White House counsel Norm Eisen reminded the audience at last week’s GSPM event that the administration’s lobbyist rules are open for a 60-day evaluation period and this Post editorial endorses a close examination of the rules.
The Obama administration is also making a mistake by barring lobbyists from, well, lobbying it in some circumstances. The administration’s rules on distributing stimulus funds bar registered lobbyists from telephoning or meeting with government officials about specific projects; they can make contact only in writing, with documents to be posted on the government’s Web site. We understand the good-government impetus here. But why distinguish between lobbyists and corporate executives or local government officials seeking the funds, who have the biggest interests at stake? The rules are up for review soon. They should be rethought.