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Obama's Promise of Ethics Reform Faces Early Test

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posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Obama's Promise of Ethics Reform Faces Early Test


www.iht.com

During almost two years on the campaign trail, Barack Obama vowed to slay the demons of Washington, bar lobbyists from his administration and usher in what he would later call in his Inaugural Address a "new era of responsibility." What he did not talk much about were the asterisks.
The exceptions that went unmentioned now include a pair of cabinet nominees and the “Performance Officer” who did not pay all of their taxes.
Then there are the lobbyists: Corr. Daschle(ex), Killefer(ex) and others.
(visit the link for the full news article)

Related News:
news.yahoo.com...

Related AboveTopSecret.com Discussion Threads:
'Change' = Lobbyists and Clintonistas
www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread430249/pg1
www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread373059/pg1

[edit on 3-2-2009 by jdub297]




posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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Barack Obama promised a "clean break from business as usual" in Washington. It hasn't quite worked out that way.

From the start, he made exceptions to his no-lobbyist rule. And now, embarrassing details about Cabinet-nominee Tom Daschle's tax problems and big paychecks from special interest groups are raising new questions about the reach and sweep of the new president's promised reforms.

Maybe he shouldn't have promised so much, some open-government advocates say. They're willing to cut him some slack — for now.

On Jan. 21, the day after his inauguration, Obama issued an executive order barring any former lobbyists who join his administration from dealing with matters or agencies related to their lobbying work. Nor could they join agencies they had lobbied in the previous two years.

However, William J. Lynn III, his choice to become the No. 2 official at the Defense Department, recently lobbied for military contractor Raytheon. And William Corr, tapped as deputy secretary at Health and Human Services, lobbied through most of last year as an anti-tobacco advocate. Corr says he will take no part in tobacco matters in the new administration.

"Even the toughest rules require reasonable exceptions," said White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs.

That was a big step back from Obama's unambiguous swipe at lobbyists in November 2007, while campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination. "I don't take a dime of their money," he said, "and when I am president, they won't find a job in my White House."

The waivers granted for Lynn and Corr caused some in Washington to wince. But others, including many longtime advocates of tougher ethical standards, suggest it all says as much about deeply ingrained practices — and even necessities — in Washington as about a new president.
"Sometimes you can over-promise," said former Sen. Warren Rudman, a Republican from New Hampshire.

"It was probably a mistake to come down so hard on lobbyists," said Melanie Sloan, who is not shy about criticizing lobbyists or politicians as executive director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "I think the Obama folks' intentions were great here," she said. "But sometimes you realize you can't actually govern on just what you campaigned on."

Just add these and the other broken promises up, and ask yourselves: "Is this the 'Change' I was promised?"

Look what you've done to my country.

jw

www.iht.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 01:43 PM
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Obama needs some hypocrisy reform before he can even think about ethics.

Nominating people who support higher taxes and complicated tax codes that they themselves try to get around isn't a very good start.



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 02:02 PM
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reply to post by wutone
 


And so in these opening days of the administration, the Obama team finds itself being criticized by bloggers on the left and the right, mocked by television comics and questioned by reporters about whether Obama is really changing the way Washington works or just changing which political party works it.

Some Republicans saw a double standard. "What would it be like if Hank Paulson had come in without paying his taxes, or any other member of the cabinet?" asked Terry Nelson, a political strategist who worked for President George W. Bush and Senator John McCain, referring to Bush's Treasury secretary. "It would be roundly attacked and roundly criticized."

Several Democrats, including some who have advised Obama, said privately that he had only himself to blame for laying out such an uncompromising standard as a candidate without recognizing how it would complicate his ability to assemble an administration.

In the campaign, Obama assailed Washington's "entire culture" in which "our leaders have thrown open the doors of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned our government into a game only they can afford to play." He vowed to "close the revolving door" and "clean up both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue" with "the most sweeping ethics reform in history."

The language, however, was always more sweeping than the specifics.

He spoke of refusing campaign money from lobbyists but took it from the people who hired them.
The ethics plan he outlined, and eventually imposed on his administration, did not ban all lobbyists outright but set conditions for their employment and did not cover many who were lobbyists in everything but name.

Daschle, for instance, is not a registered lobbyist, but he made a handsome living advising clients seeking influence with the government, including some in the health industry.

