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Reform Groups Praise Obama for Lobbying, Ethics Reforms

Reform groups are giving the Obama administration high marks for its first year of lobbying, ethics and transparency reforms.

Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters and U.S. PIRG issued a report card Monday, praising President Barack Obama’s attempts to change the way Washington, D.C., does business, But the groups also pushed him to take on campaign finance reform this year.

“The cumulative effect of the Administration’s actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities,— the groups said in a news release.

The groups gave the executive branch an “A— for its revolving door lobbying ban, open government and reverse revolving door restrictions. The administration received a “B— grade for its lobbyist gift ban, preventing lobbyists from serving on advisory boards and restrictions on seeking stimulus funds. Restrictions on seeking a financial bailout were given no grade because “the policy came far too late in the process,— according to the statement.

The reform groups are pushing a trio of initiatives on the campaign finance front, including fixing the presidential public finance system, establishing public financing for Congressional races and creating an enforcement system to replace the Federal Election Commission.

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