Transparency

Obama Opens His Guestbook

Want to know who's lobbying the White House on health care? Finding the information is about to get easier. USA Today reports that beginning in mid-September, names of thousands of visitors to the Obama White House-- information traditionally kept secret by presidents--will be made publicly available. Under the new policy, the Secret Service's electronic visitor logs will be made public three to four months after visits are made, and will list who set up the meeting, where it was held, and for how long. There will be exceptions for national security, extreme confidentiality, and strictly personal visits to the first family. The policy change will allow the public to see who is lobbying the White House on health care, financial rules, and other matters, and should please news organizations and watchdog groups, including Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which has brought four lawsuits against the Obama and Bush White Houses seeking details on meetings. "We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history," Obama said.