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Ex-Googler Obama Appointee Gets Buzz'ed 195

Posted by timothy
from the mclaughlin-group dept.
theodp writes "Hillicon Valley reports that Rep. Darrell Issa of the House Oversight Committee is pressing White House Deputy CTO Andrew McLaughlin to explain his relationship with Google, where McLaughlin was employed as Google's chief lobbyist. 'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,' Issa noted in the letter. 'The use of a Gmail account to communicate with lobbyists and evade transparency laws is at odds with President Obama's promises to limit the influence of lobbyists.' Concerns emerged after screenshots of McLaughlin's Google Buzz account emerged showing that a number of the search giant's top employees subscribed to the deputy Web chief's updates."
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Ex-Googler Obama Appointee Gets Buzz'ed

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  • by sycodon (149926) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:11PM (#31812476)

    How many former lobbyists have been exempted from the no lobbyist rule now?

    • by zippthorne (748122) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @09:16PM (#31812888) Journal

      He didn't say he'd hire zero lobbyists. He said he wouldn't hire a lot of lobbyists. As in, of the field of lobbyists, most would not be getting a job offer in the Obama administration. Depending on how many positions there are to fill, he could hire 100% lobbyists and still fail to hire the vast majority of them.

      • by mi (197448) <slashdot-2012@virtual-estates.net> on Monday April 12, 2010 @12:09AM (#31813758) Homepage

        He didn't say he'd hire zero lobbyists. He said he wouldn't hire a lot of lobbyists.

        Weaselese...

        As in, of the field of lobbyists, most would not be getting a job offer in the Obama administration.

        Meaningless. There are tens of thousands of lobbyists in the US. Even if Obama staffed (stuffed?) his White House only with lobbyists, most of the the lobbyists would not have a job offer from him.

        Here is [nytimes.com], what he declared on the first day in the office though — already a change of tone from the election campaign:

        In what ethics-in-government advocates described as a particularly far-reaching move, Mr. Obama barred officials of his administration from lobbying their former colleagues "for as long as I am president." He barred former lobbyists from working for agencies they had lobbied within the past two years and required them to recuse themselves from issues they had handled during that time.

        That policy was immediately violated:

        Mr. Obama's nominee for deputy secretary of defense, William Lynn, has been a lobbyist for the defense contractor Raytheon, and his nominee for deputy secretary of health and human services, William V. Corr, lobbied for stricter tobacco regulations as an official with the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

        And the list [city-data.com] keeps growing...

        It would've all been fine, of course — the President is entitled to pick anyone for his Administration (save for a few posts, which must be approved by Congress), but his pre-election grandstanding is now hurting him — despite your and yours best efforts.

  • Yawn (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Mathinker (909784) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:18PM (#31812510) Journal

    > ... is at odds with President Obama's promises

    Reality is at odds with (many of) President Obama's promises.

    Details at 11.

    • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:39PM (#31812654)

      You know its funny how outraged people get over appointments. Guess what. Each party has its set of 'experts'. Many have been around for 20-60 years in various positions in the government and private industry. When their party is out of favor they get cushy jobs at some company and wait for the tide to come back around.

      These dudes are professional politicians.

      When the republican party is back in favor (and it will be) they will trot out their group of experts to fill all those positions. Just as the Democrats have done in the past year or two.

      What do people honestly think these guys do while they are not in some sort of official office? They are helping some company weave its way thru the corridors of power. They are helping write up bills that they can give to their buddies in congress to get passed.

      I think it is funny that people are actually shocked that this is going on. The American government is about favors. Not about actually helping anyone... That gigantic healthcare bill that just passed? You dont think it was 1200 pages just because it was that hard to do? No. I would be large portions of it is little 'I will vote for it if you put my pet project in' type things. The reason you didnt see any republicans voting for it was because the Democrats didnt want to owe any favors to them, not because they were actually listening to their constituents. Just as the republicans did in 2001 with the tax bill.

      • Re:Yawn (Score:5, Insightful)

        by B1oodAnge1 (1485419) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:52PM (#31812738)

        I think it is funny that people are actually shocked that this is going on.

        I'm not at all shocked.
        I am fucking pissed though, and you should be too.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Johnberg (1642323)
          What's worse? A oil company lobbyist as vice president or a google lobbyist in a position no one cares about?
          • by lwsimon (724555)

            Cheney was Chairman and CEO of Halliburton. McLaughlin was a lobbyist - his entire job was to interact with government on behalf of Google.

            Do you not see the difference?

