Tim Carney rips shoddy reporting from Politico
Back during the 2008 election, then-candidate Barack Obama promised Americans that he would keep lobbyists out of his administration. Unfortunately, like so many other promises he made, Obama hasn’t quite lived up to the “hope” and “change.” But don’t tell that to Anna Palmer of Politico, who recently wrote that lobbyists are “ready for a comeback under Mitt Romney.”
This piece caught the eye of Tim Carney, who frequently shows the connections between big business and big government — what many would call “corporatism” — at the Washington Examiner. Carney took Palmer’s assertion that Obama has run a lobbyist-free administration completely apart, numbering 55 different registered lobbyists who have work for the Obama Administration — ranging from inside the White House to important cabinet-level positions.
Here’s a taste of Carney’s epic takedown of Palmer (numbers next to the names are part of the count of lobbyists in the administration):
Palmer writes of the possibility of Romney
“Allowing lobbyists back into the White House”
You mean after he kicks out the lobbyists in Obama’s White House like Patton Boggs lobbyist Emmett Beliveau (7), O’Melveny & Myers lobbyist Derek Douglas (8), and Pfizer’s, AT&T’s lobbyist at Akin Gump Dana Singiser (9)?
Romney would have to toss out Obama’s orders, which shook up how President George W. Bush did business and let Obama claim his agenda wouldn’t be hijacked by special interests.
Yes, it let Obama claim that – falsely. Remember how the stimulus was a pork fest for K Street? Remember how the drug lobby wrote much of Obamacare. Remember how Obama gave Chrysler to the UAW? Remember – oh, I could go on, but I’ll return to the Politico piece.
“there are clear signs that lobbyists could be back in the executive branch.”
Does the Department of Energy count as “the executive branch”? Because former K Street lobbyists Scott Harris (10) and Daniel Poneman (11) got jobs there from Obama. How about the office of the U.S. Trade Representative? They’ve hired Mayer Brown lobbyist Michael Punke (12), CropLife America lobbyist Isi Siddiqui (13), former Verisign lobbyist Miriam Sapiro (14), Akin Gump lobbyist Demetrios Marantis (15).
“Some of the highest-level positions in a potential Romney administration are expected be filled by former lobbyists and Washington insiders.”
Former lobbyists in some of the highest-level positions? Shock! What would HHS Secretary — and former head of the lobbying group Kansas Trial Lawyers Association – Kathleen Sebelius say? Or former NEA lobbyist, now Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack (16)? Or former Fannie Mae lobbyist and Goldman Sachs consultant Tom Donilon (17), now National Security Advisor. Or even Atty. Gen. and former registered lobbyist Eric Holder (18)?
Does Defense Secretary Leon Panetta (19) hold one of “the highest-level positions”? Because he was a registered lobbyist, too.
The whole piece is worth a read, then you should probably read it again and send it to a friend, especially one who believes that Obama has kept corporate interests out of the White House.