President-elect Barack Obama and the new Congress have an ambitious agenda come January. And those industries that donated the $5 billion to 2008 candidates will want to make sure their voices are heard.
On Tuesday, Obama's transition team laid out an ethics plan that should assure some voters on the power of lobbyists in his administration.
Federal lobbyists, corporations and political action committees will be barred from contributing to the transition, Podesta said, and any federal lobbyists who work with the transition will be barred from lobbying while they are advising on the move. Anyone who has lobbied in the past 12 months will be prohibited from working in the field in which he or she lobbied, and if someone lobbies after the transition, that 12-month moratorium begins anew.
These rules are an extension of those in place during his presidential campaign that barred federal lobbyists from donating money to his campaign. This is a good sign, and let's hope he pushes for reforms for the campaign finance system as well.