Skip to comments.White House officials caught out with lobbyists
Posted on 08/01/2012 6:00:36 PM PDT by DeaconBenjamin
Aides to President Barack Obama used personal email accounts to contact pharmaceutical companies and deliberately scheduled meetings in coffee shops away from the White House in order to skirt disclosure rules, according to a Congressional report on Wednesday.
Among the most damaging findings are emails from Jim Messina the former White House deputy chief of staff who now manages the president's re-election campaign to a drugs lobbyist in the days before Mr Obama's health care reforms passed Congress in 2010.
In an email from his personal account, Mr Messina promised "I will roll [Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi] for the 4 billion" needed to fund expansion of health care coverage. Mr Messina also promised the lobbyist he would deal with a reporter who had been questioning the White House's links with the pharmaceutical industry.
The report by the Republican-controlled oversight and investigations sub-committee also contained details of a proposed meeting between Jeffrey Smith, one of the president's science advisers, and an executive from a technology company.
Mr Smith suggested meeting at a Caribou Coffee near the White House, explaining that meeting in his office would mean "you'd appear on an official WH Visitor List which maybe not [what] you want at this stage".
Representative Cliff Sterns, the sub-committee chairman, said: "What we have learnt from our many investigations is that, time and again, the Obama administration's actions have failed to match the president's lofty rhetoric on transparency."
The sub-committee did not accuse the White House of breaking the law but rather of failing to live up to its own claim of being "the most open and transparent administration in history".
The White House declined to address the allegations directly, insisting that Mr Obama worked with "unprecedented openness in government".
(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...
I'll say it again....if this had happened under the Bush Admin, heads would roll.
Enough is enough. Pay to play/Chicago Way is way past it's expiration date.
“I will roll [Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi] for the 4 billion”. I guess I could “do her” for that much...just as long as she didn’t talk!
It’s only bad when Republican administrations talk to lobbiests, obviously.
Nothing to see here. Move on.
The list, Ping
Let me know if you would like to be on or off the ping list
“under the Bush Admin, heads would roll.”
Under the Obama Admin, heads would be promoted.
I would have to be overdosed on Viagra.
I refuse to believe this report.
I specifically remember that NO MEMBER OF MY ADMINISTRATION will deal with lobbyists was a campaign promise.
‘He’ has kept the rest of his promises, Gitmo is closed, NO legislation is passed without a 3 day cooling off period and full disclosure prior the final vote and the other millions of promises have been dutifully fulfilled..
As soon as he reveals states #50-57 his job will be done.
No worries when Eric Holder is your bitch...
Holder bends over and reaches back to spread his cheeks to the White Hut..
Zero also OWNS the CIA, FBI, secret service, NSA, and BATF..
OH!... and the IRS...
AND!!!!. all the people that works for those agencies..
** that of course is just a start to the corruption..
Perhaps she was trying to say something to the rest of the nation about reading this POS when she said "we have to pass it to see what is in it". Just maybe, but then again monkeys will fly out of my butt.
Viagra can’t ‘raise the dead’ so I can’t see it working in this instance. And the thought of ‘rolling Pelosi’ is enough to kill any sex drive dead.
Caribou Coffee is owned by the national bank of Bahrain and is managed according to Sharia law.
Might as well suggest a meeting at CFA
That’s what you do when the rules constrain you.
If that means he told the nation and the world that he, Obama, was "fundamentally going to Change America" well he did and it is the only promise he has kept. Like telling Joe the Plumber he was going to spread the working mans wealth to those that don't work....well he did that also. What he managed NOT to do while pulling the sweater over the heads of many Americans, was to tell them he was raised as a Communist, a Muslim, and hating the Capitalistic freedom America has enjoyed...that Obama truly hates. However, he has shown the nation the Obama's love the hi-life afforded them by his position in the White House but complains about his job bitterly, blaming his predecessor and others for his failures...........
EXCERPT--- Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its outsized influence in the capital.
On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control and their impact on the lobbyists corporate clients.
But because the discussions are not taking place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they are not subject to disclosure on the visitors log that the White House releases as part of its pledge to be the most transparent presidential administration in history.
The Obama administration has taken unprecedented steps to increase the openness and transparency of the White House, said Dan Pfeiffer, director of communications. We expect that all White House employees adhere to their obligations under our very stringent ethics rules regardless of who they are meeting with or where they meet.
Attempts to put distance between the White House and lobbyists are not limited to meetings. Some lobbyists say that they routinely get e-mail messages from White House staff members personal accounts rather than from their official White House accounts, which can become subject to public review. Administration officials said there were some permissible exceptions to a federal law requiring staff members to use their official accounts and retain the correspondence.
And while Mr. Obama has imposed restrictions on hiring lobbyists for government posts, the administration has used waivers and recusals more than two dozen times to appoint lobbyists to political positions. Two lobbyists also cited instances in which the White House had suggested that a job candidate be deregistered as a lobbyist in Senate records to avoid violating the administrations hiring restrictions.
A senior White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that in a small number of cases, people might have been wrongly registered as lobbyists, based on federal standards. The official said that while the White House might have discussed such instances of possible over-registration, he was quite confident that no lobbying shop has been instructed to deregister anyone.
Many lobbyists still get in the front door at the White House nearly 1,000 times, according to a New York Times examination of public White House visitors logs and lobbying registration records. Those logs, though, present an incomplete picture. For instance, many of the entries do not reflect who actually took part in a meeting. The visitee often shows up not as the White House official who was the host, but as the administrative assistant who arranged the meeting.
Rahm Emanuel, the presidents chief of staff, has shown up several times at a closed gathering of liberal political activists and lobbyists that is held weekly at the Capital Hilton. Other Obama aides like Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, and Norm Eisen, the special assistant for ethics and senior aides in the Office of Management and Budget, the energy czars office and elsewhere have also taken part in off-campus meetings, lobbyists said.
Theyre here all the time all day, Andre Williams, a manager at Caribou Coffee, said of his White House customers. (He can spot White House officials by the security badges around their necks, or the Secret Service agents lurking nearby.)
Most transparent administration EVAH!! Liars.
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