Accuracy in Media

President- elect Barack Obama has loosened his definition of his anti-lobbyist pledge so that he can repay his supporters with jobs in his administration. 

From ABC News’ Jake Tapper

President-elect Barack Obama today put forth his second nomination of an individual whose immediate past experience as a lobbyist seems to run in direct contradiction with Mr. Obama’s rhetoric on the campaign trail against the “revolving door” of lobbyists working for the government.

William Corr, whose name Mr. Obama put forward this morning to be deputy secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, was, until September 2008, a federal lobbyist with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids, lobbying Congress unsuccessfully to require the Food and Drug Administration to regulate tobacco.

The group also supports higher cigarette taxes, smoke-free workplaces, and other initiatives opposed by the tobacco industry.

Mr. Corr’s activism may align perfectly with Mr. Obama’s views, but Mr. Obama’s campaign pledge did not differentiate between lobbying for causes he approved of, and one he didn’t.

Obama Transition Team spokesman Tommy Vietor says that “In his new role, William Corr has recused himself from dealing with the issue on which he used to lobby, which is tobacco, and by doing so he is consistent with our policy. Mr. Corr is no longer a registered lobbyist.”

He hasn’t even taken office yet and he is already redefining what he pledged during the campaign.


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