I want to talk about this post by Professor Jacobson at Legal Insurrection:
In January 2009, President Obama appointed National Council of La Raza (NCLR) Vice President for Research, Advocacy, and Legislation Cecilia Munoz to be his Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs.
When Obama took office, he issued Executive Order 12490, which contained three provisions:
Lobbyist Gift Ban. No government appointee is allowed to accept gifts from lobbyists or lobbying organizations under this new pledge.
Revolving Door Ban — All Appointees Entering Government. This ban bars appointees from participating in any matter involving parties related to previous employers. The restriction was criticized as being too limiting, since it is necessary to appoint experts in their fields, and these experts would often have conflicts of interest under this condition.
Revolving Door Ban — Lobbyists Entering Government. Under this restriction, lobbyists are forbidden from participating in any matter they lobbied on within 2 years before their appointment. They are also restricted from participating in specific issues which they lobbied on, and may not seek employment with any executive agency they lobbied within.
Obama granted Munoz a waiver from sections 2 and 3, allowing her to work on La Raza-related matters despite moving streight from being a La Raza lobbyist to working in the White House on matters concerning La Raza. Some might deny that she actually influenced policy in these matters, but that begs the question as to why such waivers were granted. Surely if she intended to recuse herself, these waivers would have been unnecessary.
These shady ethics indulgences make a mockery of Obama’s vaunted ethics overhaul, and deserves more attention than they have received from the mainstream press.
I’m not suggesting that Ms. Munoz has done anything inappropriate, but what was the point of Obama’s much-ballyhooed “lobbyist ban” if he simply grants waivers whenever the ban is inconvenient?
We shouldn’t be surprised – Obama and his followers have always treated principles as disposable. They claim to have principles and they’ll rub them in your face when they think it’s to their advantage, but then they cast them aside without a second thought when they get in the way.
Progressives used to have principles. Liberals still do.
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