Obomination: Despite 'No Lobbyists' Pledge, Obama Hires Super-Lobbyist...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by paulitician, Mar 7, 2012.

  1. paulitician

    paulitician Platinum Member Supporting Member

    Oct 7, 2011
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    Spot-On assessment by Dana Milbank.

    Settling in to Washington’s ways.

    Three years into his presidency, Barack Obama has finally overcome his pesky, puritanical aversion to K Street.

    As a candidate, Obama pledged that lobbyists “will not run my White House.” But on Monday, the president brought in one of this town’s most prominent lobbyists to run his White House — or at least a nice piece of it.

    Steve Ricchetti, whose long list of lobbying clients included Fannie Mae, General Motors, the American Hospital Association and Eli Lilly, was tapped to be counselor to Vice President Biden.

    Ricchetti achieved this feat — getting around the ban on lobbyists serving in the administration — by using one of Washington’s most-honored traditions: the loophole. Just as Obama won the presidency, Ricchetti de-registered as a lobbyist for his various clients. But he remained president of the lobbying firm that continued to work for many of those same clients, as well as a few more, such as the American Bankers Association.

    Only in today’s Washington could a president circumvent his own ban on hiring lobbyists by hiring the head of a lobbying firm.

    Ricchetti no doubt will give Biden excellent counsel; he has more than a quarter-century of experience in politics and government, and he is highly regarded around town. But his appointment shows just how flimsy Obama’s ethical reforms have been — and how absurd the official standards are for who is a “lobbyist” in the influence industry. For many Americans, this sort of chicanery adds to a suspicion that the fix is in.

    Ricchetti has been through the revolving door more often than a bellhop at the Mayflower Hotel: Blue Cross Blue Shield, then the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, then the Clinton White House, then lobbying, then back to the Clinton White House, then more lobbying, this time starting Ricchetti Inc. with his brother, Jeff. (A call seeking comment from Ricchetti Inc. wasn’t returned.)

    Read More:
    Obama embraces K Street - The Washington Post

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