November 17, 2016

"Anyone who is appointed to Donald Trump’s administration will be banned from becoming a paid lobbyist for five years after leaving the White House..."

The transition team announced. 
Throughout the campaign, the president-elect vowed to “drain the swamp” of Washington, partly by decreasing the role of lobbyists and special interests in policymaking. [Trump aide Sean Spicer] said this is the first step toward that goal.

The Obama administration has its own ban in place. Anyone who had been a registered lobbyist in the prior two years is prohibited from joining — unless they get a waiver. Former Obama administration officials have also been banned from lobbying the White House.

84 comments:

traditionalguy said...

But who is going to buy all those Georgetown mansions? That is gonna kill real estate prices in the area. It used to be a seamless turnover.

zipity said...

Yeah, and just how many waivers were given versus denied by the Obama Administration?

Seems like that might be germane to the article, no..?

Matthew Sablan said...

Between this, Trump not taking a salary and winning the presidency on the cheap, the left might get one thing they say they want: Money out of politics.

David said...

No lobbyists? No advisors turning into lobbyists? What is this world coming to?

David said...

Lefty réponse: The reference to "paid" lobbyists is invidious. Favors the rich.

David said...

Not sure I get the Haley for Secretary of State idea. She has been an outstanding governor of SC, in my opinion. But no foreign policy background to speak of.

On the other hand, this is the Trump administration. The Old Rules do not necessarily apply.

David said...

Haley actually has a shot at the Presidency if she keeps on the same path and gets some national exposure that is positive. Do you suppose that Trump would actually groom her for that? She is like Trump in that she was an unlikely candidate and has massively outperformed expectations. The lefty snark that surrounded her at the start of her tenure has died down in SC, mainly because of her performance.

SukieTawdry said...

I doubt such a ban can be upheld. But I like Glenn Reynold's idea of imposing tax ramifications on the revolving door to personal enrichment that is our federal government.

SukieTawdry said...

Sorry, meant to provide a link.

Robert Cook said...

I wonder how this can can be enforced. Or if they'll even try.

Bob Ellison said...

It'll be enforced the same way Rahm's rule that Chicago will always be a sanctuary city will be enforced.

Sort of "we built this city on rock and roll".

Rick said...

Last night I listened to a replay of Leslie Stahl trying to make a big deal about Trump including lobbyists in his administration. Some of us recall Obama also claimed he would use no lobbyists but broke his promise to essentially no criticism from the left. Yet here she was acting as if this were proof Trump is ... something.

For some reason these people are too stupid to even consider whether their attacks apply to Obama before going after Trump.

Kristian Holvoet said...

"I wonder how this can can be enforced. Or if they'll even try."

A contract with financial penalties? Like a non-compete agreement for executives at large companies? I'd actually like to see this codified as a law. It would be a good first law to push, and would not burn any political capital with the public, though it might frost the tail of a lot of soon to be ex-Government officials. So, no downside...

sy1492 said...

How one would get a waiver? Donating to the campaign? If there's a waiver, then its all for show.

Quaestor said...

...unless they get a waiver.

Orwellian.

How does one get a waiver? Kickbacks?

Birkel said...

I see Robert Cook is starting "The perfect is the enemy of the good!" parade. The line forms to Robert Cook's right.

Nobody is Left of Robert Cook.

Bob Ellison said...

Can a POTUS bind a government-paid employee to a non-compete contract?

No, highly unlikely.

This is showmanship.

Matthew Sablan said...

I imagine if they are waivers, it'll be the same excuse Obama used. "This person is just TOO good, that even if they WERE a lobbyist, I need this person. They fight." Or something like that.

Matthew Sablan said...

I'm curious if it is at all enforceable, or if it we're going to just kind of accept that Trump's trusting these people to keep their promise. Though, if they don't, and a Republican is in office, I imagine that, especially if it is a Trump loyalist, they'll make life miserable for them for the duration of the period they were supposed to not be a lobbyist.

Birkel said...

