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  • Obama's Empty Ethics Promises

    Press Conference with newly elected President Barack Obama at the Hilton Hotel in downtown Chicago.

    As a candidate, President Barack Obama promised to “Shine the Light on Washington Lobbying” by creating “a centralized Internet database of lobbying reports, ethics records, and campaign finance filings in a searchable, sortable and downloadable format.” That database will be completed any day, we’re sure, but President Obama has definitely already “shined a light” on how Washington really works.

    Consider Obama’s failed Health and Human Services Secretary nominee Tom Daschle. As the New York Times reported this February, in the four years since he left the Senate, Daschle managed to make over $5 million and “live a lavish lifestyle by dint of his name.” But throughout that entire four year period, Daschle never registered as a lobbyist despite working for the lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Instead, Daschle merely “consulted” for clients with business before the federal government including two Indian tribes, a firm with heavy stakes in ethanol subsidies, and another with key issues before the Federal Aviation Administration.

    And Daschle’s not alone. The Washington Post reports today:

    The lobbying firm that features Democratic power broker Harold Ickes reported earning nearly $700,000 from its clients last year. But according to disclosure reports filed with Congress, more than half of the money was spent on no lobbying at all.

    The case illustrates a common phenomenon in the lobbying world, in which firms report collecting money from clients while claiming on public disclosure forms that they did not contact any members of Congress or administration officials in return.

    A study to be released today by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics identifies 19,000 such lobbying reports over the past decade, totaling nearly $600 million in payments. The frequency of such reports is also increasing, the study shows, accounting for more than one out of 10 filings last year.

    This report demonstrates how completely hollow Obama’s “ethics” reforms are. By ramping up regulations on lobbyists, all Obama is doing is decreasing the number of people who call themselves lobbyists. Instead, savvy Washington operatives find ways to influence legislation and federal policy by means that don’t fit the legal definition of lobbying. And this will always be the case. As soon as you write a new definition, smart people will find a new loophole around it.

    The only solution to keeping big money from dictating winners and losers in our society is to keep as much power and control away from the federal government as possible. Unfortunately the Obama Administration is doing the exact opposite.

    Posted in Legal [slideshow_deploy]

    5 Responses to Obama's Empty Ethics Promises

    1. William Lulias, St. says:

      His whole campaign was full of empty promises and this is only the first two months of his term. If the Republicans could only capture and train his telepropmter, then maybe we would have something. Hmmm, now that is food for thought because we are all here venting in these blogs watching this country fall apart as these elected cast of bafoons run roughshod over the very fabric of our freedoms. We should all be focused on the upcoming 2010 elections and make sure that is change we can believe in.

    2. Franklin's Lock says:

      I cannot believe he thinks he will get away with these lies or missteps. (Whatever you would call it) He is so arrogant or so detached from reality of how these will perceived. Or, worse, he doesn’t know these things are happening and he is completely clueless.

      All of them just show he is dangerous and is screwing up colossally and the worst time in history.

      http://franklinslocke.blogspot.com/

    3. Amber, Kansas City says:

      I love that, for once, we're seeing the media forced to tarnish the perfection of "Obama" and print real facts. Now we just have to make sure people see them as facts and not opinions — that we, the wronged country, concerned citizens, are not simply maligning this paragon but he really is the putrid liar we've always claimed. "Change we can believe in!" when instead we've gotten "More of the same" and a "continuation of the last 8 years". At least we knew where Bush stood! I don't think he was very fiscally conservative and I blame him and his administration for a great many wrongs –but at least he was honest in his faults. I just wish Obama would say what he really means, "I just wanted to get elected; now, I plan to institute a oligarchy with my friends and set up shop with our socialist ideals." At least call a spade a spade. Clearly, I'm no federalist — oh, and just for clarity's sake, wasn't there a civil war over states vs. federal rights? I can just see this going back to something like that.

    4. Barb -mn says:

      Who's job is it to arrest those committing treason against this country and its principles?

      WHY ISN'T THE JOB BEING DONE?

      Too many exceptions made to this clown-show administration.

      We are not protected!

    5. Jake-NM says:

      Question: What is the connection between President Obama and Tim Giether?

      My recent blog seems to give us the answer-You Decide:

      http://WeroInNM.blogtownhall.com/2009/04/18/what_

      "Food For Thought"

      "God Bless & Keep Our USA Safe"

      Semper Fi!

      Jake

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