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Obama's Lobbyist Ban Haunting Him

He's losing good people for hard-to-fill administration spots
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 13, 2009 8:15 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama’s campaign pledge to run a lobbyist-free White House is coming back to haunt him, writes Jonathan Martin in Politico. The problem is that there’s an army of Democratic specialists in hard-to-master policy areas who worked as lobbyists during the Bush administration—and they're all off-limits. “This town is filled with crackerjack tax attorneys, but you can go bowling in the Treasury hallway and not hit anybody,” says one lobbyist.

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Longtime Democrats who’d expected work aren’t happy. “They might have made a distinction between non-profit causes and business,” says a former lobbyist. But the administration looks unlikely to back down now. “We have no plans to let up,” says a spokeswoman. Some lobbyists might move to Capitol Hill for some time, to "sanitize" themselves, but, says one, “Ninety-five percent of us have at this point given up.”
(Read more Obama administration stories.)

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