Doh! Telecom Lobbyists Wont Have It Easy Under Obama

Telecom lobbyists, life just got tougher for you.

President Barack Obama today issued executive orders banning gifts from lobbyists to anyone in his administration, and restricting anyone who leaves his administration from lobbying the White House while he’s president.

The Associated Press noted it wasn’t immediately clear whether the ban includes the traditional “previous relationships” clause, which allows gifts from friends and associated with whom a White House employee has close ties.

According to the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics, politicians accepted $9.2 million in telecom lobbying money during the 2008 election cycle. The contributions came from individuals and companies’ political action committees. Republicans took 52 percent of the money, while Democrats received the remaining 48 percent.

Obama said his new ethics and lobbying rules won’t make government as “honest and transparent as it needs to be.” But, he added, “these historic measures do mark the beginning of a new era of openness in our country. And I will, I hope, do something to make government trustworthy in the eyes of the American people, in the days and weeks, months and years to come.”

Clearly, lobbyists hoping to score points for their communications clients now will have to do so on the merit of their requests, not the depth of their pocketbooks.

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