OMB Lobbying Guidance Attacked, Disclosure Starts

OMB’s memo providing guidance to executive branch officials on communications with lobbyists is being attacked as too restrictive and potentially unconstitutional, according to this report.

Meanwhile, federal agencies have begun to post the new lobbyist disclosures required by President Obama’s original memo. For example, the Transportation Department posted a March 25 memo from the Ferguson Group on behalf of Stamford, Conn., that includes specifications and photos of several rail projects the town says are in need of stimulus funding.

Other agencies have been less forthcoming with details. The Army Corps of Engineers noted meetings it has had with the American Association of Port Authorities where officials discussed the stimulus in “general policy and programmatic terms,” according to the disclosure.

The DOT page is here.  (For some reason, the entry is dated June 25, 2009.) 

UPDATE:  As of the time of this update (April 16), DOT apparently moved the page where they had posted the lobbyist disclosure I cited above because now the link leads to a “page not found” message.   Yesterday, of course, I saved a screen capure of the page for posterity and it’s available here.  Meanwhile, it looks like DOT has an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 site here and I’m still looking for where lobbyist-related postings are listed.

The mysterious “June 25” letter related to the Stamford Urban Transitway, which appears to be a project at one point funded by a Sen. Dodd and Lieberman earmark.  The project seems to relate to a “one-mile Transitway designed to improve access to the most heavily used mass transportation facility in Connecticut.”

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