There are many, many problems with lobbying disclosure, but one of the greatest would have to be that lobbyists are not required to explain what they are lobbying on and who they are meeting with. That’s why, on the face of it, these comments by President Obama are so excellent.
…Any lobbyist who wants to talk with a member of my administration about a particular recovery act project will have to submit their thoughts in writing, and we will post it on the Internet for all to see.
If — if any member of my administration does meet with a lobbyist about a recovery act project, every American will be able to go online and see what the meeting was about.
These are unprecedented restrictions that will help ensure that lobbyists don’t stand in the way of our recovery. And this plan cannot and will not be an excuse for waste and abuse. Whenever a project comes up for review, we’re going to ask a simple question: Does it advance the core mission of the recovery act? Does it jump- start job creation? Does it lay the foundation for lasting prosperity?
It would be great to see the details of how this will be implemented, but for now, bravo!