Change has come to Washington, indeed. Now instead of one President being influenced by lobbyists and special interests, it’s another one. Not long after President Obama signed an executive order preventing lobbyists from serving in his administration; the Prez has somehow decided to allow…you guessed it: lobbyists to serve in his administration. I couldn’t make this up if I tried.
Let’s break this down, shall we?
For starters, the EO Obama signed allowed for special provisions – waivers – to be issued to allow former lobbyists to serve. So essentially, he’s saying that new lobbyists can’t serve, but old ones can; as if former lobbyists still don’t represent their former organization’s interests on some level. Here is a breakdown of the lobbyists I know of.:
William J. Lynn: Lynn has been given a waiver by the Obama administration to serve as the Deputy Secretary of Defense; basically to be second in charge in the Pentagon. But Lynn was also a major lobbyist for Raytheon; a company specializing in defense. Conflict of interest, much?
Jocelyn Frye: Before getting her waiver to serve as the Director of Policy and Projects in the Office of the First Lady, Frye was a lobbyist for the National Partnership for Women and Families for seven years. This isn’t exactly a corrupt organization, but that’s not the point.
Cecilia Munoz: After getting her waiver, Munoz was appointed to serve as the director of intergovernmental affairs in the Executive Office of the President. In this capacity, she is responsible for acting as a liason between the White House and the Latino community. She lobbied for the National Council of La Raza, a civil rights organization.
To the credit of the Obama administration, transparency isn’t the issue here. I mean, I found waivers right on the White House website…while with Bush, these records would’ve been as easy to find as Jimmy Hoffa’s remains. But if this is the kind of clearcut deception is what we’re to expect, I’m not very excited about this “change.”