Obama also gave himself the right to grant waivers in cases he deemed exceptional, most prominently to William Lynn III, an ex-Raytheon lobbyist he nominated as deputy defense secretary. Others were lobbyists more than two years ago, and therefore not covered by the Obama rules.

Some who worked as lobbyists have found places in the administration, including Mark Patterson, who represented Goldman Sachs and is now chief of staff to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. William Corr, who lobbied for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, has been selected as deputy health and human services secretary.

Obama advisers said that the exceptions were minimal. The exceptions, they said, were needed for particular skills and experience.

That argument has drawn sharp criticism from left and right.

"Is this really the message he wants to convey to voters in just his first month in office, a message that it's O.K. to break or skirt the law just as long as you're a good guy with a special skill set?" asked Andy Ostroy, a blogger writing on The Huffington Post, a liberal Web site.
www.iht.com...

Double standards from day one? I promise not to say, "I told you so."

jw



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 02:09 PM
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When it is all said and done, Obama will have made no real difference.

He, like all politicians before him, made promises. He was bright enough to know they were empty. The guy who played apologist for Obama, suggesting that he just didn't understand things when he made his promises and is now finding them hard to keep can take a long walk off a short pier.

Obama, if he was truly committed to his promises, would make absolutely sure that he did not appoint lobbyists and other conflicting individuals. I mean... How hard can it be to appoint those who do not have these conflicts?

Oh, he is making a show of such things as equal pay and all, but the media, which is full of THAT stuff, hardly touches his broken promises.

[sigh] "Change." Yeah. Right.



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 04:01 PM
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Originally posted by Amaterasu
When it is all said and done, Obama will have made no real difference.

[sigh] "Change." Yeah. Right.


Even tho' I took all BHO said with many grains of salt, I also saw an underlying agenda that neither he nor the MSM were talking about.

Sadly, I believe that he and his Admin./Cabinet will make changes the citizenry will regret as the government intrudes farther into our lives; our business and privacy, than it has ever before.

Of course, his most influential supporters have the luxury of 'summer homes' and vacations out of the country, so they won't be oppressed as the proletariat will be.

I hope I'm wrong.

"[sigh] "Change." Yeah. Right. "

jw



posted on Feb, 3 2009 @ 04:05 PM
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reply to post by jdub297
 


Glad I was not the only one!

Yeah, there is an agenda, and I suspect he was hit with it early in his campaign - about the time he began backtracking and flip-flopping on a thing or two.

I think he had...visitors... And now he is in their pocket like all the rest.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 03:52 PM
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Now that the GOP House hs snubbed his "stimulus" bill and questioned, instead of rubber stamping, his nominees, I think the gloves will be coming off soon.

Flip flopping is nothing compared to the socialist agenda that will be unveiled over the next few weeks.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 04:01 PM
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There's still a HUGE ethics violation with Tim Geithner on his cabinet as head of the Treasury when he was also a tax dodger. The fact that he's already been confirmed and sworn in doesn't change a damn thing! Until that little knot is untied, I fail to see how Obama can talk anything about going forward with ethics reform.

Also, I'll bet you don't see anything on John Stewart's show mocking Obama about the recent tax faux-pas.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:08 PM
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But wait, there's more! The BHO 'ethics pledge' has about as much credibility as his decision not to accept unlimited contributions. Neither was true when it was made.

You're right about Stewart and the MSM. Aside from quoting his "I screwed up," there is and will be no criticism of his duplicity.

In fact, Stewart this evening said BHO was"too hard" on himself!

Wee! Isn't the ride down the slippery slope fun?

star

jw



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:11 PM
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YOu want the simple and sweet answer are does it need to be long drawn out and full of BS like politics. Short and sweet it is. SAME GAME NEW NAME.



posted on Feb, 4 2009 @ 10:14 PM
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Come on. Everybody knew that it would all turn out this way all along. The only ones who didn't believe it are the ones who truly believed that obama was capable of keeping all of his promises.

It wouldn't surprise me if his other runs for office were also filled with broken promises.

His spin on ethics is no different than Bill's Clinton definition of sex. It all depends on how one defines it.



posted on Feb, 6 2009 @ 12:16 PM
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reply to post by jam321
 

At this point, with thousands of lower-echelon appointees moving in (like Solis), you have to wonder how many others with questionable backgrounds have slipped through.

The real change is coming; just wait 'til after the vote on the stimulus pkg.



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