A Lobbyist A Day

by Sal on February 3, 2009

in Politics

Hope and Change!  Remember the Obama administration promise that there would be a ban on lobbyists from working in his administration?  Then news a week ago showed that he was breaking that promise by appointing a lobbyist to Deputy Secretary of Defense.  The list keeps growing.  To date, Obama has appointed twelve lobbyists to positions within his administration.  The list via HotAir:

  • Eric Holder, attorney general nominee, was registered to lobby until 2004 on behalf of clients including Global Crossing, a bankrupt telecommunications firm [now confirmed].
  • Tom Vilsack, secretary of agriculture nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year on behalf of the National Education Association.
  • William Lynn, deputy defense secretary nominee, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for defense contractor Raytheon, where he was a top executive.
  • William Corr, deputy health and human services secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until last year for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, a non-profit that pushes to limit tobacco use.
  • David Hayes, deputy interior secretary nominee, was registered to lobby until 2006 for clients, including the regional utility San Diego Gas & Electric.
  • Mark Patterson, chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, was registered to lobby as recently as last year for financial giant Goldman Sachs.
  • Ron Klain, chief of staff to Vice President Joe Biden, was registered to lobby until 2005 for clients, including the Coalition for Asbestos Resolution, U.S. Airways, Airborne Express and drug-maker ImClone.
  • Mona Sutphen, deputy White House chief of staff, was registered to lobby for clients, including Angliss International in 2003.
  • Melody Barnes, domestic policy council director, lobbied in 2003 and 2004 for liberal advocacy groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the American Constitution Society and the Center for Reproductive Rights.
  • Cecilia Munoz, White House director of intergovernmental affairs, was a lobbyist as recently as last year for the National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group.
  • Patrick Gaspard, White House political affairs director, was a lobbyist for the Service Employees International Union.
  • Michael Strautmanis, chief of staff to the president’s assistant for intergovernmental relations, lobbied for the American Association of Justice from 2001 until 2005.

Now, I don’t have anything against lobbyists serving in an administration.  Lobbyists are simply people who argue a position.  However, Obama has always said that he would ban lobbyists in order to ensure a “clean, ethical administration.”  If this is the standard that Obama held throughout the campaign, what are we to think about his behavior now?  Hope and Change!

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