ATLANTA (AP) — Closed-door meetings involving top business and government leaders are common in American politics.
The American Enterprise Institute is a conservative think tank that hosts an annual event called the World Forum. This year's event lasted three days in March at a Georgia resort. It attracted several potential 2016 presidential candidates and 18 members of Congress, including House Speaker John Boehner.
In April, members of a liberal group called Democracy Alliance met privately in Chicago. Attendees included environmentalist billionaire Tom Steyer and Kentucky Senate candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes.
A group called the American Legislative Exchange Council brings together industry leaders and state lawmakers to write proposed bills for legislatures around the country.
Participants say the sessions allow for candid discussions. Open-government advocates say they lessen confidence in the democratic process.