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Archive for Saturday, October 31, 2009

Celebs, lobbyists among White House guests

October 31, 2009

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— Celebrities Oprah Winfrey, George Clooney and Denzel Washington, prominent Democratic fundraisers and heavyweights from the financial services and high-tech industries were among those landing visits with President Barack Obama or others at the White House during Obama’s first months in office.

The White House late Friday afternoon released a partial list of people who have visited since Obama took office in January. It released roughly 480 records in response to questions about whether specific people visited. The White House plans to start disclosing comprehensive visitor lists in coming months.

The records are a step toward making good on Obama’s promise of transparency. But they also show that despite a campaign pledge to reduce special-interest influence on policymaking, lobbyists are getting face time with him and his aides.

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