AMERICA’S OBAMA WOUNDS
The Obama-Biden Change.gov website quoted President Obama from a November 2007 speech in Des Moines saying:
“I am in this race to tell the corporate lobbyists that their days of setting the agenda in Washington are over. I have done more than any other candidate in this race to take on lobbyists — and won. They have not funded my campaign, they will not run my White House, and they will not drown ouut the voices of the American people when I am president.”
But just the opposite occurred after Obama won the 2008 election. His list of appointees was laden with lobbyists:
- Tom Dashle, nominated to head HHS
- Attorney General Eric Holder, registered lobbyist with Covington & Burling
- Tom Vilsack, agriculture secretary nominee and registered lobbyist for the National Education Association
- Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff and lobbyist at O’Melveny & Myers
- Leon Panetta lobbied for numerous corporations and raked in millions
- Patrick Gaspard, former chief lobbyist for SEIU and Obama’s national campaign political director
- David Hayes, deputy secretary of the Interior and lobbyist at Latham & Watkins
- William Corr, nominee for deputy HHS secretary and former registered lobbyist
- Mark Patterson, nominee for treasury chief of staff to Tim Geithner and former Goldman Sachs lobbyist
- William Lynn, lobbyist for Raytheon
- and others.
Within two weeks of the inauguration, President Obama made 17 exceptions to his no-lobbyist rule.