Oh Hey Look, the President Is Fibbing About Getting Money From Lobbyists

Take it away, Timothy P. Carney:

"We don't accept any money from special-interest groups or Washington lobbyists," the Obama campaign bragged in a recent email touting the $70 million raised last quarter by the campaign and the Democratic National Committee. But if you comb through the actual filings with the Federal Elections Commission, you see how misleading this claim is.

Wealthy revolving-door banker Peter Orszag epitomizes everything Obama ran against. Orszag was Obama's budget director until the 2010 elections at which point he cashed out to bailed-out megabank Citigroup. A Citi executive touted Orszag's "key ... government experience" and "his expertise in economic policy." In other words, Orzag has monetized his public service and sold it to Citi, which, like all big banks, counts on favorable government policy for its profits.

Apparently feeling fairly plush after nine months at a Wall Street salary, Orszag cut a $35,800 check last month to the Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that divides its funds between the official Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee. To sum up: Orszag gained inside knowledge and connections on the taxpayer dime, put them to work for a big bank, then used his salary from this bailed-out bank to give the maximum contribution to the man who hired him in the White House.

Orszag's tale may be the most unseemly, but revolving-door influence peddlers are common at Obama fundraisers. Kathy Brown is Verizon's senior vice president for "public policy development and corporate responsibility." The telecom giant's website says she is "responsible for federal, state and international public policy development and international government relations for Verizon." Like Orszag, Brown's a revolver, having leveraged her time at Bill Clinton's Federal Communications Commission (which regulates Verizon) into a K Street lobbying job before taking over Verizon's lobby shop. Brown has given $17,900 to the Obama Victory Fund.

Whole thing here. Obama has a longstanding problem with both L-words.

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  • Tased||

    I'm shocked.

  • Almanian||

    This is today's "Cop Shoots Dog" story, right?

  • Hank||

    I posted the story on Facebook yesterday about DOJ re-writing the FOIA rules, and the honest-to-god reaction from my friends on the left was "C'mon, how much control does the President have over DOJ?"

    If he doesn't stick his dick in a dead hooker or hand launch codes to Putin on film, there's no outrage that they'll believe.

  • Brendan Perez||

    There's not really a way for Obama to avoid responsibility for this sort of stuff.

    The DOJ is drafting regulatory proposals that directly conflict with the Obama campaign promises.

    A.)Obama picked a person to head the DOJ that doesn't share those views.
    B.)The person he picked shares those views but lacks the leadership abilities, intelligence to push the DOJ to be more transparent, and Obama has not demanded his resignation
    C.)Obama is actually fine with this which makes him a liar
    D.)Obama has not garnered the respect of his cabinet and they are basically defining their own path
    E.)Obama does not have the leadership skills to define the direction of his administration and the cabinet is defining their own path

    Anyway you shake it, he's responsible for what's going on.

  • Hank||

    E and D are the most plausible to me. Every agency in the alphabet soup smells blood in the water and is grasping for everything on their wish list while the getting is good.

    The nicest excuse I can muster for Obama is that he is an epic wimp who has lost all control of the executive branch.

  • Apatheist||

    How is C not the most plausible? How many times does he have to lie for you to realize he's a liar?

  • Brendan Perez||

    D/E also fit with the typical justification that I hear from liberal friends/family members when I point out that Obama and the Dems have done little to nothing that was promised when it comes to things like executive power, patriot act, etc.

    The typical response is along the lines that Obama can't push for a patriot act repeal and/or scaledown of executive power because the Republicans will call the Democrats soft on crime, soft on terrorism, or whatever. The same is also used to defend Democratic congresspeople.

    If the Dems won't stand up for the things they so loudly opposed simply because the Republicans will call them names, then they're spineless and useless. It does no good to have one party that will acquiesce to the wishes of another party solely to prevent being called names.

    I also get the occasional response that Obama can't do anything controversial because he'll be assassinated either by racists or militia groups or whatever. This has been said with a serious and sad face by several presumably smart people.

