Obama's con on 'no lobbyist money' pledge

Remember Obama's pledge not to take money from lobbyists? He was going to usher in a new era of clean politics. He even repeated the pledge in a recent fundraising letter: "We don't accept any money from special-interest groups or Washington lobbyists." 

Timothy Carney of the Washington Examiner didn't take the pledge at face value (unlike the dominant media) and checked the filings with the Federal Election Committee.  His conclusion:

President Obama doesn't take campaign contributions from lobbyists -- unless you count the owners and CEOs of lobbying firms, corporate vice presidents for government relations, or managing directors for public policy.

It's all a con -- smoke and mirrors for a public that the Obama campaign presumes can be fooled, with the cooperation of the dominant media, who won't raise awkward questions to a level that would generate widespread public notice. Here's how the con works:

 So how do they skate around Obama's "ban"? They are not currently registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act, and so they don't meet the Obama campaign's definition of "lobbyist." (snip)

Under federal law, anyone who spends at least 20 percent of his or her time on "lobbying activities" is supposed to register. There is almost no enforcement of this registration requirement, as proving a violation would require knowing how an unregistered individual spends all his time. The biggest effect of Obama's restrictions on lobbyists, regarding giving and serving on boards, has been mass deregistration of lobbyists.

But even the prohibition on registered lobbyists' gifts doesn't mean a Democrat has to deregister in order to fund Obama: the lobbyist could just let his or her spouse sign the check. Andy Manatos is president of lobbying firm Manatos & Manatos. "His effectiveness stems from the relationships of trust he has built with policymakers," his online bio reads. Manatos is a registered lobbyist, and so, in keeping with his narrow ban on lobbyist cash, the Obama campaign doesn't take contributions from him. But his wife, who lists her occupation as "homemaker," gave $3,000 to the Obama Victory Fund last month.

If you appreciate slick con men, then Barack Obama's your guy. But if you despise connivers who manipulate facts so as to be able to claim one thing while doing the other, but technically aren't lying, then you recognize Obama for what he is.

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