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News Now

Washington
Mica on K Street Does ban deplete a resource
WASHINGTON (3/25/10)—In his most recent ‘K Street Insiders’ column in The Hill, Credit Union National Association (CUNA) President/CEO ponders some tough questions about lobbying and new restrictions that surround lobbyists’ involvement in other efforts. Mica comes down firmly in favor of lobbying reform and full transparency in the lobbying community. But he shares concern that a ban to keep lobbyists from serving on certain government boards and committees “deprives the government of a strong resource.” “There are many on K Street who want to continue serving and have deep expertise they want to share, which does not conflict with their lobbying roles,” Mica wrote. The new rules also ban anyone who has been a registered lobbyist in the last two years from serving the administration. They also prohibit an individual who leaves White House service from lobbying the administration for the duration of the Obama presidency. Mica said the new restrictions have brought some lobbyists to the question—one he is asked by others--of whether they should remain registered as such. He cited reports that since 2008 about 3,000 individuals have deregistered as lobbyists, with 1,700 of those occurring since April 2009. While Mica understands how some might come to this point, he says the bottom line is to do what is in the best interests of your trade association members or lobbying clients and to follow the new rules very closely to comply with the new law. The CUNA leader is among a select group of prominent Washington advocates tapped to write The Hill newspaper's regular column on and about lobbying.
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