Stimulus Lobbying Rules Decried

Lobbyists are reacting to President Obama’s restrictions on stimulus package lobbying.  The Post reports.

“What disqualifies lobbyists from exercising their First Amendment rights?” said J. Keith Kennedy, a top lobbyist for the Washington firm Baker Donelson.

William Luneburg and Thomas Susman, co-authors of the American Bar Association’s manual on lobbying laws, said they knew of no previous administrations curtailing lobbyists’ conversations with government officials.

The rules bar lobbyists from conversations or meetings with federal officials about specific stimulus projects. They can talk generally about the measure’s policies if projects are not discussed.

Lobbyists can submit written statements about stimulus projects that federal agencies must post on the Internet within three days.

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