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Obama Gives up on his Vow to End Special Interest Groups in Politics

November 30, 2008

 One of president-elect Obama’s promises during the campaign was to end the influence of special interests in politics. I understand that that is just what it was, a promise and nothing more. Special interests and lobbyists are in politics for good, we will never rid the system of them. I understand that and you understand that but how many people who voted for Obama really believed that he was going to end the lobbyists being involved in politics? They are in for a rude awakening.

 It comes as no surprise to me, and probably most of you out there, that Barack Obama has picked as secretary of health and human services a man who has ties to special interest groups in the health field. Tom Dashle has earned more than $16 million as a special policy adviser for Alston & Bird. A lobbying firm.

His work as a paid adviser appears to run counter to Obama’s pledge to “free the executive branch from special interest influence.” No political appointee, Obama’s transition team has declared, “will be permitted to work on regulations or contracts directly and substantially related to their prior employer for two years.”

 I guess there is an exception to every rule, and Tom Dashle appears to be that exception.

 Barack Obama promised to change the culture in Washington, but now that he is in Washington he is just following along the good old boy network. I guess the “change” that Obama was talking about was a “change” in which special interest groups would have the most influence in Washington, not to actually “change” Washington.

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