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« The Deeds Looks Done | Blog Home Page | Strategy Memo: The Unveiling »

A Transparency Test For The White House

Today's Washington Times story documenting how top donors to Barack Obama's campaign and the DNC received some serious presidential perks became the latest challenge on whether the administration living up to the fundamental campaign promise to change the culture of Washington.

Robert Gibbs was asked repeatedly about the story at today's White House briefing. He denied that any quid-pro-quo is at play, while defending the administration's credentials on transparency by reminding reporters of a soon-to-be-released log of all White House visitors.

"This President has [instituted] the very toughest ethics and transparency rules of any administration in history," he said. "I think the President has returned to a stance of transparency and ethics that hasn't been matched by any other White House."

He did acknowledge that there is some degree of reward, stating that "contributing doesn't guarantee a visit to the White House, nor does it preclude it." At the same time, he pushed back on the RNC which has criticized the administration in the wake of the Times story.

"There's two ... major political parties in this country. One party doesn't accept contributions from registered federal lobbyists. That same party doesn't accept contributions from political action committees," he said, referring to the DNC.

Asked specifically if there was any quid pro quo, Gibbs said: "No, of course not."

The White House had announced in early September that it would release a full list of White House visitors starting in mid December. But that first accounting will only include guests in the previous three to four months. You can be sure when that first list is disclosed, it will be cross-referenced with Obama and DNC donors.