The pervasive influence of lobbying and special interests on American society is a subject that is addressed almost daily on The Turner Report. It appears that influence is now becoming a 2008 campaign issue.
On Friday, Democratic candidate Barack Obama outlined a reform plan that goes far beyond what I have seen from other candidates:
Obama promised to curb lobbyists' influence from his first day as president. Declaring there is "more cleaning up to do in Washington," he said he would ban political appointees in his administration from lobbying the executive branch after leaving their jobs. And anyone joining his administration would not be allowed to work on issues related to their former employers for at least two years.
"When I am president, I will make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account -- it's about serving your country, and that's what comes first," Obama told supporters at the New Hampshire Community Technical College here.
"A lot of people have told me this is pretty tough, but I refuse to accept the Washington logic that you cannot find thousands of talented, patriotic Americans willing to devote a few years to their country without the promise of a lucrative lobbying job when they're done. I know we can find them," Obama said.