Lobbyists no Longer Welcome on Federal Advisory Panels

November 27, 2009

(ChattahBox)–President Obama is making good on his promise to limit the influence of corporate lobbyists on government policy. In a new anti-K street initiative, lobbyists are no longer welcome at the table of nearly a thousand federal advisory panels, which advise policymakers on every aspect of government, from trade policies to environmental regulations. And the lobbyists are not happy about being left out in the cold.

The new policy recommendation was quietly announced in September, by White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen. And the effects of the policy removing lobbyists from the advisory committees could be far-reaching, as policy recommendations will soon be stripped of corporate influence; in theory anyways.

There are an estimated 1,000 federal advisory panels, with about 60,000 members. The members working for lobbying firms often provided government the needed technical expertise about a specific corporate operation. But at what cost?

“Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government. That is just the kind of special interest access that the president objects to,” said White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen.

But predictably, many lobbyists about to be thrown off the panels, claim federal regulators would be at a disadvantage without their corporate expertise. Robert Vastine, a lobbyist for the Coalition of Service Industries who also serves as chairman of a trade advisory board said, “It’s a whole different and specialized world. It is not easily obtained knowledge, and they are crippling themselves terribly by ruling out all registered lobbyists.”

If that’s true, then the federal government will now have to staff its advisory panels with members having technical knowledge, who don’t bring with them, the unwanted baggage of a blatant corporate agenda. And it’s about time.

The Cabinet secretaries are implementing Eisen’s recommendation, by banning lobbyist member renewals and rejecting lobbyists for new appointments.

Source


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2 Responses to “Lobbyists no Longer Welcome on Federal Advisory Panels”

  1. Phoenix Metro Market Stats — The Phoenix Real Estate Guy | FinanceBlogr on November 28th, 2009 4:22 am

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  2. About federal advisory panels, washington lobbyists, white, obama | Find me About on November 28th, 2009 1:09 pm

    […] (chattahbox)–President Obama is making good on his promise to limit the influence of corporate lobbyists on government policy. In a new anti-K street initiative, lobbyists are no longer welcome at the table of nearly a thousand federal advisory panels, …Read Original Story: Lobbyists no Longer Welcome on Federal Advisory Panels – ChattahBox […]

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