Tonight, Barack Obama said, “To close that credibility gap we
must take action on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to end the
outsized influence of lobbyists; to do our work openly; and to
give our people the government they deserve. “That’s what I came
to Washington to do. That’s why – for the first time in history -
my Administration posts our White House visitors online. And
that’s why we’ve excluded lobbyists from policy-making jobs or
seats on federal boards and commissions.”
Maybe this explains why his national security policies are so
weak. He put William Lynn in the Pentagon as Deputy Defense
Secretary. Mr. Lynn was a lobbyist for Defense Contractor
Ratheon. I guess the Deputy Defense Secretary is not a
But it is not just Lynn.
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
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
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
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.