Monday, January 11, 2010

Ethics Report Card

It looks like President Obama earned a solid 3.5 average on lobbying, ethics and transparency reforms enacted during his first year in office. In this report by Common Cause, Democracy 21,the League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG, the groups gave the administration an "A" in "revolving door" and open government reforms, and a "B" in certain other lobbying reforms.

These are changes probably little noticed by the public, but were an important part of what Obama talked about during the campaign. They prevent any departing administration official from lobbying the Executive Branch during the entirety of the President's term in office. They restrict the Executive Branch from hiring former lobbyists. They also contain restrictions on gifts, and require disclosure of lobbying for stimulus funds.

The report states:
The cumulative effect of the Administration's actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities.

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