President's New Ethics Rules Should Be Tweaked

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Saturday, April 4, 2009

The March 22 news story "Some Activists Barred From Government Work" raised important issues concerning President Obama's executive order targeted at curbing the corrupting influence of money in politics. This order is having harmful unintended consequences for charities and social welfare organizations, which, regardless of ideology, lobby for a public purpose rather than for a financial bottom line.

I'd like to clarify the status of the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest. The center de-registered under the Lobbying Disclosure Act on April 1, 2008, having nothing to do with the president's 2009 order. Founded 10 years ago, our group is a national nonprofit that focuses on promoting, supporting and protecting nonprofit lobbying and advocacy. We believe that the president's order can be clarified so that it does not inadvertently discourage public-interest lobbying, and we are taking a lead role in these efforts.

From the beginning of our nation, nonprofits and their constituents have been America's best vehicles for civic participation and creating a "more perfect union."

LARRY OTTINGER

President

Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest

Washington


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