However, according to Politico:
… [S]ome Washington insiders have figured out how to work the new system. Case in point: A nonprofit called Business Forward can boast of setting up an average of three meetings a week between top White House officials and business leaders, and member companies like Microsoft, Visa and Hilton.
The strategy: The meetings, with top officials like Cass Sunstein and Jack Lew, are billed as “dialogues.” It’s an approach that plays well with former academics in the administration who prefer a discussion with a special interest groups to a meeting with a hired gun…
Few attendees are willing to speak on the record about the group — most are unwilling to speak at all. One attendee said the strict confidentiality reflects the White House’s desire to keep its message tightly controlled.
The meetings are similar to the Americans for Tax Reform’s weekly meetings chaired by Grover Norquist and the Weyrich Lunches held by groups on the right, which have pulled together issue lobbyists for the past three decades to lobby members of Congress and Republican administrations on the issues.
A former Bush White House official who worked with groups on the right during the last administration told Red Alert Politics there is no doubt that the Obama White House is engaging in closed-door lobbying activities.
The involvement of corporate lobbyists from companies like AT&T, Wal-Mart and Microsoft in these meetings runs counter to the president’s anti-corporate narrative. And each of the participants in these meetings pays upwards of $50,000 annually to put a bug in the Obama White House’s ear.
“When lobbyists meet with various government agencies we are going to make sure that is public and transparent,” Obama said in a Feb. 2008 campaign video. “That hopefully is going to send a strong signal that we want to change how business is done, and I don’t want to be going into the White House with a whole bunch of favors that I’ve got to pay back from people whose job it is to influence decision making in Washington.”
The administration’s closed-door meetings come as no surprise to Norquist who said that Obama has conducted everything in his administration in secrecy ranging from health care to energy policy.
Comments from Grover Norquist added.