Federal Politics

Published — August 22, 2002 Updated — May 19, 2014 at 12:19 pm ET

Fat Cat Hotel still open for business

Introduction

The White House released last week a list of guests who stayed overnight in the presidential mansion since George W. Bush’s inauguration in January 2001. The list, according to the Associated Press, includes six “pioneers”—the Bush supporters who raised more than $100,000 for his presidential campaign. Ethical questions about hosting donors and friends in official residences, funded by taxpayers, first came to the fore in 1996, when the Center for Public Integrity obtained a list of White House guests. It was found that Democratic Party donors and fundraisers, who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars, were among the guests who spent nights at the historic Lincoln bedroom. Between 1993 and 1996, “more than 75 Democratic contributors and fundraisers spent the night in the White House—mostly in the Lincoln or Queen’s Bedrooms—as guests of President and Mrs. Clinton,” we reported in our 1996 Center study “Fat Cat Hotel.”

Clinton’s renting of the White House to donors and fundraisers raised a storm of criticism, and was an issue in both the 1996 and 2000 presidential elections. During the first debate with then-Vice President Al Gore, candidate George W. Bush quipped, “I think they’ve moved that line the buck stops here’ from the Oval Office to … the Lincoln Bedroom.”

Despite the criticism that surrounded the Lincoln bedroom sleepovers, such overnight sojourns became a feature of the Clinton presidency. A list released in September 2000 showed that a substantial number of donors to Hillary Rodham Clinton’s Senate race were among the 404 guests that stayed overnight at the White House and Camp David. In March 2000, we revealed that 60 of then-Governor George W. Bush’s overnight guests at the Texas Governor’s Mansion had donated and raised more than $2.2 million to Bush. Fifteen of those guests were “Pioneers,” according to the full list of overnight guests from January 1995 through February 2000. Three of the “pioneers” who were overnight guests at the Governor’s mansion also figure on the latest White House guest list. They are Roland Betts, Brad Freeman and Joe O’Neill.

The Center’s attempts to obtain a list of overnight guests at the official residence of Gore, Bush’s rival in the 2000 presidential election, were not successful. Gore’s office refused to release the names of his overnight guests, insisting that no list existed and all guests were “close friends and relatives from Tennessee.” The vice president’s office also refused to compile such information, citing the White House’s exemption from the Freedom of Information Act. Nevertheless, the Gore campaign strongly criticized Bush after the Center released its report on sleepover guests in Austin in March 2000.

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SOUTH JERSEYTed SiroisMark SullivanTom LarkinAnonymous Recent comment authors
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Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Trump needs to conduct these activities because the entire MSM media, excluding Fox, is campaigning against him 24/7/365.

Didn’t Monica’s boyfriend’s wife and various criminal enterprises outspend Trump by almost 2-1?

CapitalistRoader
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CapitalistRoader

Why wouldn’t he get an early start on fund raising? Hillary outspent him two-to-one in 2016. The Dem’s are the party of big money. The President knows this and is attempting to get a jump on it. Of course the Dem candidate will outspend him in 2020 so it’s only rational that he starts fund raising now.

George Young
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George Young

Oh brother. We just 8 years of the Campaigner – in – Chief. Where was this journalistic rectal thermometer then. Just another article about 2000 words too long that merely takes another slap at Trump for something he far from initiated.

j stevenson
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j stevenson

The big difference between Trump and all the rest is his refusing to accept funds from lobbyists, so they don’t have the White House access they are used to. These are the donors who buy the presidency and are as pixxed off that he won the election as are the media and the Dems. Lobbyists have never been shut out of the WH and Trump has told them he is not for sale.

jan v
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jan v

all the lobbyists are running all our government agencies and all the career civil servants who know how to run the country have been fired. YOU think this is a good thing ? what a crock…

Anonymous
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Anonymous

Trump needs to be impeached and tossed in prison. Then have the key thrown away so he will never be free. Then he can see how it feels not to have freedom.

Mark Sullivan
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Mark Sullivan

Thank you for the usual insightful leftist low IQ Snowflake response.

barney
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hes not imprisoning them hes sending them back to their country chill tf out

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

WHY DONT YOU HAVE FREEDOM?

Tom Larkin
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Tom Larkin

First, something positive. I was happy to learn of empirical information in article. BUT, the article was so slanted against President Trump as to be deemed fake news (“Perhaps Trump just lied.” (Two different issues)). The article mentions that President Trump raised over $67 million, but ended 2018 with $19 million. President Trump spent over $40 million 2016 and 2017. President Trump conducted 57 political rallies. The article notes the hats and T-shirts sold, but NEVER MENTIONS THE INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF REPUBLICAN SENATORS during a mid-term election that lost the House and the number of political rallies in… Read more »

Ted Sirois
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Ted Sirois

At least Trump is getting donations from willing donors. Fresh from his first election, Obama used billions of our children’s tax dollars to save thousands of union jobs in the car industry and bailed out the banks and many Wall Street businesses. This secured his source of reelection funds for his reelection four years later.

South Jersey
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South Jersey

TRUMP 2020; IS AN AMAZINGLY SMART MAN! VERY ORIGINAL & CREATIVE. I AM HAPPY TO HAVE HIS AS POTUS.

SOUTH JERSEY
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SOUTH JERSEY

THIS ARTICLE WAS OBVIOUSLY WRITTEN BY, A TRUMP-HATE-GROUP. THAT FEELS; IT IS NOT NORMAL TO BE SUCCESSFUL WITH YOUR OWN BRAND NAME. WHEN, IF FACT, IT IS NORMAL! >>>>> THIS IS >>> FAKE NEWS!!! <<<< ie: A PACK-OF-LIES; SPUN INTO; DEFAMATION OF CHARACTER. FOR A SINISTER-AGENDA OF; FASCIST DEMOCRATIC SOCIALIST, COUP D'ETAT

David
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David

Are you on some kind of drugs? Writing in caps makes me think that you are grumpy old fart or a uneducated hillbilly.