Thursday, January 3, 2008

Obama's Curious Co-Chair

As NBC reports Barack Obama has tabbed former South Carolina governor Jim Hodges as a national co-chair for his campaign. Why is this odd?

Well, Obama hammered rivals (especially John Edwards) for ties to lobbyists and special interests, and maintained that no lobbyists will work in his administration or "set the agenda in Washington."

Earlier, in response to Obama's harping on what was really a tangential tie to a lobbyist, Edwards vowed not to allow any lobbyists in his White House. The Obama camp responded:

Early in this campaign, Barack Obama introduced the furthest-reaching lobbying reform proposal of any candidate in this race, and we appreciate that John Edwards is now following his lead. The truth is, in his six years as a U.S. Senator, John Edwards did not propose or accomplish a single thing to reduce the power of lobbyists while Barack Obama passed the most sweeping lobbying reform since Watergate.
So what's the big deal about Jim Hodges?

Well in addition to being a former governor, Hodges is a federal lobbyist. He founded Hodges Consulting Group, a subsidiary of Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman, L.L.P, a law firm that represents clients in North Carolina and South Carolina. Hodges Consulting calls itself “well positioned to offer highly effective lobbying services and unparalleled state budget expertise. Hodges Consulting Group can also provide federal representation to clients."

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