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Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Old 06-25-10, 04:07 PM
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Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

This guy is such a sham, the worst sort of 'Roman Senator' style of politician. His strong stance against K street lobbyists is still in effect. There are no K street lobbyists on the guest list at the White house are there? Well only more than 1000, but other than that where's the proof?



What a joke. Chicago politics in all its splendor, maybe a notch or two above Blago's protestations of innocence.

Across From White House, Coffee With Lobbyists
The New York Times

By ERIC LICHTBLAU
Published: June 24, 2010

WASHINGTON — There are no Secret Service agents posted next to the barista and no presidential seal on the ceiling, but the Caribou Coffee across the street from the White House has become a favorite meeting spot to conduct Obama administration business.

Here at the Caribou on Pennsylvania Avenue, and a few other nearby coffee shops, White House officials have met hundreds of times over the last 18 months with prominent K Street lobbyists — members of the same industry that President Obama has derided for what he calls its “outsized influence” in the capital.

On the agenda over espressos and lattes, according to more than a dozen lobbyists and political operatives who have taken part in the sessions, have been front-burner issues like Wall Street regulation, health care rules, federal stimulus money, energy policy and climate control — and their impact on the lobbyists’ corporate clients.

But because the discussions are not taking place at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, they are not subject to disclosure on the visitors’ log that the White House releases as part of its pledge to be the “most transparent presidential administration in history.”

The off-site meetings, lobbyists say, reveal a disconnect between the Obama administration’s public rhetoric — with Mr. Obama himself frequently thrashing big industries’ “battalions” of lobbyists as enemies of reform — and the administration’s continuing, private dealings with them.


Rich Gold, a prominent Democratic lobbyist who has taken part in a number of meetings at Caribou Coffee, said that White House staff members “want to follow the president’s guidance of reducing the influence of special interests, and yet they have to do their job and have the best information available to them to make decisions.”

Mr. Gold added that the administration’s policy of posting all White House visits, combined with pressure to not be seen as meeting too frequently with lobbyists, leave staff members “betwixt and between.”

White House officials said there was nothing improper about the off-site meetings.

“The Obama administration has taken unprecedented steps to increase the openness and transparency of the White House,” said Dan Pfeiffer, director of communications. “We expect that all White House employees adhere to their obligations under our very stringent ethics rules regardless of who they are meeting with or where they meet.”

Attempts to put distance between the White House and lobbyists are not limited to meetings. Some lobbyists say that they routinely get e-mail messages from White House staff members’ personal accounts rather than from their official White House accounts, which can become subject to public review. Administration officials said there were some permissible exceptions to a federal law requiring staff members to use their official accounts and retain the correspondence.

And while Mr. Obama has imposed restrictions on hiring lobbyists for government posts, the administration has used waivers and recusals more than two dozen times to appoint lobbyists to political positions. Two lobbyists also cited instances in which the White House had suggested that a job candidate be “deregistered” as a lobbyist in Senate records to avoid violating the administration’s hiring restrictions.


A senior White House official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said that in “a small number of cases,” people might have been “wrongly” registered as lobbyists, based on federal standards. The official said that while the White House might have discussed such instances of possible “over-registration,” he was “quite confident that no lobbying shop has been instructed to deregister anyone.”

Many lobbyists still get in the front door at the White House — nearly 1,000 times, according to a New York Times examination of public White House visitors’ logs and lobbying registration records.

Those logs, though, present an incomplete picture. For instance, many of the entries do not reflect who actually took part in a meeting. The “visitee” often shows up not as the White House official who was the host, but as the administrative assistant who arranged the meeting.

David Wenhold, president of the American League of Lobbyists, based in Washington, said the current “cold war” relationship between the White House and K Street lobbyists was one of mutual necessity, with the White House relying on lobbyists’ expertise and connections to help shape federal policies.

“You can’t close the door all the way because you still need to have these communications,” Mr. Wenhold said. “It makes a great sound bite for the White House to demonize us lobbyists, but at the end of the day, they’re still going to call us.”

Lobbyists say some White House officials will agree to an initial meeting with a lobbyist and his client at the White House, but then plan follow-up sessions at a site not subject to the visitors’ log.

One lobbyist recounted meeting with White House officials on a side lawn outside the building to introduce them to the chief executive of a major foreign corporation.

“I’ll call and say, ‘I want to talk to you about X,’ and they’ll say, ‘Sure, let’s talk at Starbucks,’ ” said another lobbyist who counted six or seven off-site meetings with White House officials on financial issues.

Rahm Emanuel, the president’s chief of staff, has shown up several times at a closed gathering of liberal political activists and lobbyists that is held weekly at the Capital Hilton. Other Obama aides — like Jim Messina, the deputy chief of staff, and Norm Eisen, the special assistant for ethics — and senior aides in the Office of Management and Budget, the energy czar’s office and elsewhere have also taken part in off-campus meetings, lobbyists said.

Employees at Caribou Coffee — which many lobbyists said appeared to be the favorite spot for off-site meetings, in part because of its proximity to the White House — welcome the increased traffic.

“They’re here all the time — all day,” Andre Williams, a manager at Caribou Coffee, said of his White House customers. (He can spot White House officials by the security badges around their necks, or the Secret Service agents lurking nearby.)

“A lot of them like lattes — that or a ‘depth charge,’ a coffee with a shot of espresso,” Mr. Williams said. “The caffeine rush — they need it.”

Some administration officials and lobbyists say that meeting away from the White House allows officials to get some air without making visitors go through the cumbersome White House security process. Others, however, acknowledge that one motivation is the desire to avoid lobbyists’ names showing up too often on the White House logs.

A senior White House official said, “We don’t believe there’s anything untoward about these meetings, and we don’t think that represents any special access for lobbyists.”

The official added that “folks are allowed to get a cup of coffee, and we’re not going to bar patronage at any of the area’s fine coffeehouses.”
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Old 06-25-10, 05:44 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence



"Are you shocked?"
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Old 06-25-10, 06:24 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Man... you nailed it.
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Old 06-25-10, 07:51 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

<img src=http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Games/Images/barack-obama-change.jpg>

I believe the banner use to say "Mission Accomplished"


They are just so different, these politicians we choose.
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Old 06-25-10, 07:56 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Well yeah, he does it... but that doesn't mean he enjoys it. Bush probably enjoyed it.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:32 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Enjoy it? Of course not. He is a complete automaton, the emptiest of empty suits.
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Old 06-25-10, 08:35 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

I've always been more of a "suit is half full" kind of person. According to the lifeguards.
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Old 06-25-10, 10:25 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

I just find it terribly hilarious people still think voting works for them. It doesn't.

It's like voting is somekind of religion. People know it doesn't do shit...but practice it anyway because it makes them feel better.
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Old 06-26-10, 08:24 AM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Lobbyists perform a valuable service many times.
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Old 06-26-10, 12:25 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by classicman2 View Post
Lobbyists perform a valuable service many times.
They absolutely do. They make great villians for a presidential candidate who knows they will still want access no matter how much he talks about how they are evil incarnate.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:04 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by Lemmy View Post
They've certainly serviced the American people enough to prove that statement, without any debate or hesitation.
The UAW has lobbyists too...



Alan Reuther is retiring this year. He's probably tired after "servicing" the American taxpayers out of billions of dollars.
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Old 06-26-10, 01:21 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by DVD Polizei View Post
People know it doesn't do shit...but practice it anyway because it makes them feel better.
Welcome to ... civilization?
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Old 06-26-10, 02:24 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Obama's presidency is a lot like the ending of Lost... a lot of build up and hype for a long time and then absolutely nothing answered or accomplished.
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Old 06-26-10, 09:27 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

It's Bush's fault. If he hadn't forced Obama to campaign on the platform of an open and honest presidency then his people wouldn't have to sneak around and have clandestine restaurant meetings like mafia members.
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Old 06-27-10, 05:18 AM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by kvrdave View Post
<img src=http://scrapetv.com/News/News%20Pages/Games/Images/barack-obama-change.jpg>

I believe the banner use to say "Mission Accomplished"


They are just so different, these politicians we choose.
They're only marginally better or worse than each other. Our government is a representation of our general attitudes and sentiments.

So when we pass Cap and Trade, i'll be sure to drive my SUV only at night, when no one's looking.
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Old 10-16-12, 09:45 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

I really enjoyed this takedown of Politico's piece about a potential increase in lobbyists during a Romney presidency.

Oh no! We can’t let Romney win, he’ll let lobbyists in the White House!!!
October 16, 2012 | 1:10 pm
Timothy P. Carney
Senior political columnist

If Romney wins, will lobbyists defile the White House that Obama has kept so clean and so pure? That’s what Politico suggests with this piece today headlined “Lobbyists ready for a comeback under Romney.”

President Barack Obama’s gone further than any president to keep lobbyists out of the White House — even signing executive orders to do it.

