White House staff meets with lobbyists "all the time" in DC coffee shops in order to short-cut around rules that would require names connected to big business to appear on visitor logs.
This from the New York Times.
There are no Secret Service agents posted next to the barista and no presidential seal on the ceiling, but the Caribou Coffee across the street from the White House has become a favorite meeting spot to conduct Obama administration business.
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.
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.”
Lub' mah Caribou!
So, what is going on here?
Obviously, the White House understands that there is a perception problem out here in America-land -- you know, where citizens live.
People believe that Washington works for big business and not for the little guy.
So -- what does the White House do?
It meets with big business off-site so the little guy doesn't find out about it.
This is disturbing in about a million different ways. Mostly, though, it's emblematic of the Obama experience that people like me have had experiencing both the excitement of the campaign and the administration that followed.
Promises were made.
They were not kept.
So -- we're heading into the November elections now and I know that it is my responsibility as a loyal party member to rustle up my personal network of voters and start talking to them about why its important to vote for Democrats this time around.
I know it's important:
For God's sake, stronger GOP numbers in the House and Senate -- or Lord forbid, a majority -- scares the crap out of me.
But you guys got to give me something to work with here.
NOTE: A commenter says that space for meetings is limited in the White House and suggests that some meetings might be held off-site because of lack of office space.