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Obama Loves Lobbyists

- August 12, 2014

Hope And Change Go Out The Window

Politico Headline: “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban”(Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)

The Obama Administration Will Release A New Rule This Week, Which Is “Expected To Allow Registered Lobbyists To Participate In Policymaking Deliberations In An Advisory Role.” “The Office of Management and Budget will release a new rule on Wednesday expected to allow registered lobbyists to participate in policymaking deliberations in an advisory role after a judge ruled against the administration earlier this year.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)

  • Lobbyists Will Be Allowed To Serve On “Commissions That Give The Private Sector An Advisory Role In Decision-Making Across The Executive Branch.”“Lobbyists for corporations and industry groups will now be allowed to serve on more than 1,000 industry boards, panels and commissions that give the private sector an advisory role in decision-making across the executive branch, according to a copy of the rule published on the Federal Register site.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)
  • The Rule Alters A Policy Implemented By The Administration In 2010 As Part Of Obama’s Ethics Package. “The new rule affects a policy implemented in June 2010 as part of President Barack Obama’s ethics package, but keeps some of the ban in place.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)

The Lobbyist Ban Reversal “Comes After Several Lobbyists Filed A Suit Claiming Their Constitutional Rights Had Been Violated By The Ban.” “The reversal comes after several lobbyists filed a suit claiming their constitutional rights had been violated by the ban.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)

“Watchdog Groups Called The Decision To Retreat From A Part Of Obama’s Ethics Reforms Disappointing.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,” Politico, 8/12/14)

  • Lobbyist For Public Citizen, Craig Holman: “It Really Shows OMB Backpedaling On Obama’s Policies Dealing With Ethics And Lobbying Activity.” “‘It really shows OMB backpedaling on Obama’s policies dealing with ethics and lobbying activity,’ said Craig Holman, a lobbyist for the government watchdog group Public Citizen.” (Byron Tau, “W.H. To Reverse Part Of Lobbyist Ban,”Politico, 8/12/14)

DURING HIS 2008 CAMPAIGN, OBAMA PROMISED TO END THE INFLUENCE OF LOBBYISTS IN WASHINGTON 

In 2007, Obama Said “I Am In This Race To Tell The Corporate Lobbyists That Their Days Of Setting The Agenda In Washington Are Over.” OBAMA: “That’s why I’m in this race. I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists – and won.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Democratic National Committee Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., 11/30/07)

  • Obama: “They Have Not Funded My Campaign, They Will Not Get A Job In My White House, And They Will Not Drown Out The Voices Of The American People When I Am President.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks At Democratic National Committee Fall Meeting, Washington, D.C., 11/30/07)

 In 2008, Obama Said “Lobbyists Do Not Fund My Campaign, They Will Not Run My White House, And They Will Not Drown Out The Voices Of The American People When I Am President Of The United States.” OBAMA: “And I am the only candidate who can say that Washington lobbyists do not fund my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I am President of the United States. That’s how we’re going to end the outrage of special interests who are tipping the scales.” (Sen. Barack Obama, Remarks In Golden, CO, 9/16/08)

In 2009, Obama Boasted That His Pledge Would “Close The Revolving Door” That Lets Public Employees Use “Their Time In Public Service” To “Promote Their Own Interests.” OBAMA: “And we need to close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely, and lets them use their time in public service as a way to promote their own interests over the interests of the American people when they leave.” (President Barack Obama, Remarks Welcoming Senior Staff And Cabinet Secretaries To The White House , Washington, DC, 1/21/09)

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION IS ALREADY FILLED WITH LOBBYISTS, WHO “WORK AT THE HIGHEST LEVELS OF GOVERNMENT”

Politico: “Barack Obama Promised To Take On Washington’s Revolving Door Culture. Washington Won.” (Byron Tau, “How K Street Beat Obama,” Politico, 8/12/14)

