Lobbyist Law and Ethics Rule Riddles

The Post recently featured a story about Ristorante Tosca’s status as a power eatery in lobbying circles.  They’re even on Twitter, and the article notes one restaurant tweet.

On those rare occasions when even the tight-lipped Tosca staff can’t contain its excitement, tidbits dribble out via the restaurant’s Twitter feed. On Monday night: “Comedian Billy Crystal and his wife, Janice, were dining with Sen. John Kerry tonight!” In June: “We’re especially proud to have hosted Michelle Obama for dinner on Fri. night!!!”
Even before She-of-the-Sculpted-Upper-Arms dined at the clubhouse, there was no doubt that Tosca would thrive in an Obama-fied Washington. Why, it was here, at the exclusive chef’s table in the kitchen, that Daschle had the now-famous dinner in which he encouraged a certain freshman senator from Illinois to make a run for the White House.
“Almost five hours,” Sacco recalls breathlessly. “I knew something big was going on.”


You know you’ve done too much ethics law when you immediately think about who paid for these meals and how.   Was this Obama-Daschle meal pre-HLOGA?  According to The Times, the Obama-Daschle meal was in early 2007.  HLOGA wasn’t signed into law until September 2007, if that’s relevant. 

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Today’s “State Races Capture the White House’s Eye” in The Post is an insiders’ look at politics (gasp) in the White House. 

While Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel is perceived as the political mastermind, he has handed off most of the day-to-day duties to [Deputy White House Chief of Staff Jim] Messina, who holds a daily conference call with the Democratic National Committee to discuss developments in local races and frequently consults with the candidates themselves. White House political director Patrick Gaspard and Sean Sweeney, senior adviser to Emanuel, are the other key players, officials said.

During the 2008 campaign, Senator McCain said he would move the Office of Political Affairs outside of the White House.

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