even starring as the villain in an Obama ad titled

  • " In the past 18 months, that hasn't changed. Former campaign aide and Labor Department staffer Oscar Ramirez joined the Podesta Group, representing Bank of America and Google.Timothy P.Google's former vice president for government affairs, Andrew McLaughlin, is now the White House's deputy chief technology officer.

    These nonlobbyist lobbyists -- McLaughlin, Cerf, Fowler and Obama confidant Tom Daschle, for instance -- have proliferated under Obama. After Obamacare passed, she joined the Department of Health and Human Services.Obama, admittedly, has more control over the other side of the revolving door -- lobbyists entering his administration. But when it comes to reducing the influence of lobbyists, Obama has utterly failed to reach his own goals -- or perhaps he was only pretending to try."In the last six years," candidate Obama declared back in 2007, "our leaders have thrown open the door of Congress and the White House to an army of Washington lobbyists who have turned government into a aluminum alloy extrusion game only they can play. It's good for the lobbyists, and whoever can afford them. A former lobbyist for the Swiss Bankers Association is the general counsel at the IRS, and a former Goldman lobbyist is chief of staff at the Treasury Department."

    After a Philip Morris-drafted tobacco bill passed, Obama called it a victory over the tobacco lobby. Lobbyists keep lobbying.Obama's restrictions on federally registered lobbyists -- barring them from federal boards, restricting their work in the administration, requiring further disclosure -- have sent them "underground," as the New York Times put it." He hasn't even come close.During the campaign, top drug lobbyist Billy Tauzin had been lving Obama's poster boy for the revodoor, even starring as the villain in an Obama ad titled "Billy. Grant Leslie was senior adviser to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack before she joined the Glover Park Group where she represents DuPont and Coca-Cola.This doesn't count the "nonlobbyist lobbyists" like Liz Fowler, who was vice president of public policy at WellPoint, the nation's largest insurer, but never registered as a lobbyist.And on the most important score -- who wins the policy battles -- corporate lobbyists are still thriving, contrary to Obama's rhetoric.

    Obama's promise: "They won't work in my White House. Already a handful of administration staffers has cashed out.Candidate Obama also pledged to "close the revolving door between K Street and the executive branch." Then came the fight to pass aluminum heat sink,By the reckoning of his supporters, President Obama has achieved some significant successes so far in his presidency."But in the previous 12 months, the Obama administration had hired at least 45 former lobbyists to policymaking jobs, including five Cabinet slots. His stories and blog posts appear on ExaminerPolitics. McLaughlin, using a personal e-mail account, cooperated with active Google lobbyists on "net neutrality" -- a pro-regulation position favored by both Google and the president -- in violation of White House policy. And Obama got behind a lobbyist-drafted climate bill full of corporate welfare. When Obama got rid of his ethics czar this summer, he transferred White House transparency duties to former lobbyist Bob Bauer. The White House "reprimanded" McLaughlin for that, but it excused his regular e-mail exchange with another Google lobbyist, Vint Cerf, because Cerf (who calls himself an "evangelist" of policy, and is not registered as a lobbyist) sits on a federal advisory board. Wall Street banks took some lumps with the financial reform bill, but the hedge funds -- which are even cozier with the president's party -- emerged victorious.

    Why has K Street boomed under Obama? Because whenever government gets bigger, it makes lobbyists that much more valuable.After the PhRMA-endorsed Obamacare passed, Obama praised Congress for "standing up to the special interests. In the summer of 2009, Tauzin met in the West Wing with White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel and cut a deal pledging PhRMA's support if the White House promised to protect and subsidize drug companies.. Some just don't register anymore." In his first State of the Union address, Obama declared victory on this score: "We have excluded lobbyists from policymaking jobs. That's bad for those who really want to constrain lobbyists. Fannie Mae alumnus Damon Munchus left Obama's Treasury for a K Street firm representing Citigroup and hedge funds.

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