In the News: Obama Insists Ex-Lobbyists Don’t Undermine Ethics Policies

NLPC chairman Ken Boehm is cited in a CNSNews.com story about the number of former lobbyists that are being hired to work in the Barack Obama White House:

The Obama administration is defending its commitment to strict ethical policies even after appointing lobbyists to key posts.
 
Mark Patterson, a former lobbyist with the financial firm Goldman Sachs, will be chief of staff for newly appointed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, according to the National Journal.
 
The news comes a week after some government watchdog groups objected to the nomination of William J. Lynn III, a former Raytheon Company lobbyist, to be deputy secretary at the Department of Defense.
 
“There is no question that the policy is right out of step when you get to make exceptions for major departments like Defense and Treasury,” Ken Boehm, chairman of the National Legal and Policy Center, told CNSNews.com.
 
“It cuts into any credible attempt the administration is reforming things. They haven’t reformed anything. They hire a lobbyist when they want to and say it’s an exception. It makes a mockery of the stated intent,” Boehm said.
 
Also, William Corr, a former anti-tobacco lobbyist, was named as deputy secretary of Health and Human Services. Corr reportedly pledged not to take part in tobacco matters.