As part of his promise of openness, President Obama announced this morning that the White House will release logs of who visits the White House.
Each month, records of visitors from the previous 90 to 120 days will be made available online, the announcement said. The only exceptions will be visitors on national security business or "necessarily confidential" ones such a possible Supreme Court nominee. The disclosures will start on Sept. 15.
“For the first time in history, records of White House visitors will be made available to the public on an ongoing basis,” Obama said in a statement. “We will achieve our goal of making this administration the most open and transparent administration in history not only by opening the doors of the White House to more Americans, but by shining a light on the business conducted inside. Americans have a right to know whose voices are being heard in the policymaking process.”
The White House noted that previous administrations went to court to keep the visitor logs under wraps, and its announcement included a statement from Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, which sued the Obama administration in its push for openness.
“Today the Obama administration has proven its pledge to usher in a new era of government transparency was more than just a campaign promise," the group's executive director Melanie Sloan said in the statement. "The Obama administration will have the most open White House in history. Providing public access to visitor records is an important step in restoring transparency and accountability to our government.”
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Glen Johnson is Politics Editor at boston.com and lead blogger for "Political Intelligence." He moved to Massachusetts in the fourth grade, and has covered local, state, and national politics for over 25 years. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @globeglen.