People should feel free to post criticisms of his actions. I certainly intend to (as soon as I find something to criticize
Why should we not be concerned about William Lynn's nomination as Deputy Secretary of Defense despite his prior role as lobbyist for Raytheon, seemingly in direct contravention of Obama's executive order banning lobbyists from entering government for two years in the particular issue area in which they were lobbyists (or with an executive agency which they lobbied)?
Because we didn't know about it?
We should be concerned. It will be interesting to see what happens. Here's one article about the issue:Obama lobbying ban hits DC reality
I guess it depends on whether a standard of competence exceeds the presumption of "guilt by lobbying".
Failing to appoint someone who was previously a lobbyist is less of a problem than permitting someone to become a lobbyist after the fact, becuase you can have standards of conduct that you expect them to follow in the role in which you place them.
Lobbyist is a charged word.
When you write your congressman on a concern, you are "lobbying" for yourself, but you do not have much power or influence.
Now obviously, there is a distinction between such individual actions and the actions of registered lobbyists.
When businesses or other organizations, such as labor unions, lobby the government, there is a danger of undue influence; however, many businesses have to lobby the government just to ensure their own survival.
My own industry recently successfully lobbied the government with regard to dumping of steel below cost by Chinese firms, which has had a crippling effect on certain areas of the business, resulting in the loss of many manufacturing jobs.
Who else is going to stand up for that? Will the people who are buying the cheap steel?
If the government needed someone who understood the intricacies of the steel industry with regard to the import situation and the erosion of the manufacturing base, I would suspect that the folks who did the lobbying would be among those most familiar with, and most knowledgeable in, that area.
Similarly, William Lynn is familiar with the ins and outs of the defense industry due to his association with Raytheon. Would it be better to have someone who is not
familiar with the defense industry?
I would rather have the ethics standard be something that allows for waivers after intense scrutiny, than to have it be absolute.
In other areas where absolute and arbitrary standards are applied (like 3 strikes laws, and zero tolerance rules in schools), you often have potentially harmful unintended consequences.
The same could happen here (in a different way) if the ethics standard serves as an effective blacklist on competent candidates. You could end up with someone who is less qualified in a position of extreme importance.
This could be resolved readily by improving the wording of the new ethics standard to include standards for when waivers can be applied, or when a candidate should receive extra scrutiny.
Examples of absurdities when absolute standards are applied in other areas:
http://www.abanet.org/crimjust/juvjus/z ... eport.html
My niece, Humera, under a pumpkin leaf!