The visitor logs for Jan. 17 — one of the most recent days available — show that the lobbying industry Obama has vowed to constrain is a regular presence at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. The records also suggest that lobbyists with personal connections to the White House enjoy the easiest access.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. 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.
Lobbyist Marshal Matz, for example, who served as an unpaid adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign, has been to the White House roughly two dozen times in the past 21 / 2 years.Bill Samuel, lobbyist for the AFL-CIO, for example, has been to the White House more than 50 times since Obama took office. The logs show he met four times with former White House Chief of Staff William M. Daley and three times with Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council.Tony Podesta, brother of former Obama aide John D. Podesta, has visited 27 times.Tim Hannegan, an informal adviser to Obama’s 2008 campaign with clients such as Comcast and Taser International...In October, Hannegan gathered at the Old Executive Office Building with the CEO and a lobbyist from his client Kelly Services and aides in charge of the president’s jobs council.Among the lobbyists with close ties to the White House is former New York congressman Tom Downey, who is married to Carol Browner, until last year Obama’s energy czar...Andrew Menter, the chief executive of Vivature Health, said that Downey helped set up a meeting for him in December 2010 with Michael Hash, a top health-policy official. The group discussed how the new health-care law might affect Menter’s business, a Texas-based company that provides billing services for college health programs.
“The whole process was interesting for me. It’s a little scary,” Menter said. “You need a lobbyist to get a meeting.”Washington PostActing on a pledge to make government more transparent, Obama released the visitor logs, although he did so to settle a lawsuit seeking the records.
cronyism - the practice of favoring one's close friends, especially in political appointments.
Who on this board said the President is working for all Americans?