ETHICS

Obama Shuts Out Lobbyists

Happy Thanksgiving, lobbyists! Now get out. The White House is instituting new rules for that could eject as many as thousands of lobbyists from positions on federal advisory panels. "Some folks have developed a comfortable Beltway perch sitting on these boards while at the same time working as lobbyists to influence the government," White House ethics counsel Norm Eisen told the Washington Post. "That is just the kind of special interest access that the president objects to." The move is by far the strongest effort yet from the Obama administration to curb their influence, affecting the approximately 1,000 advisory committees that advise federal officials on a number of policy questions. Lobbyists and some businesses warn that the government may lose valuable technical expertise from panel members ejected under the new rule.