Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Obama's New Lobbying Rules

As a professor who has taught a class on Lobbying and Ethics for many years, I want to commend President-Elect Barack Obama on the historic new ethics rules for his administration. The President-elect’s record as an ethics and lobbying reformer continued yesterday with his new requirements for members of his transition team and prospective members of his administration. His campaign pledge to change the way Washington works with the lobbying industry became a reality yesterday with the toughest ethics rules of any presidential transition in the history of the United States. His revolving door and gift ban rules for the transition team will help bring trust in government and the way decisions are made in Washington. He shuts the revolving door of lobbyists working on issues in government that they were advocating outside of government. The new ethics rules are great for our democracy. The rules include the following:
  • Federal lobbyists cannot contribute financially to the transition.
  • Federal lobbyists are prohibited from any lobbying during their work with the transition.
  • Lobbyists are prohibited from working in the fields of policy on which they lobbied if they have lobbied in that area in the last 12 months.
  • If someone becomes a lobbyist after working on the transition, they are prohibited from lobbying the administration for 12 months on matters on which they worked.
  • There is a gift ban that is aggressive in reducing the influence of special interests.

In sum, this is a great start for the Obama administration and the renewal of our democracy and the way Washington works.

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