Friday, November 27, 2009

Score One for Obama!

I’ve been critical of him of late, and I don’t apologize for calling them as I see them, but this time he got one right.

Happy Rich Businessman Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street's influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.

The new policy -- issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel -- may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.

The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don't have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.

Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.

"Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government," said White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen, who disclosed the policy in a September blog posting on the White House Web site. "That is just the kind of special interest access that the president objects to." … [emphasis added]

Inserted from <Washington Post>

Plenty more needs to be done to extricate our government from the greedy clutches of crony plutocrats, but at least this is a start in the right direction.  Kudos!


the walking man said...

How about we start with barring them their easy access to the WH and the president and his chief advisers first? You did read through the lists of WH visitors right?

As a citizen with only air fare and enough money for a hotel room how likely is it that I could get an hour with Rahm Emmanual to state and lobby for my positions regarding health care of the wars?

TomCat said...

As I said, Mark, there is far more to do.

ivan said...


...And it's certainly time!

TomCat said...

That it is, Ivan. So many are getting frustrated and giving up.

Stimpson said...

That is freakin' outstanding!!!

The U.S. also needs a really long waiting period between public office and lobbying.

TRUTH 101 said...

I went on lobbying trip with some of my fellow union reps to Springfield once. The apointments were all canceeld because something else came up with the legisltaors we were to lobby.

Of course if we would have brought big checks with us I'm sure "something else" would have been not as important.

TomCat said...

Obama lengthened the required waiting period for executive branch employees., Stimson.

Truth, otherwise we would not have the best Congress money can buy... and does.