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Environmentalists are unhappy with President Barack Obama’s presidential campaign for hiring a former lobbyist for the Keystone XL pipeline as a senior adviser.
Broderick Johnson, a Washington lawyer and lobbyist, is joining the campaign as a senior adviser and member of the senior staff.
Johnson registered as a lobbyist promoting TransCanada’s proposed Alberta-to-Texas pipeline in the fourth quarter of 2010, when he worked for Bryan Cave LLP. TransCanada paid $120,000 to Bryan Cave during those three months, according to lobbying disclosure records.
As the head of Bill Clinton's transition team last winter, Warren Christopher denounced the revolving-door traffic into lobbying as a "vice." Congress Watch, an arm of the Ralph Nader group Public Citizen, goes further. In a blistering report in September, it branded the revolving-door traffic "government service for sale."
But the truth is often considerably different. Now, revolving-door lobbyists act as consultants, grass-roots organizers, legislative strategists and publicists for clients -- duties that evade the spirit of the anti-lobbying laws and rules -- with complete legality.