Notice how the reporter shifts verb tense mid-sentence. That makes it appear Obama's policies are happening now, as attributable to the future Trump Administration.

Journalism is replaced by advocacy.

Unknown said...

The important point is that Trump is banning lobbying AFTER leaving the government. The quote does not indicate Obama ever tried that.

Bob Ellison said...

What if Trump were to hire his own, privately funded cabinet?

The cabinet officers don't have intrinsic powers. Their powers all derive from the POTUS. Trump could hire twelve or thirteen people to tell him what's what. He could send John Bolton to Moscow and say "Hey, Vlad, this is my guy, so deal with him, and we can do business." To hell with the Education Secretary.

Hagar said...

Define "lobbyist."

Charles said...

Well, technically, the Cabinet heads figure into actual laws (including Line of Succession) and the 25th Amendment. We do need to get those nominated / confirmed.

traditionalguy said...

FDR used his "kitchen Cabinet" to do his inside counsel work. He ran a mini-revolution and a Total World War using it.

Bob Ellison said...

Well, the Secretary of State has the power to become POTUS if the three above him/her are offed. Frightening thought there. Maybe Trump could appoint Pence SoS. The man seems capable of handling multiple jobs simultaneously.

Shane said...

Glenn Reynolds has been advocating for this in principle for years.
I am not sure how enforceable a simple mandate/contract like this would be in practice, however. Reynolds' proposition (its his position but as I understand in general) , of a 50% surcharge/tax, on any earned income for any subsequent private employment by a public official who leaves that public service and takes a private job that in any way benefits, uses, etc from that public officials' previous post.

Bob Ellison said...

I'd really like to see someone at the top take two jobs. Imagine Mike Pence as both VP and Secretary of State, and Giuliani as both Attorney General and head of the Department of Defense.

Charles said...

Bob:

I'd prefer to keep it the way we have it right now (and FOUR people have to be "offed" without a new VP being nominated / confirmed in the interim) before SecState becomes POTUS).

Bob Ellison said...

Charles, right you are, and wrong was I. The current line of succession (P, VP, Speaker, President of Senate, SoS, etc.) seems good.

I like the idea that they keep a few of the folks in line out of the bomb radius from time to time. America gains from stability.

If, however, the Secretary of Agriculture, say, were ever plopped into place, there would be a lot of questions.

gadfly said...

@Matthew Sablan said...
Between this, Trump not taking a salary and winning the presidency on the cheap, the left might get one thing they say they want: Money out of politics.

Trump gets paid because that is the law. It is not his decision to make. What he does with the payments after he receives them is another matter but his own deep diving into the coffers of his own companies tells me he will put the money into his bank account.

Charles said...

Are you watching "Designated Survivor" (Kiefer Sutherland was SecHUD before everyone else is killed, including Supreme Court and all but two in Congress)?

Jim Gust said...

I also wonder what a "lobbyist" is. Is there some sort of registration required? What if you just advise a real lobbyist, and introduce him/her to your contacts, but don't do any lobbying yourself? What if you just lend your name to a lobbying firm's masthead? What if, like George Stephanopolis, you go to work for the PR arm of the DNC at ABC "News"? Allowed?

Doesn't seem like swamp draining to me.

Thorley Winston said...

The important point is that Trump is banning lobbying AFTER leaving the government. The quote does not indicate Obama ever tried that.

I think you missed that part:

The Obama administration has its own ban in place. Anyone who had been a registered lobbyist in the prior two years is prohibited from joining — unless they get a waiver. Former Obama administration officials have also been banned from lobbying the White House.

The Executive Order that imposed the ban was enacted on January 21, 2009. Employees of the Obama administration had to agree “upon leaving Government service, not to lobby any covered executive branch official or non-career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.”

Bob Ellison said...

Thorley Winston, that's unenforceable bullshit.

HoodlumDoodlum said...

Waaaaaivers, guys. Waivers.

