Former New Jersey Gov. Jon Corzine, former technology executive Bernard Schwartz and banking executive James Staley were among 30 well-connected figures in the business and finance world who met with President Barack Obama at the White House in March for an unusual economic discussion organized by the Democratic National Committee.
The White House released the names on Friday under a policy Obama instituted in 2009 to disclose nearly all White House guests approximately three months after they visit.
The March 7 meeting in the Blue Room of the residence has drawn attention and criticism because most of the attendees were donors or fundraisers and the session was arranged by the DNC. Good-government advocates said hosting the event at the White House was ill-advised...
At a House hearing this week, two Bush White House ethics lawyers said the session raised questions under the Hatch Act, the federal law limiting political activity on federal property and by government officials.
“It is unclear why the Democratic National Committee would have been used to organize a meeting to solicit advice on the economy. Indeed, this meeting seems to walk a fine line between official and political with all of the attendant Hatch Act concerns,” Scott Coffina, who served as an ethics adviser to the Bush White House, told the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.
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