In a pointed move Barack Obama banned lobbyists from donating to his White House transition. They are forbidden from helping his transition team in any area where they lobbied for clients in the last year. The rule only applies to registered lobbyists. Many in Washington aren’t registered, as they do not lobby federal officials on specific issues.
Take two influential Democratic ex-Senators, Tom Daschle and John Breaux. Tom hangs his hat at Alston & Bird, alongside Bob Dole and ex-Medicare Chief Tom Scully. John Breaux works with Patton Boggs and has his own firm, The Breaux Lott Leadership Group.
Tom Daschle is not a registered lobbyist, so he can help the Obama team in any capacity. John Breaux lobbied for companies representing most major industries, according to federal records. John Breaux could have a hard time finding a way to help Barack’s transition team, were he so inspired.
The question remains, how many high dollar influence peddlers are unregistered? And how many registered lobbyists are multi-talented, able to help outside their areas of paid influence? Stay tuned.