Lobbying, by Any Other Name, Slowing?

Lobbyist rule workaround?   Send the client.

Lobbyist Elizabeth Moeller knew Energy Department officials wouldn’t let her press them for an economic stimulus project for a California company hoping to turn algae into energy.

So she did the next best thing: After a lot of coaching, she sent the client.

“I’ve told them to stay really focused on the substance of what they’re doing,” including touting the jobs their projects could create, said Moeller.

Her tactic is one of several being used to sidestep the Obama administration’s new restrictions on registered lobbyists trying to sway federal agencies to award their clients money from the $787 billion economic stimulus program. Other popular workarounds: Sending colleagues who are not registered lobbyists to pitch federal officials, and getting help from allies on Capitol Hill.

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