Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Double Standards / Double Talk

Starting as far back as the early days of the Presidential Campaign, Barack Obama has been promising a change in the way business is done in Washington. During that campaign he used to hammer John McCain because Senator McCain had former lobbyists helping him get elected. Senator Obama frequently pointed to this as an example of "the influence of special interest groups". He told us time and time again how bad this was and how he was not going to allow former lobbyists in his administration. [watch the You Tube Video I found from the Campaign]

One of the very first Executive Orders signed by President Obama immediately after being sworn into office was "Ethics Commitments by Executive Branch Personnel" signed on January 21, 2009. In it he requires that no appointee by the Executive Branch shall not be allowed to associate with any activity with which they have had any contact as a lobbyist within the past 2 years.

That is all pretty impressive but when you look at the list of appointments made by President Obama in the days following the signing of this Executive Order it fails the "smell test" . Here are just a few of the appointments to our Administration that got my attention:
  • Tom Vilsack, Secretary of Agriculture -Was a registered lobbyist last year for the National Educational Association
  • William Lynn, Deputy Defense Secretary - Was a registered lobbyist last year for Raytheon
  • William Corr, Deputy Health and Human Services Secretary - Was a registered lobbyist last year for the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids
  • Mark Patterson, Chief of Staff to the Treasury Secretary - Was a lobbyist last year for Goldman-Sachs
  • Cecilia Munoz, White House Director of Intergovernmental Affairs - Was a registered lobbyist last year for the National Council of La Raza
Come on, Mr President. Stop the "speaking with forked tongue" routine and start giving the American public a little more credit. This kind of "say one thing to get elected" then "do another to get support" may have worked in community organizing and may have been how politics is done in Chicago -But you are on the national stage now. We Americans don't like being lied too and we don't like double talk. You promised us over and over you were above this. It's time to step up and do it right.

-And please don't tell us how hard that is to do - Just who the hell said being President of the most powerful nation in history would be easy?


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