Obama Team Lays Out 'Strictest' Ethics Rules

Lobbyists, corporations banned from contributing to transition
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 12, 2008 2:13 AM CST
Barack Obama talks about the influence of health care lobbyists in crafting health care legislation during the Presidential Leadership Forum in Chicago last year.   (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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(Newser) – Barack Obama's transition team has set out what one official called "the strictest, most far-reaching ethics rules of any transition in history,” the Hill reports. Lobbyists, corporations and PACs will be barred from donating funds to the transition operation, and lobbyists on the team won’t be allowed to work on the same issues they once lobbied. Transition staffers who become lobbyists will be banned from lobbying the administration for a year.

Transition chief John Podesta said the team was working to ensure that the process was more transparent than in previous administrations. Analysts said the ethics rules are a step in the right direction, but fall short of Obama’s original promise to completely excise lobbyists from Washington. One observer called the transition rules mere "atmospherics," and said she was waiting to see Obama make real changes.