10/20/2012

Top Obama aide advises him and represent companies at the same time

So if Ms. Dunn is keeping such a strict separation between her political role and what she is offering the companies, what exactly are they paying for?  I also thought that Obama had made promises about not hiring lobbyists to work in his administration. He was extremely clear on this: “When I Am President, They [Lobbyists] Won’t Find A Job In My White House.”  From the New York Times:
. . . As a confidante of President Obama and a senior campaign adviser, Ms. Dunn has helped prepare him for the debates this month, plotted campaign strategy and acted as a surrogate of sorts in attacking Mitt Romney for a “backward-looking attitude” on issues like women’s rights and health care. 
She and her colleagues at SKDKnickerbocker, a communications firm, have built a growing list of blue-chip companies — food manufacturers, a military contractor, the New York Stock Exchange and the Canadian company developing the Keystone XL pipeline — willing to pay handsomely for help in winning over federal regulators or landing government contracts. Some clients and lobbyists who have teamed up with SKDK say they benefit from the firm’s ability to provide information about the Obama administration’s views. 
“It is difficult to penetrate this administration,” said Jason Mahler, a lobbyist for the computer technology company Oracle, which was part of a coalition that hired Ms. Dunn’s firm to push for reduced tax rates on offshore profits. “Anyone that has an insight into what they are thinking or their strategy or thoughts on issues we are working on is helpful, and they provided that.” 
SKDK executives said that Ms. Dunn, who declined to be interviewed, was scrupulous about separating her political work from her corporate agenda, and that she followed White House ethics rules barring her from appealing on behalf of clients. 
What the firm offers, said Hilary Rosen, an SKDK partner who is also a high-profile Obama ally, is help in navigating the political landscape in Washington. . . . 
Even as he pledged to curb the influence of special interests in the capital and has restricted the role of lobbyists in his administration, the president and his top aides continue to rely on political operatives like Ms. Dunn who also represent clients seeking to influence public policy. . . .

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