White House Posts More than 75,000 Visitors Records — Including Farrakhan and James Taylor (No, Not the Ones You’re Thinking Of)

By MichaelJames

Jan 29, 2010 8:58pm

The White House today posted on Whitehouse.gov more than 75,000 visitor records from the month of October 2009.

You can check them out HERE.

Louis Farrakhan and James Taylor are among the names — but the White House says they weren't the Farrakhan and Sweet Baby James with whom you may be familiar.

In a blog post, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform Norm Eisen noted that "included in today’s release are over 200 pre-Sept 16 visitor records that are responsive to more than 100 specific requests that the White House received from the public during the month of December." The release also includes "a small set of the September records [that] were being withheld in order to conclude a national security review," a process that has since concluded.

In his blog, Eisen heralded the increased transparency of this administration, steps that included "issuing the Open Government Directive, putting up more government information than ever before on data.gov and recovery.gov, reforming the government’s FOIA processes, providing on-line access to White House staff financial reports and salaries, issuing an executive order to fight unnecessary secrecy and speed declassification, reversing an executive order that previously limited access to presidential records, and webcasting White House meetings and conferences."

He notes that the above "efforts were recognized by a consortium of independent outside government reform groups that gave the administration an A for its first-year actions making government open and transparent."

This was a reference to a report card from Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG that assigned the following grades for Obama policies:

Revolving Door Lobbying Ban, A
Open Government, A
Reverse Revolving Door Restrictions, A
Lobbyist Gift Ban, B
Preventing Lobbyists from Serving on Advisory Boards, B 
Restrictions on Seeking Stimulus Funds, B
Restrictions on Seeking Financial Bailout, No Grade

- jpt

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