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White House Opens Visitor Log to the Public

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White House Visitor Log

White House visitor records available online.

The White House has begun making its visitor logs publicly available on its website, reversing a Bush administration policy that kept such records secret.

“We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent … in history,” President Obama said in a speech announcing the change.

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Government calls the move “historic.” The government watchdog group has dropped four lawsuits against the Obama and Bush administrations under the Freedom of Information Act, and Obama has met the group’s demand for details of visits from coal industry and health insurance executives, and from religious leaders during the Bush era.

Judicial Watch, a group that challenged the secrecy of visitor logs under Bush, remains concerned that the log is not monitored by an outside group and that the policy change still allows the administration too much power to withold names deemed “sensitive.”

—Heather Purser is a YES! Magazine editorial assistant


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