Lobbyists Restricted from Obama Transition Team
During the campaign, Barack Obama promised to curtail the power of lobbyists if he was elected president. Now, heâ€™s apparently tyring to live up to that promise:
President-elect Barack Obama will bar lobbyists from helping to pay the costs of his transition to power or working for it in any area in which they have represented clients in the last year, his transition team said Tuesday.
Obamaâ€™s people would also like to bar lobbyists from paying for the inauguration events, but they have not made a final decision on that matter.
The revolving doorway between government positions and lobbying firms moves fast and both parties have a long history of shuttling their industry experts between the public and private sectors. Itâ€™ll be interesting to see if Obama can live up to his promise and/or whether the decision will create any transition complications.
Nevertheless, Iâ€™m glad to hear Obama is making this move. Reforming government requires reforming the level of access and influence granted lobbyists and the companies they represent. Everyone and every organization has a right to petition the government. But they do not have a right to place people next to the ear of the President. Hopefully this decision by Obama is the first step in making some real changes.