Politico‘s Anna Palmer had a piece yesterday entitled “Lobbyists ready for a comeback under Romney“. Palmer’s assertion, of course, is that this would be a change in direction for the pure, lobbyist-free White House of the Obama Administration.
Except that it wouldn’t be.
Fortunately for those who enjoy actual facts in their media, Tim Carney at the Washington Examiner took Palmer’s assertions apart with the precision of a Swiss clock. If a Swiss clock were a terminator. Carney, numbering the lobbyists who have worked for the current administration as he goes, writes:
I bet those Republican lobbyists will get envious stares from the likes of Fannie Mae, Cigna, Credit Suisse lobbyist Laricke Blanchard(4), whom Obama named deputy director of policy for the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation. Former teachers union lobbyistGabriella Gomez (5) would be jealous – if her job as assistant secretary of Education gave her the time for such self-indulgence. Former crop-industry lobbyist Krysta Harden (6) must be thinking “why couldn’t I get a government job – besides my job as assistant secretary of Agriculture.”
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)?
After listing another 11 lobbyists or corporate consultants working in the Obama administration, including high-profile players like Kathleen Sebelius, Rahm Emanuel, and Leon Panetta, Carney goes on to deliver a finishing blow:
There’s also the precedent of Barack Obama, who brought on registered lobbyists Melody Barnes (20), Jacqueline Barrien (21), William Corr (22), Philip Crowley (23), Patrick Gaspard (24), David Hayes (25), Eric Hirschhorn (26), Sean Kennedy (27), Jon Liebowitz (28), Robert Litt (29), Elisa Montoya (30), Paul Nash (31), Mark Patterson (32), Robert Perciasepe (33), Thomas Perrelli (34), Peter Rundlet (35), Melanie Sabo (36), Susan Sher (37), Nancy Stoner (38), Thomas Strickland (39), Robert Sussman (40), Michael Taylor (41), Karl Thompson (42), John Trasvina (43), Dan Turton (44), Christine Varney (45), Richard Verma (46), William Wilkins (47), and Thomas Zoeller (48), just to name a few.
In all, Carney names 55(!) lobbyists, former lobbyists, or corporate consultants who have been part of the sitting administration. I wonder if that’s even an exhaustive list.
Oh, would that there were a smackdown hall of fame. Carney would have my nomination in a heartbeat.