Barack Obama is hiding lobbyists from public view
When Barack Obama was running for president he promised to end the influence of special interest groups as well as lobbyists in Washington. On his first day in the White House he even went so far as to sign an executive order banning lobbyists in the White House–but the executive order also contained a waiver process which allowed Barack Obama to hire lobbyists anyway, and he has done exactly that while ignoring one of his biggest campaign promises.
Barack Obama has already fallen under the spell of the Democrats’ largest special interest group–unions–and we have seen them use their influence to win waivers that exempt them from the healthcare reform law. A promise broken; but he has also broken his promise to ban lobbyists from the White House, and now we are learning that he is in the process of hiding the full extent of the influence of lobbyists by meeting with them secretly off of the White House grounds.
By doing this he is attempting to hide the influence that lobbyists have had on his regime’s policies; he is hoping that the American people will not learn exactly how beholden he has become to a group of people whom he promised to ban from the White house. This also allows these meetings to be dark because the Secret Service is not required to log these meetings.
The White House scoffs at the notion of an ulterior motive for scheduling meetings in what are, after all, meeting rooms. But at least four lobbyists who’ve been to the conference rooms just off Lafayette Square tell POLITICO they had the distinct impression they were being shunted off to Jackson Place — and off the books — so their visits wouldn’t later be made public.
And this brings us directly to broken promise number three on this issue alone–transparency. Need I remind you once again that Barack Obama promised to have the most open, honest, and transparent administration in history? I didn’t think so.
Obama’s administration has touted its release of White House visitors logs as a breakthrough in transparency, as the first White House team to reveal the comings and goings around the West Wing and the Old Executive Office Building.
Barack Obama is touting the fact that he is releasing the records of those who visit the White House as proof of his transparency, yet he is holding these secret meetings with lobbyists in a manner which he thought would make sure that the meetings would be kept secret from the public.
So much for transparency; Barack Obama is manipulating the facts in order to hide from the American people the extent of the promises he has broken. To be honest, I never expected Barack Obama to actually follow through on his promise to ban lobbyists from the White House, and I never expected his regime to be any more transparent than any other administration, but the extent he has been willing to go to in order hide this from the public has got to have those who did believe and support him to wonder if he really is any different than any of the other politicians who came before him.
And that leads us to broken promise number four on this issue alone–change. Barack Obama promised to change the way that Washington did business, but Washington has changed him. That is unless Barack Obama was never different from other politicians in the first place, and I don’t think that he was.