2016 election

I, Virginia Bergman, pledge not to vote for a male presidential candidate in 2016 just because he's male.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Despite Stricter Rules, Obama Administration Opens the Door to Lobbyists

Remember the Democratic primary when the two youthful male candidates for the party’s nomination, Barack Obama and John Edwards, repeatedly roused their supporters on the extreme left by pledging to kick former lobbyists out of the nation’s government?

With much fanfare, our new president, “Yes-I-can” Obama, signed off on ethics rules the other day that restricted lobbyists from serving in his administration. Hours later, the One proceeded to appoint big-time Raytheon lobbyist William Lynn as second in command at the Pentagon.

It gets worse:

Rood and Schwartz at ABC News report this morning that Mark Patterson, a former lobbyist for the big investment firm of Goldman Sachs, will soon be welcomed on board as chief of staff to the newly appointed Secretary of the Treasury Timothy Geithner – the guy who forgot to pay taxes for a couple of years in the recent past.

Here’s the deal:

“Mark Patterson was a registered lobbyist for Goldman until April 11, 2008, according to public filings.

“Patterson first began lobbying for Goldman Sachs in 2005, after working as policy director for then-Senate majority leader Tom Daschle. According to publicly filed lobbying disclosure records, he worked on issues related to the banking committee, climate change and carbon trading and immigration reform, among others.

“Patterson is one of over a dozen recent lobbyists in line for important posts in the Obama administration, despite a presidential order severely restricting the role of lobbyists in his administration, the magazine {National Journal} reported.

“The Obama administration's limitation on lobbyists isn't a direct ban. Lobbyists are still allowed to be a part of the administration working on areas that they have not lobbied on. But the potential appointment of Patterson and others raise questions about just how much the Obama administration will be able to move away from the revolving door model of business that has become so common inside the Beltway.”

So here we are barely a week into the Obama Administration with an already severely compromised Pentagon staff and questionable appointments to lead the Treasury Department in the midst of a deepening financial crisis.

As the cloud of euphoric Obama adulation across the nation gradually fades, I no longer feel quite so alone in my skepticism.

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