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Obama: Lobbyists pushed off advisory panels

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posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:19 AM

By Dan Eggen
Hundreds, if not thousands, of lobbyists are likely to be ejected from federal advisory panels as part of a little-noticed initiative by the Obama administration to curb K Street's influence in Washington, according to White House officials and lobbying experts.

The new policy -- issued with little fanfare this fall by the White House ethics counsel -- may turn out to be the most far-reaching lobbying rule change so far from President Obama, who also has sought to restrict the ability of lobbyists to get jobs in his administration and to negotiate over stimulus contracts.

The initiative is aimed at a system of advisory committees so vast that federal officials don't have exact numbers for its size; the most recent estimates tally nearly 1,000 panels with total membership exceeding 60,000 people.

Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies.

"Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government," said White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen, who disclosed the policy in a September blog posting on the White House Web site. "That is just the kind of special interest access that the president objects to."

I know some here at ATS will never give Pres. Obama any credit for anything he does but if he can actually make good on this and give back power to the people rather than the mega corps; this is huge.

IMO this is one of the main reasons I voted for Obama and If he can live up to this promise; I'll vote for him again. End the NeoCon Corporate welfare!!

[edit on 27-11-2009 by whaaa]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:53 AM
Or is he just pushing out those lobbyists to get his own people in? So far everything obama's done hasn't been for the good of our country.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:54 AM
How many cfr people are on those groups?

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 09:56 AM
reply to post by whaaa

Lobbyist in the US rules government policies and bill writing, perhaps it sounds good, smells good and even look good, but do not hold your breath on this one, so far Obama has prove to be nothing more than another corporate puppet.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:00 AM
reply to post by marg6043

Never fear my dear, my sceptcism is on high alert and my hopes aren't high.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by whaaa]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:07 AM
Hmmm. And yet this was reported 2 day ago.

Health Care Industry Officials, Lobbyists Met With Obama During Debate On Reform

Top health care officials met with Barack Obama and other administration officials just as the president pushed Congress to pass legislation to overhaul the health insurance industry, newly released White House visitor logs show.

According to an analysis by the Associated Press, the 1,600 records the White House released Wednesday show that a "broad cross-section of the people most heavily involved in the health care debate, weighted heavily with those who want to overhaul the system."

Some of these individuals include:

Laird Burnett, a top lobbyist for insurer Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Inc., and a former Senate aide. Kaiser has spent some $1.7 million lobbying Congress over the past two years.

Joshua Ackil, a lobbyist whose clients include Intel, U.S. Oncology Inc., and Knoa Software Inc., all of which have reported lobbying on the health care overhaul. Ackil met with Dan Turton, the White House's deputy legislative affairs director who works with the House, in August. Seven people were at the Aug. 21 meeting, the records show.

Alissa Fox, a lobbyist with the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, met March 31 with Peter Orszag, director of the Office of Management and Budget. Four people attended, the records show. The health insurance federation has spent at least $6.7 million lobbying this year.

Amador "Dean" Aguillen, a former aide to Nancy Pelosi who is now with Ogilvy Government Relations, where he lobbies for clients including pharmaceutical companies SanofiPasteur and Takeda Pharmaceuticals America, Pfizer Inc., and Amgen USA Inc., all of which reported lobbying on health care issues this year. Aguillen appears to have attended the same Aug. 21 meeting with Turton that Ackil did.

Bloomberg added that the visits also included representatives from pharmaceutical trade groups.

Karen Ignagni, president of America’s Health Insurance Plans, visited eight times, meeting twice with Obama and once with economic adviser Lawrence Summers. Former U.S. Representative Billy Tauzin, president of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, had two meetings with deputy chief of staff Jim Messina among at least eight at the White House.

Ignagni’s group, whose members include Indianapolis-based WellPoint Inc., is lobbying against efforts to include a public insurance option to compete with the private companies that are members of her trade association. Phrma, whose members include Whitehouse Station, New Jersey-based Merck & Co., is pushing Congress to enact health-care legislation.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 10:42 AM
I guess my question would be this; Why promise there will be no lobbyists then bring in a crapload of them and then now expel them?

There's something we're not being told (obviously)

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:30 PM
reply to post by Chance321

Does it matter if he's weeding out opposition lobbyists? Does it matter if a Senator ignores the concerns and interests of those they're representing because they're payed off by Comcast rather than Exxon?

That's like demonizing a surgeon who removes a malignant lung cancer growth because he didn't remove a cancerous growth on your prostate. Regardless of what you project the motivations to be - the doctor isn't responsible for causing the cancer, and the removal of part of it is at least the removal of some of the cancer.