      • The American government is about favors. Not about actually helping anyone... That gigantic healthcare bill that just passed? You dont think it was 1200 pages just because it was that hard to do? No. I would be large portions of it is little 'I will vote for it if you put my pet project in' type things.

        This sort of thing doesn't bother you at all?

      • by Improv (2467)

        Not shocked, but bothered. I would like to see the influence of lobbyists sharply curtailed, as a general part of reform in how elections are run. I'll grumble at anyone, regardless of party, when my grumbling might help.

        That said, the healthcare bill is not actually private, and as far as I can tell any favours in it are not blatant.

      •     I can't think of a better place to repeat the old saying:

          "All this has happened before, and will happen again."

          Great post, Anon, whoever you were. ;-SB

  • by kimvette (919543) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:28PM (#31812586) Homepage Journal

    Maybe the automatic opt-in of Buzz isn't so evil after all!

    --Kim

  • lolwut? (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 11, 2010 @08:37PM (#31812640)

    "Ex-Googler Obama Appointee Gets Buzz'ed"
    That realy sound like babble from a far, far future...

    "Don't worry, scrote. There are plenty of 'tards out there living really kick-ass lives. My first wife was 'tarded. She's a pilot now."

    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      That realy sound like babble from a far, far future...

      A future where rules for the use of apostrophes have changed completely. A world where contractions don't contract, and possessives don't possess, and... oh wait

  • 'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,' Issa noted in the letter.

    That's the funniest thing I've read all week. Is he serious? As other posters have noted, he has ties to lobbyists from other industries.

    Glass House, Issa.

    We really need sane contribution laws here in the US. Like, contributions from corporations are flat out illegal.

    SB

  • by OctaviusIII (969957) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:01PM (#31813106) Homepage
    WTF? The fuss makes no sense for a number of reasons: 1) A former high-level Google official has emailed other high-level Google officials through his Gmail account, and is probably friends with them.
    2) High-level Google officials will be interested to see what the CTO of the Executive Branch is up to, no matter who that CTO is.
    3) This needs to be kept an eye on, but is not indicative of endemic corruption by any stretch. Get a grip, folks!
  • It's Google Buzz. It isn't that huge from what I'm seeing. It makes sense that current and former google employees are using google buzz. The closest I've come is noticing that there is a new icon when I check my gmail.

  • if, after the lengthy political and legal fight that would finally expose his google buzz messages to american officials, chinese officials, via their google hackers, would have already probably read them a long time ago

  • by greenbird (859670) on Sunday April 11, 2010 @10:56PM (#31813366)

    They're investigating this but not that pretty much every appointee to the Justice Department formerly worked for the entertainment industry in one form or another?

  • "Obama's promises to limit the influence of lobbyists."

    Wouldn't it just be simpler to hire oh, NO LOBBYISTS?

    Or are you telling me that in a country of 330,000,000 there is not a single qualified person for this job who hasn't already Lewinski'd congress or the White House?

  • 'The American people have a right to expect that White House employees are working to advance the public interest and not the interests of the lobby shops who formerly employed them,'

    In US politics this an utterly preposterous proposition.

  • by edittard (805475) on Monday April 12, 2010 @05:19AM (#31814886)
    Is this some new rule about apostrophe usage? I tell you what, I'll be pretty piss'ed if there was a memo and I miss'ed it or it whizz'ed over my head.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by selven (1556643)

      Yes the rules have changed, but:

      1) It's a rule about a'po's'tro'phe usage, I don't know where you're getting this word "apostrophe" from.
      2) You don't say "there was a memo", you say "they're was a memo"

      Than'queue for you're co'operation.

  • employees/lobbyists routinely accept jobs in the US Government and influence laws and do all kinds of other evil acts to benefit their former employers and when they "retire" they get re-hired back with huge bonuses. Funny that...

    Not saying Google is doing the same but it never hurts to double check...

  • (What, you think this is off topic? None of you eat, in between Google searches??)

  • when i watch news in usa, i go half crazy.

    a GOP senator questions a guy that has formerly worked in google, in regard to 'lobbyism'.

    how many people from lobbies were employed by gop administration in the past 8 years ? how the fuck these people can have the guts to exercise hypocrisy and doublespeak to THAT extent and you people dont do anything ?

  • by Yfrwlf (998822)
    ..calling the kettle black.

    But yes, just, pot in general, too. :P
  • Promises kept (Score:3, Interesting)

    by slapout (93640) on Monday April 12, 2010 @01:21PM (#31819088)

    Let's see...

      Close Gitmo...chec...oh wait...
      Health Care negotiations in public view..chec...oh wait...
      No lobbyists...chec...oh wait...

    Politics as usual...check.

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