Lobbyists banned from advisory boards

President Obama formalized his administration’s policy of excluding registered lobbyists from executive branch advisory boards and commissions on Friday afternoon.

The White House blog announced that the President has directed advisory boards and commissions to not re-appoint currently serving members if they are also lobbyists, and not appoint new members who are lobbyists. This is a continuation of the September 23 White House directive that “strongly discouraged” the appointment or re-appointment of lobbyists to the boards.

The American League of Lobbyists’ Dave Wenhold, who pushed back against the policy when the less formal version was announced in September, said that he still believes the policy is a bad idea, because organizations that could not afford to have multiple subject specialists could now be excluded from the process.

The White House blog commented that while some lobbyists have made positive contributions, “phasing out those who simultaneously serve as lobbyists will have the added benefit of opening these boards up to fresh faces and engaging more Americans in our governing process.”

Read the memo from the White House here.

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