The less lobbyist activity there is in Washington, the better IMO. There's no real evidence of selective "fat cutting" with the intent to reduce opposition of a select ideology. So far, it looks like it's just clearing out some of the bull@#!$ to clear the air of the stink.

If your speculation is right, nothing changes. You're still electing price tags and moral mannequins (to be dressed up to please the taste of the listening audience) instead of representatives.... and you're still subjected to the repercussions of their leadership.

If my speculation is right, nothing changes - because those lobbyists on K Street are not just corporate owned, but also represent organizations of individuals like you who promote their interests. But at least some modicum of reason and voter interest may gain a foothold against the auction block.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:37 PM
reply to post by Chance321

Only time will tell.

Personally im still unsure about Obama. He may be a playing for the elite.

Theres also the possibility that he is a white-hat. Regardless of what you think of Obama, he is a very intelligent man. Im sure he knows he is in uncharted waters for any person. He has to play their game for the most part. Regardless of who holds the real power in Washington. A majority of people have put their faith behind him. If Obama were to ever break character, and tried to retake the country, a large majority would be behind him.

But like I said, Only time will tell, and dont ever rely on an uncertainty

EDIT- on second thought, I do want to point out that, he is only making people who have been lobbyist within the last 2 years to quit. Most of those 2 years were part of the lame-duck presidency (GW), the campaign, and the first year of Obama's. It cutting some fat, but not ALL the fat.

[edit on 11/27/2009 by VonDoomen]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:44 PM
How pathetic. He seems to believe that this show will distance himself from corruption and improve his image.

Too little too late President Obama.

You can still make a difference, but this little show isn't fooling anyone.

You're just going to piss off even more people by doing this.

Which is longer your list of enemies or the list of criminals in your administration?

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 06:57 PM

Originally posted by whaaa

IMO this is one of the main reasons I voted for Obama and If he can live up to this promise; I'll vote for him again. End the NeoCon Corporate welfare!!

If he replaces these panel members with nonpartizan professionals or experts then bravo..................but.....................we've seen who he puts in the very visible and high profile tzar positions.

I'd be scared to see who replaces the ultra right wing capitalists with in these out of the public eye positions.

"Under the policy, which is being phased in over the coming months, none of the more than 13,000 lobbyists in Washington would be able to hold seats on the committees, which advise agencies on trade rules, troop levels, environmental regulations, consumer protections and thousands of other government policies."

How many thousand ultra left wing socialists are going to be doing the exact same type of crooked deals? Now, instead of profiting by getting government contracts, they will be creating even bigger government based on tax and spend with no profts at all. Just deeper debt and more control of the citizens.

Ultra left wing replaces ultra right wing. The difference?

A much more hampered economy and much higher taxes to pay for an even bigger government.

Just dandy.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by badgerprints]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:26 PM
I have seen this before in state governments they got rid of the corporate lobbyists.
But never touched the union, environmentalist or religious lobbyists

This was so they could claim they were not influenced by special interest lobbyist.
But it turned out that they were influenced more because they had just got rid of the lobbyist that presented the opposing side to the remaining lobbyists.

Most of the remaining lobbyists were big donors to the majorities party's candidates.

In Calif you are a "lobbyist" if you are with a group against AGW.
but if you are PRO AGW you are a "representative" for a AGW group.

A lobbyist is a lobbyist is a lobbyist period.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by ANNED]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:33 PM

Originally posted by whaaa
End the NeoCon Corporate welfare!

And replace it with liberal all-purpose welfare!

Please my friend..don't be sucked into that right versus left ideology. Neither major party had the best interest of the people in mind, but Obama is more blatant about it than any American leader in history.

How anybody could still honestly believe Obama is looking out for anyone but himself is beyond me.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:48 PM
Really doesn't matter what Obama does about lobbyists.

For one, they still got access to him or his staff in informal settings. Golf anybody? Guess that deal with big Pharma wasn't a lobbying effort.

Second, the lobbying continues on Capitol Hill. Congress is the one crafting the bills with lobbyist approval. Of course Obama merely signs the lobbyist filled pork bill.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 07:49 PM
I'm among Obama's most stringent critics, but I will say that this is a welcome move. HOWEVER, the removal or restriction of White House lobbyists has turned on it's ear since the day he took office with the likes of Goldman Sachs people permeating his administration at nearly every level- and it doesn't end there. Obama's ear has already been given to Wall St. and has yet to be lent to the people.

Let's just hope he will make good on this new policy. If he does, then I will be among those applauding him.

