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Post 'Salon' Story Prompts WH Ethics Rules Reminder

By Michael D. Shear
White House counsel Greg Craig reminded administration staffers this afternoon that they operate under strict ethical guidelines, in the wake of reports that The Washington Post had solicited Obama officials for off the record "salons" with corporate sponsorship.

The memo from Craig to White House officials said White House officials are required to seek approval before attending events sponsored by a non-government entity.

"As we have advised in a previous memo (see attached), federal ethics rules restricting the acceptance of gifts govern your ability to accept free admission to events put on by a non-governmental sponsor," Craig wrote.

"Many of you are invited to attend such banquets, conferences and cocktail receptions. In an effort to streamline the process by which you receive approval to accept such free invitations from the White House Counsel's Office, we have created an online submission form. Our hope is that this will make it easier for you to submit such requests and will enable us to serve you better," he said.

In the e-mail, Craig says that requests for such events must be made 72 hours before the event, and will be responded to by e-mail.

The 9-page policy on gifts attached to Craig's e-mail lists in detail the administration's dos and don'ts when accepting gifts. Included are sections on "Gifts based on a personal relationship," "Invitations to Events," and "Social invitations from persons other than prohibited sources."

The Post had reportedly invited Obama officials to intimate dinners at the home of Post publisher Katherine Weymouth, which would be sponsored at a cost of $25,000 each.

By Web Politics Editor  |  July 2, 2009; 5:35 PM ET
Categories:  Ethics , Washington Life  
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Next: Palin's Reasons for Stepping Down


"Ethics reminder" from THIS administration - you're joking right?

Posted by: Bcamp55 | July 6, 2009 10:30 AM | Report abuse

WaPo Announces Complete Access/Influence Price List

Posted by: blondon | July 5, 2009 10:43 PM | Report abuse

Saw an article yesterday talking about similar events sponsored by both the Wall St. Journal and The Economist that have already occurred. In the one with WSJ most of it was on the record, but when they got to Summers, they moved the event so that reporters weren't there. The WaPo really wasn't doing much that hadn't already been done before, but they pushed the envelope a bit more.

Posted by: dkmjr | July 5, 2009 10:19 PM | Report abuse

The Post should: 1) apologize to its reporters and other real people: 2) shut down its editorial page staff for six months; 3) clean house; 4) post logs of the contacts its editorial staff makes. The Post editorial staff has long been in bed with real estate developers, especially in Virginia.

Clean house from top-to-bottom.

Posted by: tmtfairfax | July 3, 2009 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Busted... Why won't WAPO release the list???

Posted by: fury60 | July 3, 2009 12:18 PM | Report abuse

Perhaps the headline on this item should read:

"Post 'Salon' Story Prompts WH AND WA-PO Ethics Rules Reminder"

Posted by: scrivener50 | July 3, 2009 12:32 AM | Report abuse

This is typical Washington beltway media group think...
the news at WAPO is 'for sale'...
only $25,000 per column inch.
Let the bidding begin!
Conclusion: the sooner the beltway media disappear, the better we'll ALL be.

Posted by: vanron100 | July 2, 2009 11:20 PM | Report abuse

One wonders if Rupe Murdoch has added the WP to his Fox and Fools group????

Posted by: scac1 | July 2, 2009 10:44 PM | Report abuse

People who need to be reminded of ethics are the last people who would care.

Posted by: infuse | July 2, 2009 9:43 PM | Report abuse

I guess with the bush administration, you didn'ty have to print your price list, huh ???

Posted by: donewithyou1 | July 2, 2009 9:29 PM | Report abuse

Typical Obama................

the morally challenged White House.

Posted by: JaxMax | July 2, 2009 8:11 PM | Report abuse

This stinks to high heaven. No one in the administration had accepted but the Post went on ahead pimping out their brand, their staff, and their diminishing reputation for a check. Goodness I thought the police had cleaned up the Stroll on 14th street. Looks like it moved over a block

I'm reaching the point where I don't read the post for news and information but to see how reality is spun, ignored or discredited.

Posted by: dubya36 | July 2, 2009 7:37 PM | Report abuse

"The Post had reportedly invited Obama officials to intimate dinners at the home of Post publisher Katherine Weymouth, which would be sponsored at a cost of $25,000 each." Reportedly?! You're WaPo, you don't know? You can't make a call or send an email to confirm?

This just gets better and better. What's next, liberal use of the word "allegedly"?

Posted by: gbooksdc | July 2, 2009 6:40 PM | Report abuse

No one from the WH had accepted the "invitation". End of story.

Posted by: rlj611 | July 2, 2009 6:27 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: JakeD | July 2, 2009 6:26 PM | Report abuse

Well I guess that takes care of it...all fixed.

Except who were the actual White House staffers that were scheduled to be at Katharine Weymouth's house on the 21st?

Unless we learn the actual names, this is simply a cover-up.

Posted by: wasntme543 | July 2, 2009 6:06 PM | Report abuse

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