This is getting to be too funny. The Obama transition has more scandals than many Presidencies, and the
promise breaking -er- “brilliant political exceptions” just keep coming in…
WASHINGTON (AP) – Barack Obama promised a “clean break from business as usual” in Washington. It hasn’t quite worked out that way.
From the start, he made exceptions to his no-lobbyist rule. And now, embarrassing details about Cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle’s tax problems and big paychecks from special interest groups are raising new questions about the reach and sweep of the new president’s promised reforms. …
Here are former lobbyists Obama has tapped for top jobs:
- 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.
This doesn’t count Tom Daschle, who never registered as a lobbyist but got paid millions for his political connections in pursuit of preferential treatment for his clients in the health-care industry….
The AP comments that “Sloan and others said embarrassments over Daschle, one of several top Obama appointees with a history of influencing government for clients, should not detract from the president’s first-day vow to sharply limit the role of lobbyists in his administration.” But Ed fires back:
It’s been less than two weeks since Obama took office, and he’s appointed a lobbyist a day to a government position. What kind of governing philosophy is that, if not a big “For Sale” sign on the White House, at least according to Obama’s own anti-lobbyist rhetoric on the campaign trail? A lobbyist a day helps keeps accountability away. (emphasis HotAir.com)
Great stuff Ed!