    I also hear that we have to wait until he gets reelected. If he did these things now, he wouldn't be reelected, etc. So now the presidency is a make work program for spineless, inexperienced twits.

    I also lean towards C in that once he had power, he wasn't giving it up.

  • ||

    The typical response is along the lines that Obama can't push for a patriot act repeal and/or scaledown of executive power because the Republicans will call the Democrats soft on crime, soft on terrorism, or whatever.

    I hear this a lot too, and it's just pathetic. Heck, the Repubs are saying all of those things now.

    Besides, as you said, if the Dems can't handle GOP name-calling they're far too weak to be trusted with anything important.

  • ||

    How long are Democrats going to use these excuses? They used them when Bush was in office and Air America was financially stable (unofficially unstable).

  • ||

    Obama creates a new level for the statement "if his mouth is moving, he's lying".

    Shit, he's creating a new level of scumbaggery. He's basically said "my media cheerleaders will never call me on my shit, so I can literally do anything". And so he does. This guy makes Bush Jr. look like a normal guy. That's fucking amazing.

    Hey, fucks who voted for Obama: how you feeling now?

  • Tolly||

    Oh they're feeling fine.

    Some of them have a brief shadowy moment when they realize that if you swap the name/party of the guy trampling on their rights and the structure of the govt, he's really just an evil, shitty party hack.

    But then they go back to blaming everything on Bush II and the rich. Ho-hum. And when the liberal websites post something online about government doing something insanely stupid/evil the tone is like it's just magically happening on it's own:
    "Patriot Act Renewed"
    "DOJ suppresses FOIA"
    "Drone kills someone"

  • Woodrow Wilson||

    Shit, he's creating a new level of scumbaggery

    Oh, I think not.

  • Progressive Obama Cultist||

    Well, the Republicans are worse, so there! [stomping of foot]

  • Dewey Unnerstent||

    "We don't accept any money from special-interest groups or Washington lobbyists,"

    children, and we don't pick our noses.

  • Barack Obama||

    Obama has a longstanding problem with both L-words.

    Let me be clear.

    This is simply not true.

    Many top positions in my Administration are filled by lesbians.

  • Scott Pilgrim||

    That's why I'm in lesbians with you.

  • ||

    Those checks were all written by honest, hard-working American citizens. Not evil environment-wrecking corporate profiteers.

  • ||

    It's not a special interest group if they give money to the president!

  • Paul||

    That's why Obama was annoyed by Citzens United.

    He needs the government to stop him from accepting all this money.

  • ||

    Their only special interest is in making this great nation an even better place.

  • Brer Rabbit||

    It's briar patches all the way down.

  • Paul||

    Shrike was right. Capitalists Rent-seekers love this guy.

  • Michael||

    You can't fully understand how unpalatable an article like this can possibly be until you actually become personally familiar with the special type of overeducated, over-privileged yet woefully under-self-aware shitbag that chooses to work for Citi.

  • ||

    His excuse, which is utter bullshit, is that he doesn't accept money from registered lobbyists. Registering is voluntary.

    Lots of people have deregistered since he made that rule.

  • JD the elder||

    I don't believe "we don't take money from special-interest groups" for a second. "Special-interest group" is kind of a dogwhistle phrase, or should I say a reverse dogwhistle. Everybody thinks a SIG is a nefarious bunch of schemers seeking to warp government policy in their favor...whereas they are pure of heart and are only seeking fair treatment for everybody. For example, is the National Beer Wholesalers Association a SIG? Is the IBEW? The American Association for Justice? I bet you dollars to donuts most of the members of those groups don't think they're in a "special-interest group". That's something those other, bad people do.

  • ||

    If he sent this to any addresses in Ohio, can't he be prosecuted for lying about a public servant (himself)?

  • EscapedWestOfTheBigMuddy||

    How can you tell that a politician is lying, again?

  • "Barack Lies....||

    Children Die" and others go broke...except for his pals, who do well.

  • Fascist Cult Leader Obomba||

    "You know I can demand Reason to provide all of the posters identities, don't you? No subpoena required."

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