office and that Tony Podesta, brother of former Obama aide John Podesta, has visited 27 times. Robert Raben, who represents liberal causes, has been to the White House 47 times, the Post reported.
Previous administrations have not released the visitor logs which make “it impossible to know whether paid advocates have more or less access than in the past,” the Post noted.
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