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   White House logs point to donor access

NEWS INFORMATION

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News Date

11/26/2009 11:20 pm

Author

Matthew Mosk

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Category

News

Database Record

Entered 11/27/2009, Updated 11/27/2009

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"Newly released visitor logs show that more than two dozen of President Obama's top-tier campaign fundraisers visited the White House during his first nine months in office, providing more evidence of the administration's quiet effort to reward donors with VIP access including private briefings with presidential advisers. The records, released in response to a request from The Washington Times, show that one Florida trial lawyer scored an Oval Office meeting with the president. A Hollywood music executive who now serves as the U.S. ambassador to the Bahamas attended two private receptions, including one in the White House residence. A Maryland health care executive and his wife received a private White House tour. Other records released by the White House showed that the president's top aides have met frequently with lobbyists and major players in the health care overhaul debate. The continued presence of both donors and lobbyists on White House logs appears to contradict a key component of Mr. Obama's often-repeated campaign pledge to change Washington. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Obama acknowledged that he suffered "from the same original sin of all politicians, which is, we've got to raise money," but said that he would fight against donor influence if sent to the White House. White House aides called the release of the visitor logs a reminder of Mr. Obama's commitment to a transparent government, in which the public is able to see who has the ear of the president and top aides, and evaluate his approach based on that knowledge."


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