Edit to add:

I'm not going to hold my breath. We all know he's going to load up these positions with radicals from across the left wing spectrum. In my opinion, Obama has proven to be worse than Bush, and he has yet to do anything to allay my fears.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by projectvxn]

[edit on 27-11-2009 by projectvxn]

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:09 PM

Originally posted by badgerprints

If he replaces these panel members with nonpartizan professionals or experts then bravo..................but.....................we've seen who he puts in the very visible and high profile tzar positions.

[edit on 27-11-2009 by badgerprints]

BINGO! He already has some very scary people sitting next to him -
and this is more telling than anything.
Doesn't he know how dirty those people are - Mr Monsanto and the rest?

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:26 PM
reply to post by Lasheic
"The less lobbyist activity there is in Washington, the better IMO."

Oh, I couldn't agree more. . . . . But. I'm going by obama's track record so far. If his czars are anything to go by, then I really hate to see just who's going to fill those open "advisory" spots.

posted on Nov, 27 2009 @ 08:32 PM
reply to post by whaaa

So then why...?

Two Days After Instituting Ethics Rules, President Obama Waives them for Deputy Pentagon Secretary Nominee

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.

"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."
By Michelle Malkin • March 10, 2009 10:15 PM

The waivers were provided for Jocelyn Frye, director of policy and projects in the Office of the First Lady, and Cecilia Munoz, director of intergovernmental affairs in the executive office of the president. The two waivers were announced on the White House blog Tuesday evening, which said the exceptions were granted under a “public interest” exemption of the executive order on ethics.

Obama Lobbyist Rule Doesn't Apply to Lobbyists: Obama

An anonymous senior White House official explains:

When you set very tough rules, you need to have a mechanism for the occasional exception. We wanted to be really tough, but at the same time we didn't want to hamstring the new administration or turn the town upside down.
In other words, you can't let what you say get in the way of what you do.< br />

President Barack Obama has reversed course in his first week in office on bans of revolving-door lobbyists. The presidential flip-flop should be good for business for Boston-based defense contractor Raytheon Corporation.

The new president, promising change, is instead doing business as usual when it comes to the military-industrial complex. During the campaign, Obama vowed that lobbyists "won't find a job in my White House." The campaign pledge apparently doesn't apply with the military where lobbyist William J. Lynn is the pick to be the deputy Secretary of Defense.

So.. he was for it before he was against it, but now he is against it again, but he will be for it again soon, but then he may be against it another day!

But how do we know what the real truth is? Seems if you just wait a while, it will surely change. Over, and over, and ....

He talks out of both sides of his face, it depends on what you want to hear, as opposed to what he is really saying.

He is really saying, he will do what he wants regardless of the rules even he himself makes, and he doesn't care what anyone thinks or says. He makes shiny rules for fanfare and show. He breaks his own rules to get what he wants.

Trust me, there is some as for now, unseen reason he is doing this, and I will guarantee it is to shut someone out of something in the near future that will afford him a "win" on something at some elses expense.

I do not see how anyone can believe a word that comes out of this mans' teleprompter.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 02:01 AM
According to the article in the Huffington Post:

These appointees to boards and commissions, which are made by agencies and not the President, advise the federal government on a variety of policy areas. Keeping these advisory boards free of individuals who currently are registered federal lobbyists represents a dramatic change in the way business is done in Washington.

As has been reported, the President has made a commitment to close the revolving door that has in the past allowed lobbyists and others to move to and from full-time federal government service. In furtherance of this commitment, the President issued Executive Order 13490, which bars anyone appointed by the President who has been a federally-registered lobbyist within the past two years from working on particular matters or in the specific areas in which they lobbied or from serving in agencies they had lobbied. The aspiration we are announcing today builds on this commitment. While the letter of the President's Executive Order on Ethics does not apply to federally-registered lobbyists appointed by agency or department heads, the spirit does and we have conveyed that to the agencies who are responsible for these appointments.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

In all fairness, many of the lobbyists were appointed by agencies, not the president.

Not hiring lobbyists still allows him to meet with them from time to time, which is sometimes necessary in order to discuss issues which affect them and to make his positions plain. Meeting is avery different matter from hiring them, however.

I, too, remain skeptical that he can eliminate lobbyists from his administration entirely -- they're too much a part of the fabric of Washington politics and culture.

But I give him applause for every effort in that direction.

posted on Nov, 28 2009 @ 02:04 AM
Obama is an evil sadistic lunatic. He has banned lobbyist but refuses to ban shape shifting reptilians. It is an outrage.

PALIN/BECK 2012!!!

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