The letter of the law is all but meaningless w/r/t predicting what people will actually do--the last 7.5 years should have taught you that if nothing else. The Obama Admin has all sorts of nice-sounding prohibitions on using gov. power to enrich former admin officials, but somehow they all end up rich. Hell, wasn't the Clinton Foundation supposed to be barred from taking donations from foreign governments while Hillary was SecState?! How'd that work out?

Now if Trump actually MEANS it, good for him.

rcocean said...

Ok so now the MSM can move on their next attack on Trump and why he's an incompetent, sexist, bigot, bully, etc.

Bob Ellison said...

Let us consider the definition of "lobby". It's a foyer, a room before the big room. That's where the terms "lobbying" and "lobbyist" come from.

So if Obama hires me to fix his computer, and a week later I call a Senator to say all cats should be neutered, because the goldfinches outside my window are being eaten, am I a lobbyist?

Matthew Sablan said...

"Trump gets paid because that is the law. It is not his decision to make."

-- People say "Kennedy took no salary," even though he took it and then donated it to charity. We say the same thing about other politicians who take a salary and immediately donated it. It's a perfectly acceptable and understood colloquial for "is paid but donated the money." This is the sort of nitpicking that, if the person wasn't Trump, people would magically understand the English language in how it has been used for decades.

AllenS said...

gadfly said...
"Trump gets paid because that is the law. It is not his decision to make."

Cam you provide a cite for that claim? What is stopping Trump from just saying no? Nothing that I can see.

Since 2001, the president has earned a $400,000 annual salary, along with a $50,000 annual expense account, a $100,000 nontaxable travel account, and $19,000 for entertainment.[79][80] The most recent raise in salary was approved by Congress and President Bill Clinton in 1999 and went into effect in 2001.

AllenS said...

Cam = Can

Alexander said...

Haley actually has a shot at the Presidency if she keeps on the same path and gets some national exposure that is positive.

No she doesn't. She went against her state regarding "refugees", and revealed her astroturf-American citizenship with how she responded to the Confederate Flag in South Carolina.

She will never be tolerated as a candidate by the Alt-Right, because she is intrinsically opposed to the idea that America is a distinct nation and people.

Michael K said...

I see gadfly is still riding his hobbyhorse on Trump.

"Can a POTUS bind a government-paid employee to a non-compete contract?"

Congress could do something but it is unlikely they will as that is how they become rich from office.

Reynolds' tax idea might be the best option.

Big Mike said...

Michael K is right. Trump needs to talk to Glenn Reynolds about his tax ideas.

readering said...

How much was Trump influenced by his 60 Minutes interview, where lobbyists in government came up. I wonder how much Trump will in general be affected by whatever last came up in an interview?

Gahrie said...

I'd really like to see someone at the top take two jobs. Imagine Mike Pence as both VP and Secretary of State, and Giuliani as both Attorney General and head of the Department of Defense.

For a short period of time, John Marshall was Secretary of State and the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court at the same time.

Gahrie said...

but his (Trump) own deep diving into the coffers of his own companies tells me he will put the money into his bank account.

Get back to me when He and his wife fly separate jumbo jets to the same destination........

Yancey Ward said...

On enforcement:

If the President-elect is serious, you do two things and you do them consistently and relentlessly:

(1) No administration hires from the lobbyist pool that exists, and no hires from even former lobbyists.

(2) Those you have hired cannot meet with lobbyists without getting fired for doing so.

Legally, there is nothing more Trump could do, but those two alone should be sufficient. Congressional leadership could take the hint for their own corresponding rules, but it is up to Congress to do so for their members.

CJinPA said...

"Anyone who is appointed to Donald Trump’s administration will be banned from polite society" is how I keep anticipating that sentence to end.

Somewhere, that post probably exists.

Michael K said...

Get back to me when He and his wife fly separate jumbo jets to the same destination......

Or when Melania flies her mother to China in a 747 Air Force Two with a bunch of cronies.

Bruce Hayden said...

