Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Small Change

On his first days in office, President Obama laid down some very strict guidelines about lobbying and lobbyists working in his administration. Well, that sounded ambitious, but the cynic in me wondered how long it would be before there would be waivers or exceptions.

A week.

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner picked a former Goldman Sachs lobbyist as a top aide Tuesday, the same day he announced rules aimed at reducing the role of lobbyists in agency decisions.

Mark Patterson will serve as Geithner’s chief of staff at Treasury, which oversees the government’s $700 billion financial bailout program. Goldman Sachs received $10 billion of that money.

Actually, it was less than that, because last Friday Secretary of Defense Gates appointed William Lynn, who lobbied for a defense contractor last year, to serve as deputy Defense secretary.

Give me a minute while I recalibrate my Irony Meter.