In crafting and signing those executive orders, I wonder if Obama relied on the help of White House deputy counsel Cassandra Butts (1), White House special assistant Martha Coven (2), or the chief of staff or the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, Michael Strautmanis (3), all of whom were registered lobbyists. (I’m only numbering registered lobbyists.)

Politico’s Anna Palmer reports:

Industry insiders believe that Mitt Romney will unshackle the revolving door and give lobbyists a shot at the government jobs their Democratic counterparts have been denied for the past four years

Yeah, I bet those Republican lobbyists will get envious stares from the likes of Fannie Mae, Cigna, Credit Suisse lobbyist Laricke Blanchard (4), whom Obama named deputy director of policy for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. Former teachers union lobbyist Gabriella Gomez (5) would be jealous – if her job as assistant secretary of Education gave her the time for such self-indulgence. Former crop-industry lobbyist Krysta Harden (6) must be thinking “why couldn’t I get a government job – besides my job as assistant secretary of Agriculture.”

Palmer writes of the possibility of Romney

“Allowing lobbyists back into the White House”

You mean after he kicks out the lobbyists in Obama’s White House like Patton Boggs lobbyist Emmett Beliveau (7), O’Melveny & Myers lobbyist Derek Douglas (8), and Pfizer’s, AT&T’s lobbyist at Akin Gump Dana Singiser (9)?

Romney would have to toss out Obama’s orders, which shook up how President George W. Bush did business and let Obama claim his agenda wouldn’t be hijacked by special interests.

Yes, it let Obama claim that – falsely. Remember how the stimulus was a pork fest for K Street? Remember how the drug lobby wrote much of Obamacare. Remember how Obama gave Chrysler to the UAW? Remember – oh, I could go on, but I’ll return to the Politico piece.

“there are clear signs that lobbyists could be back in the executive branch.”

Does the Department of Energy count as “the executive branch”? Because former K Street lobbyists Scott Harris (10) and Daniel Poneman (11) got jobs there from Obama. How about the office of the U.S. Trade Representative? They’ve hired Mayer Brown lobbyist Michael Punke (12), CropLife America lobbyist Isi Siddiqui (13), former Verisign lobbyist Miriam Sapiro (14), Akin Gump lobbyist Demetrios Marantis (15).

“Some of the highest-level positions in a potential Romney administration are expected be filled by former lobbyists and Washington insiders.”

Former lobbyists in some of the highest-level positions? Shock! What would HHS Secretary — and former head of the lobbying group Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Kathleen Sebelius say? Or former NEA lobbyist, now Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (16)? Or former Fannie Mae lobbyist and Goldman Sachs consultant Tom Donilon (17), now National Security Advisor. Or even Atty. Gen. and former registered lobbyist Eric Holder (18)?

Does Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (19) hold one of “the highest-level positions”? Because he was a registered lobbyist, too.

More Palmer:

Health care consultant Mike Leavitt, who served as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency for Bush, is leading Romney’s transition effort. He’s considered a shoo-in for either White House chief of staff or Treasury Secretary.

For perspective on this, Palmer could have interviewed health-care-company consultant Tom Daschle, whom Obama originally nominated HHS secretary, and on whom Obama relied throughout the crafting of Obamacare.

And a corporate consultant as White House chief of staff? Politico could have gotten color from former Goldman consultant Rahm Emanuel who served as a political fixer for a Chicago hedge fund. Or Rahm’s successor as White House chief of staff, Bill Daley, who sat on Fannie Mae’s board.

Politico also discusses campaign fundraisers:

Romney’s campaign has also relied heavily on K Streeters to organize high-dollar fundraisers, including David Tamasi of Rasky Baerlein Strategic Communications”

I wonder if that makes things awkward with Tamasi’s bosses Lawrence Rasky and Joseph Baerlein, who are both top donors to Obama’s campaign – you know, the campaign that doesn’t accept lobbyist donations.

And then there are Obama’s bundlers like Sally Sussman, who runs Pfizer’s lobbying shop.

And there is certainly precedent for a Romney administration to hire lobbyists. Bush brought on many K Streeters, including Nick Calio, who had run his father’s White House legislative affairs shop, before moving on to become a hired gun.”