More worrisome to me is that the Trump transition team initially was supposed to be lobbyist free, and very possibly Gov. Christie got somewhat demoted as a result. But, then, today we find that Google is apparently getting a seat at the table - one of the most powerful and egregious lobbyists around, spending nine figures in lobbying over the last several years, lobbying in favor of "immigration reform", weakening of the patent system (where they managed to get their person appointed USPTO Director, following the IBM pick, who was there to push the America Invents Act). Seriously, one of the most egregious lobbyists around. And, a company that appears to be moving towards editorial control of its search results, downgrading the value of sites on the right that the left has declared to be providing "fake news".

Alex said...

Trump draining the swamp like he promised!

Left Bank of the Charles said...

For this to be genuine, wouldn't Trump also have to bar anyone who has been a paid lobbyist at any time during the last 5 years from taking a position in his administration?

AprilApple said...

The Obama administration has its own ban in place. Anyone who had been a registered lobbyist in the prior two years is prohibited from joining — unless they get a waiver. Former Obama administration officials have also been banned from lobbying the White House.


My guess is that is a total lie.

mccullough said...

Need to extend this ban to their families as well.

cornroaster said...

Headline at CNNMoney

Cisco stock slumps 5% on Sales Warning

They must have anticipated a heck of a lot of sales of private servers to the Clinton administration.

madAsHell said...

Drudge is reporting that Romney is being considered for Secretary of State.

A Jew, and a Mormon in the cabinet!! Imagine the vitriol that will be spewed.

Todd said...

madAsHell said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Drudge is reporting that Romney is being considered for Secretary of State.

A Jew, and a Mormon in the cabinet!! Imagine the vitriol that will be spewed.

11/17/16, 3:30 PM


"by the tolerant left"

cornroaster said...

Todd said...
madAsHell said... [hush]​[hide comment]
Drudge is reporting that Romney is being considered for Secretary of State.

A Jew, and a Mormon in the cabinet!! Imagine the vitriol that will be spewed.

11/17/16, 3:30 PM

"by the tolerant left"


That believes in diversity.

Matthew Sablan said...

"A Jew, and a Mormon in the cabinet!! Imagine the vitriol that will be spewed."

-- He's really the worst alt-righter ever.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carter Wood said...

The best place to look up federal lobbyists is the House Clerk's lobbyist disclosure site.

David said...

Yancey Ward: "(2) Those you have hired cannot meet with lobbyists without getting fired for doing so."

Really? Representatives of individuals and organizations can not make presentations to government officials without getting the officials fired? What a terrible idea. Lobbyists exist for nearly all points of view and they are knowledgable in the issues that are before the government. How do you govern without listening to those points of view? You can, of course, but it means relying primarily on people who are paid by government. These people have their own biases, points of view and limitations.

Your idea is one more example of the urge to restrict speech. It's a bad trend.

C Stanley said...

"A Jew, and a Mormon in the cabinet!! Imagine the vitriol that will be spewed."

-- He's really the worst alt-righter ever.


Exactly! The spin will be that he is neo-nazi and incompetent.

Seeing Red said...

Just go down the names on K Street, aka Gucci Gulch.



Follow the shoes.

Bad Lieutenant said...

gadfly said...

Gadzooks, gadfly, but you are an ignoble creature. Put your money where your mouth is, as Chuck the fake phony fraud would undoubtedly say.

Thorley Winston said...

How much was Trump influenced by his 60 Minutes interview, where lobbyists in government came up. I wonder how much Trump will in general be affected by whatever last came up in an interview?

Unlikely, since Trump actually proposed the five year ban on lobbying back in October before the election and the 60 Minutes interview. I remember because it was also one of the items on the list of what he wanted to try to accomplish in his first 100 days.


madAsHell said...

Chuck the fake phony fraud

Hmmm.....Chuck went silent. I'll guess he was paid commentator.

sinz52 said...

Only the liberal MSM could find a way to spin a lobbyist ban into a bad thing. But they did.

An article on POLITICO: "Lobbyist Ban May Make It Harder to Attract Top Talent"

Michael K said...

"wouldn't Trump also have to bar anyone who has been a paid lobbyist at any time during the last 5 years from taking a position in his administration?"