The Obama Administration Has Hired Nearly 70 Former Lobbyists, Many Of Whom Now “Work At The Highest Levels Of Government.” “A POLITICO review shows that the Obama administration has hired about 70 previously registered corporate, trade association and for-hire lobbyists. And many of these former lobbyists work at the highest levels of government.” (Byron Tau, “How K Street Beat Obama,” Politico, 8/12/14)

  • “[A]t Least Two Dozen Obama Administration Veterans Can Be Found All Over Town In Advocacy, Strategy Or Consulting Gigs.” “The revolving door also means that having put in their time, at least two dozen Obama administration veterans can be found all over town in advocacy, strategy or consulting gigs.” (Byron Tau, “How K Street Beat Obama,” Politico, 8/12/14)

The Center For Responsive Politics Reports That 578 Individuals Have Been Through Obama’s Revolving Door. (Center For Responsive Politics, Accessed 8/12/14)

  • PolitiFact: “We Rate Obama’s ‘Revolving Door’ Policy For Former Lobbyists His Biggest Broken Promise.” (Angie Drobnic Holan, “Not So Fast On Obama Revolving Door Policy,” PolitiFact, 1/23/09)
  • PolitiFact: “Obama Was Very Clear With His Promise. He Said No Lobbyists Would ‘Work On Regulations Or Contracts Directly And Substantially Related To Their Prior Employer For Two Years.’ No Means None. Promise Broken.”(Angie Drobnic Holan, “Former Lobbyist In The White House? It’s Okay If They Say It’s Okay,” PolitiFact, 3/17/09)

“It’s Well-Known That President Barack Obama Has Surrounded Himself With Lobbyists.” (John Carney, “Obama’s Lobbyist-Heavy Administration,” CNBC11/1/11)

Obama Has Granted Numerous Exceptions To His Lobbyist Ban. “Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.” (Kenneth P. Vogel and Mike Allen, “Obama Finds Room For Lobbyists,” Politico, 1/30/09)

  • K Street Has Expected The Administration To “Quietly Open Its Doors To More Lobbyists Through Waivers” During Obama’s Second Term. “When President Barack Obama took office, he immediately installed unprecedented revolving-door restrictions that banned federal lobbyists from serving in his administration without a waiver. And in his rhetoric, he made no secret of his disdain for the influence industry. Few people, from lobbyists to those who keep tabs on them, expect radical changes in Obama’s relationship with K Street during his second term. But many predict that his administration will quietly open its doors to more lobbyists through the waivers. And they expect the president to court the business community, as he did in December during fiscal cliff negotiations, and like-minded activists when it will help him sell his priorities on Capitol Hill.” (Kate Ackley, “Obama Expected To Ease Lobby Posture,” Roll Call, 1/20/13)

Obama’s Distinction Between Registered Lobbyists And Those Who Do Other Public Relations Issue Advocacy Is A Difference That Many On K Street Say Makes Little Sense And Causes More To Move Into The Shadows Of Lobbying Disclosures. “The Obama administration has drawn a clear distinction between registered lobbyists and those who do public relations or other types of issue advocacy. It’s a difference that many on K Street say makes little sense and actually causes more work to move out of the sunlight of lobbying disclosures and into the shadows.” (Kate Ackley, “Administration Staffers Head Out The Revolving Door,” Roll Call, 3/26/12)

  • “‘The Pledge Is More A PR Thing Than Anything Else,’ One K Street Executive Said. ‘When You Need To Get Around It, You Get Around It. It’s A Joke, And Everyone Knows It’s A Joke.’” (Kate Ackley, “Administration Staffers Head Out The Revolving Door,” Roll Call, 3/26/12)

Mark Leibovich, In This Town: “One Of The Stubborn Truths Of Obama-Era Washington Is That Everyone Is Now, In Effect, A Special Interest, A Free Agent, Performing Any Number Of Services, In Any Number Of Settings. It Goes Well Beyond The Technical Classification Of ‘Registered Lobbyists.’” (Mark Leibovich, This Town, 2013)


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