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Looks Like Change To Me

By The Reverend Published: March 22, 2009

I have been mildly amused over all the conservative criticism of President Obama about how he has wilfully and cynically violated his own new lobbying rules. (See Sunday's AP piece entitled, "President learning campaign and reality can clash.") Same old, same old, they say. As any honest critic will agree, it's the trend of the person, not the isolated incident, that justifies the severest criticism.....but whatever....

Let's just review what we know....., yesterday....

Congressional records show that more than 700 lobbyists or lobbying groups have filed "de-registration" papers with the House and Senate since Obama took office, including scores of charities and other nonprofits.

But the standards he has put in place are so broad that all lobbyists --including those working for charities and public interest groups -- are prohibited from working in the administration unless they are granted an exception.

Out of more than 800 appointments so far, the White House says it has granted only three waivers for former lobbyists.

One of the waivers went to William J. Lynn III, a Defense Department appointee who worked as a lobbyist for Raytheon, a major military contractor. Two more were announced last week for "public interest" reasons: Cecilia Muñoz, a former executive at the National Council of La Raza who now serves as Obama's chief Hispanic issues adviser; and Jocelyn Frye, an adviser to the first lady who previously worked as general counsel for the National Partnership for Women and Families.

Bush presidency lobbying activity, broad view circa 2005....

Lobbying is a growing industry as the number of registered lobbyists in Washington has more than doubled from 10,000 in 1996 to 26,013 in mid-July and clients seeking help in influencing Congress and the federal agencies paid the lobbyists 2 billion dollars. A controversy over tens of millions of dollars in fees paid to Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff by Native American tribes seeking to keep their legal casinos flourishing is a setback for the lobbyists despite their success.

Bush cabinet members......

Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, CREW, has issued a report that illuminates the post-government activities of 24 members of President George W. Bush’s cabinet. Of the 24, 15 held positions with 40 companies that lobby the cabinet member’s former department.

Denver Post report, 2004...

Daniel E. Troy's switch from industry advocate to industry regulator overseeing his former clients is a hallmark of President Bush's administration.

Troy is one of more than 100 high-level officials under Bush who helped govern industries they once represented as lobbyists, lawyers or company advocates, a Denver Post analysis shows.

Call me, you know, crazy....but I'm thinking when it comes to this lobbying stuff, Obama has implemented actual....what's the word?......change.



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