Why ? The problem is with people lobbying the colleagues they worked with in the White House or Congress. If they are willing to do something else after serving, I see no problem, especially with the Reynold's rule in force,

Michael K said...

"Google is apparently getting a seat at the table "

Which table? Trump isn't president.

wholelottasplainin' said...



Yancey Ward: "(2) Those you have hired cannot meet with lobbyists without getting fired for doing so."

David Ward: "Your idea is one more example of the urge to restrict speech. It's a bad trend."

The "freedom of speech" does not create a right to be listened to.

But I think such an anti-lobbyist policy raises questions about the constitutional right to "petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

With that right comes a rightto have your petition be given consideration.

So if Trump were to simply command the bureaucracy to ignore lobbyists, I think he'd be creating a case ripe for the Supremes.

Big Mike said...

Just so Trump doesn't pick a Secretary of the Treasury who cheats on his taxes and uses the novel excuse that he's too stupid to use TurboTax.

themightypuck said...

The only truly effective way to limit people using fed gov for personal gain is to limit size of fed gov.

Gahrie said...

@Big Mike:

To this day I check my money and write "Tax Cheat" above Timmy's name every single time.

JamesB.BKK said...

Yes, Obama's supposed ban works in exactly the opposite way it should. The monetization of office is on the backside, with favors traded in advance. Par for the course, so to speak.

Achilles said...

Blogger Robert Cook said...
I wonder how this can can be enforced. Or if they'll even try.

Kinda like immigration laws amrite?

MadisonMan said...

Former Obama administration officials have also been banned from lobbying the White House.


My guess is that is a total lie.

Or they just lobby Congress.

gadfly said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gadfly said...

@AllenS said...
gadfly said...
"Trump gets paid because that is the law. It is not his decision to make."

Can you provide a cite for that claim? What is stopping Trump from just saying no? Nothing that I can see.


Forbes has the story here, including the Federal Statute in play.

D. B. Light said...

Minor point: the "Kitchen Cabinet" was Andrew Jackson's unofficial set of advisors, not FDR's.

Bruce Hayden said...

"Google is apparently getting a seat at the table "

Which table? Trump isn't president.


Meaning a place on the transition team. In the past, lobbyists and industry representatives have had a big place on transition teams, and Cristie's demotion seemed to be indicating that Trump was tightening down on that. I do hope that the rumor about Google is wrong.

coupe said...

I would advise him to take the pay and put it in a joint checking account. Then let his wife distribute the income.

Each time she writes a check it could be a national news story.

"Melania writes check to little girl who's parents were eaten by brown bears"

damikesc said...

If he holds to it, this is needed. Heavily needed.

I'm curious if it is at all enforceable, or if it we're going to just kind of accept that Trump's trusting these people to keep their promise.

As a businessman, I'd have to assume he has a passing familiarity with non-compete clauses and the like in employment contracts and will have them drawn up in a way to handle it. He could fail, but that he is even discussing curtailing this is positive.

Are you watching "Designated Survivor" (Kiefer Sutherland was SecHUD before everyone else is killed, including Supreme Court and all but two in Congress)?

If you aren't, you should be. He's even had to do things to piss off his progressive wife because, sometimes, you have to make tough choices for less-than-great reasons. A terrific show so far.

The Executive Order that imposed the ban was enacted on January 21, 2009. Employees of the Obama administration had to agree “upon leaving Government service, not to lobby any covered executive branch official or non-career Senior Executive Service appointee for the remainder of the Administration.”

But they can lobby Congress with no problem and have joined firms that lobby the WH all of the time.

No she doesn't. She went against her state regarding "refugees", and revealed her astroturf-American citizenship with how she responded to the Confederate Flag in South Carolina.

The hell she did. The flag had to come down. It was an idiotic thing to fight over. It was a war we started for terrible reasons and lost. The refugees thing is problematic, to be sure.

Just so Trump doesn't pick a Secretary of the Treasury who cheats on his taxes and uses the novel excuse that he's too stupid to use TurboTax.

Oh My God, I forgot about Geithner and his tax problems.