Yes, there’s also the precedent of Barack Obama, who brought on registered lobbyists Melody Barnes (20), Jacqueline Barrien (21), William Corr (22), Philip Crowley (23), Patrick Gaspard (24), David Hayes (25), Eric Hirschhorn (26), Sean Kennedy (27), Jon Liebowitz (28), Robert Litt (29), Elisa Montoya (30), Paul Nash (31), Mark Patterson (32), Robert Perciasepe (33), Thomas Perrelli (34), Peter Rundlet (35), Melanie Sabo (36), Susan Sher (37), Nancy Stoner (38), Thomas Strickland (39), Robert Sussman (40), Michael Taylor (41), Karl Thompson (42), John Trasvina (43), Dan Turton (44), Christine Varney (45), Richard Verma (46), William Wilkins (47), and Thomas Zoeller (48), just to name a few.

Finally in the 15th paragraph, after all of the above material suggesting no lobbyists breached the gates of Obama’s White House, Palmer hints that maybe things aren’t as pure as she’s implied:

But even Obama has felt political heat when he approved exceptions to the lobbying ban or allowed former lobbyists who deregistered to join his administration. More than a dozen former lobbyists, including Vice President Joe Biden’s current chief of staff Steve Ricchetti, have held high-profile administration jobs.

“More than a dozen”? Yes, I’d say we’ve found more than a dozen. Politico only names Ricchetti (49), Biden’s current chief of staff. But she could have named Ricchetti’s predecessor Ron Klain (50), who at O’Melveny and Myers lobbied on behalf of ImClone, Time Warner, and Fannie Mae. Or Klain’s deputy chief of staff in Biden’s office, Alan Hoffman (51), whose lobbying clients included RAND Corporation and oil giant Unocal.

Still, others argue that even Democrats have criticized Obama’s policy, which limited the administration’s choices in finding experienced aides if candidates were tainted with the “Scarlet L.”

You know who wore a “Scarlet L,” for real once? Lobbyist Heather Podesta. Her husband founded the lobbying firm Podesta Group together with Obama’s transition director John Podesta, who has visited the White House more than anyone else. The Podesta Group in 2009 won the race to hire up the first Obama administration official, as far as I can tell, plucking Oscar Ramirez from the Labor Department to be a lobbyist.

Obama’s rules bar lobbyists from serving in agencies they’ve lobbied within the past two years,

Ooh, don’t tell that to Deputy Defense Secretary William Lynn (52), who was lobbying the Pentagon on Raytheon’s behalf in 2008. Or White House director of Intergovernmental Affairs Cecilia Munoz (53) who was lobbying the White House on behalf of La Raza, or recent lobbyist Jocelyn Frye (54) hired in the Office of the First Lady.

Palmer writes that Obama’s rules also:

shut down lobbyists from serving on federal boards.

Again, this is only true on the most legalistic level. Vint Cerf works at Google with the job title “Internet Evangelist.” An “evangelist” is allowed on Obama administration advisory boards, apparently, as Cerf served on tech policy. While there he explicitly lobbied the White House, emails show. In fact, he lobbied his former colleague, former top Google lobbyist Andrew McLaughlin (55), who somehow sneaked into the White House.

In Cerf’s category is also Steve Westly, the green energy investor whom Obama put on a board advising the administration on green technology. The administration has yet to disclose Westly’s communications with the administration.

Given all this undue corporate influence already going on, imagine what would happen if lobbyists got jobs in the administration!!!
http://washingtonexaminer.com/articl...9#.UH4MDIY-sY9
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Old 10-16-12, 10:54 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by Dr Mabuse View Post
This guy is such a sham, the worst sort of 'Roman Senator' style of politician.
I really do feel bad for people who take such a cult of personality kind of affection for him. They seem to hang their own sense of self worth on what he says....
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Old 10-17-12, 12:30 AM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by Artman View Post
I really do feel bad for people who take such a cult of personality kind of affection for him. They seem to hang their own sense of self worth on what he says....
I think it's more about the "idea" of Obama versus the real thing. A lot of people on both sides project their hopes and dreams on candidates despite how unrealistic it may be. My 2 cents.
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Old 10-17-12, 07:11 PM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

Originally Posted by DJLinus View Post
I really enjoyed this takedown of Politico's piece about a potential increase in lobbyists during a Romney presidency.



http://washingtonexaminer.com/articl...9#.UH4MDIY-sY9
Those falsehoods by Politico are disgusting.
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Old 10-25-12, 03:24 AM
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Re: Obama's strong stand against lobbyist influence

We've never had a president that was any more full of shit than Obama.

We've had some who equaled him, but none worse.

The man is a deceitful, lying, reprehensible scumbag.

I don't like Romney either, but damned if I'm not willing to give him a shot. Simply by default, he has to be marginally, if not significantly better than Obama. He couldn't possibly be any worse.
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