Where’s that “closed door,” Mr. President?

The Washington Examiner reports that yet another top government aide has moved over to K Street — the lobbying and consulting corridor in Washington, D.C. Damon Munchus, former aide to  Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, will now work for Cypress Group, which counts among its clients some of the nation’s largest banks.

I’ve written before about the revolving door between government and corporate America. Of course, there’s also the two way street between lobbying firms and the government. With the latest announcement, I’m left wondering what happened to President Obama’s promise to crack down on special interests…

Damon Munchus is at least the third top Obama official who has exited the administration through the revolving door that opens to K Street — in keeping with President Obama’s ethics rules, but contrary to his clean-government rhetoric. The White House Web site last April stated that Obama was “cracking down on special interests and, in particular, lobbying abuses,” by issuing “the toughest rules in history closing the revolving door between K Street and the executive branch.” But he hasn’t “closed” that door.

First, there are the 45 former lobbyists currently in senior administration positions. More important is the trickle of administration officials already leaving for K Street. Munchus is the latest…

Just to complete the circle, Munchus used to work for Fannie Mae as a senior financial analyst. This game of musical chairs is pretty common, and these people aren’t breaking any laws by playing along. But politics is built on loyalties and alliances, so it’s important to keep your eyes on both.

 

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Zoe Romanowsky is writer, consultant, and coach. Her articles have appeared in "Catholic Digest," "Faith & Family," "National Catholic Register," "Our Sunday Visitor," "Urbanite," "Baltimore Eats," and Godspy.com. Zo

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