“Washington lobbyists haven’t funded my campaign, they won’t run my White House, and they will not drown out the voices of working Americans when I am president”.
– Barack Obama
… a former Senate investigator laughed as he polished off his beer.
“Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail,” he said. “That’s your whole story right there. Hell, you don’t even have to write the rest of it. Just write that.”
I put down my notebook. “Just that?”
“That’s right,” he said, signaling to the waitress for the check. “Everything’s fucked up, and nobody goes to jail. You can end the piece right there.”
In other words (by a former Obama supporter):
“Change you can believe in?
More like bullshit you can take a bath in, if you ask me.”
– Prof. Dr. David Michael Green (Dec.19, 2009)
Barack Obama’s administration is facing allegations that key officials have been furtively meeting with lobbyists, once derided by the President as Washington “influence peddlers.”
As part of his commitment to bring change to Washington, Mr Obama began made logs of visitors to the West Wing public, so anyone could keep track of who was being granted an audience with his aides and when.
But administration officials have evaded public scrutiny by meeting lobbyists away from the White House, where no record will be kept of their meetings – and the President’s pledge to keep them out of the White House will not be undermined.
The favourite locations for the furtive meetings are conference facilities in a government property in Jackson Place, just across Pennsylvania Avenue, nearby branch of Caribou Coffee, as well as other cafés dotted around the capital’s most famous address.
Over espressos and lattes, officials and lobbyists have discussed major issues such as health care, immigration reform, energy policy and Wall Street regulation.
“They’re doing it on the side. It’s better than nothing,” immigration reform lobbyist Tamar Jacoby told the Politico website.
“Without question, I think that there’s a lot of concern about being seen meeting with the same lobbyists or particular lobbyists over and over again,” said another lobbyist who has attended meetings at Jackson Place.
Lobbyists also said administration officials had also asked them to sign confidentiality agreements barring them from disclosing what was discussed at meetings.
Jay Carney, the White House press secretary, denied that subterfuge was being used, saying that the West Wing was a “very small space” some of which was currently undergoing refurbishment.
“The suggestion that we’re not being transparent is laughable given the unbelievable precedent this administration has set in closing the revolving door, and releasing these records,” he said.
Despite their reputation as sometimes sleazy representatives of special interests, lobbyists regard themselves as essential part of Washington’s machinery. They argue that when making a case on any given issue they possess an expertise – and connections – usually unmatched by administration officials.
By Alex Spillius, Washington 6:14PM GMT 25 Feb 2011
Source: The Telegraph
Let’s take big agribusiness as example: