Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Geithner Picks Lobbyist As Top Aide Despite New Rules to Crack Down On Lobbyists, Obama Ethics Order Proves To Be Hoax Yet Again!

Twice in one week? One week and The President has blatantly lied and deceived twice (that we know about for certain.)

Yesterday, Treasury Secretary (and tax cheat) Timothy Geithner announced new anti-lobbyist bailout restraints.

Under orders to move quickly on the faltering economy, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled new rules Tuesday to limit special-interest influence involving the $700 billion financial rescue program. The new rules are designed to crack down on lobbyist influence over the rescue program. The Obama administration says they go farther than the lobbying rules imposed by the Bush administration. The new rules are aimed at making sure political influence is not a factor in awarding rescue money.

Then he picked one as his top aide. Politico reports:

Newly installed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner issued new rules Tuesday restricting contacts with lobbyists – and then hired one to be his top aide. Mark Patterson, a former advocate for Goldman Sachs, will serve as chief of staff to Geithner as the Treasury Department revamps the Wall Street bailout program that sent an infusion of cash to his former employer. Patterson’s appointment marks the second time in President Barack Obama’s first week in office that the administration has had to explain how it’s complying with its own ethics rules as it hires a bevy of Washington insiders for administration jobs.

“He brings significant expertise to the job of chief of staff and has agreed to a far-reaching ethics pledge to remove any hint of a conflict of interest,” a Treasury spokesperson added.

Patterson was a registered lobbyist for Goldman Sachs from 2005 until April of 2008. Lobbying disclosure forms suggest he represented the financial giant on a wide array of issues, including visas, tax credits for cellulosic ethanol and an Indian gaming facility in New York state.


Wednesday afternoon, Press Secretary Robert Peter Griffin Gibbs, fumbling through another press conference (that will not be posted on the new and improved transparent White House .gov) said that Patterson could not be a lobbyist because is not a registered lobbyist so there is no issue with the pick.

Yet, Mr. Gibbs, Patterson was a registered lobbyist just 9 months ago.

Let us remind Mr. Gibbs, Mr. Geithner and Mr. Obama what his "ethics order" stated.

"As a condition, and in consideration, of my employment in the United States Government in a position invested with the public trust, I commit myself to the following obligations, which I understand are binding on me and are enforceable under law:

"3. Revolving Door Ban Lobbyists Entering Government. If I was a registered lobbyist within the 2 years before the date of my appointment, in addition to abiding by the limitations of paragraph 2, I will not for a period of 2 years after the date of my appointment:
(a) participate in any particular matter on which I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment;
(b) participate in the specific issue area in which that particular matter falls; or
(c) seek or accept employment with any executive agency that I lobbied within the 2 years before the date of my appointment.

Talking loud and saying nothing. We've said it before and we're going to keep saying it, echoing this statement from Melanie Sloan, founder of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

“This is exactly the kind of thing that makes the American public suspicious of politicians. You say one thing and do another.”

Change you lie about!

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