Former Lobbyist Named Biden’s Chief of Staff By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK WASHINGTON — President-elect Barack Obama on Saturday named Ronald A. Klain, a former lobbyist and Clinton White House lawyer, as chief of staff to Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden Jr. His selection is one of several early appointments to Mr. Obama’s White House and transition staff that calls attention to the limits of Mr. Obama’s sweeping self-imposed ethics rules, laid out to fulfill a campaign pledge to “wrest the federal government out of the hands of lobbyists.” Mr. Klain, who was chief of staff to former Vice President Al Gore, is an executive at Revolution, the investment company of the AOL founder Steve Case. He worked until 2005 as a lobbyist at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, where he lobbied for clients including the failed mortgage giant Fannie Mae; an industry group seeking help with asbestos lawsuits; a drug maker under federal investigation; the cable and media giant Time Warner; and an airline. Mr. Obama’s ethics rules, however, do not bar former lobbyists. The rules prohibit officials like Mr. Klain from working on any matter directly related to their employers over the previous two years, so Mr. Klain would be required to recuse himself from issues involving Mr. Case’s firm Revolution. The Obama transition also named Philip Schiliro as its liaison to Congress. Mr. Schiliro is a former chief of staff to Representative Henry A. Waxman, the California Democrat. Mr. Waxman is chairman of the House committee on government oversight and reform, which watches and sometimes investigates the White House. Mr. Schiliro worked for Mr. Obama’s presidential campaign and had previously worked on Capitol Hill for 25 years. His jobs there have included a stint as an aide to former Senator Tom Daschle, adding to a growing roster of former Daschle aides in the Obama administration.
Here’s another example that the President-elects prohibition against hiring lobbyists is nothing more than BARACRAP. Vice-President Elect Joseph Biden has hired a chief of Staff, Ronald Klain. Mr. Klain is a former lobbyist at the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, where he lobbied for clients including the failed mortgage giant Fannie Mae; an industry group seeking help with asbestos lawsuits; a drug maker under federal investigation; the cable and media giant Time Warner; and an airline. I guess the President-elect feels that SOME lobbyists are OK. But this looks a bit disingenuous—even to the NY Times. Read their criticism below: