Two days after introducing what he heralded as the most sweeping ethics rules in American history -- ones that would "close the revolving door that lets lobbyists come into government freely" -- President Barack Obama today waived those rules for his nominee for Deputy Secretary of Defense, William Lynn.http://blogs.abcnews....
Until last fall, Lynn was a registered lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon.
“After consultation with counsel to the president," said Director of the Office of Management of Budget Peter Orszag in a statement, "I hereby waive the requirements of Paragraphs 2 and 3 of the Ethics Pledge of Mr. William Lynn. I have determined that it is in the public interest to grant the waiver given Mr. Lynn's qualifications for his position and the current national security situation. I understand that Mr. Lynn will otherwise comply with the remainder of the pledge and with all preexisting government ethics rules.”
The "Revolving Door Ban" pledge heralded on Wednesday and discarded for Mr. Lynn today states:
∙ "I will not for a period of 2 years from the date of my appointment participate in any particular matter involving specific parties that is directly and substantially related to my former employer or former clients, including regulations and contracts" and
. "If I was a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment: (a) participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment; (b) participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or ( c) seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment."
I'm thinking of starting a blog (separate from NTOS) to keep a public watch on this pragmatist.
Edited by Old Toad on Jan 23, 2009 6:01 PM
Obama finds [more] room for lobbyists
President Obama promised during his campaign that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House."
So far, though, at least a dozen former lobbyists have found top jobs in his administration, according to an analysis done by Republican sources and corroborated by Politico.
Obama aides did not challenge the the list of lobbyists appointed to administration jobs, but they stressed that former lobbyists comprise a fraction of the more than 8,000 employees who will be hired by the new administration. And they pointed out that before Obama made his campaign-trail promise, he issued a more complete - and more nuanced - policy on former lobbyists.
Formalized in a recent presidential executive order, it forbids executive branch employees from working in an agency, or on a program, for which they have lobbied in the last two years.
Yet in the past few days, a number of exceptions have been granted, with the administration conceding at least two waivers and that a handful of other appointees will recuse themselves from dealing with matters on which they lobbied within the two-year window.
By Kenneth P. Vogel, Mike Allen
Full article, with names of exceptions known so far: http://news.yahoo.com...