LAS VEGAS--With the Democratic nomination locked up, the Obama team moved to take control of the Democratic National Committee in Washington on Thursday and order number one was to ban donations from lobbyists and political action committees. This comes the week White House hopeful Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill) has finally allowed a press pool to cover his fund-raisers.
"Our presumptive nominee has pledged not to take donations from Washington lobbyists and from today going forward the DNC makes that pledge as well," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean in a statement.
UPDATE INSERT "John McCain has not adopted any such standards," the Obama campaign said in a statement.
It is routine for the presidential nominee to seize control of the DNC and Obama installed top field strategist Paul Tewes--he ran Iowa and other key states for Obama--to work with Dean.
Tewes had been toiling in the background for the past several weeks; now that Obama is the presumptive nominee, Tewes officially surfaced at the DNC Thursday.
As for the policy change--if Obama had not made the switch he would have left himself open to being called a hypocrite, since the DNC at this point exists largely to help Obama win the November election with opposition research, organizing, etc. The Republican National Committee is assisting the McCain campaign much in the same way; it's been building its Obama dossier for more than a year. The tainted money ban now lets Obama take aim at the RNC--as well as McCain, who has been forced to root out the lobbyists in his campaign after conflicts-of-interest surfaced.
Obama bans lobbyist and PAC money from his presidential campaign and has gotten great mileage out his ban, making it a centerpiece of his primary campaign. Obama took money from lobbyists and PACs for his state senate, House and Senate races and his HOPEFUND, taking on the higher standard when he launched his presidential bid in February, 2007.
Click for UPDATE
UPDATE FROM THE OBAMA CAMPAIGN...
Under Obama, DNC Will Not Accept PAC or Washington Lobbyist Money
CHICAGO, IL—Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama announced today that the Democratic National Committee will not accept donations from registered federal lobbyists or political action committees—the landmark transparency standard to which Obama has implemented in his own campaign. The announcement came one day after Obama adopted a policy of opening all of his fundraising events to press coverage.
John McCain has not adopted any such standards.
“I’ve sent a strong signal in this campaign by refusing the contributions of registered federal lobbyists and PACs,” Senator Obama said. “And today, I’m announcing that going forward, the Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard and won’t take another dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. They do not fund my campaign. They will not fund our party. And they will not drown out the voices of the American people when I’m President of the United States.”
From the DNC.......
DNC, Obama for America Campaign Announce that DNC Will No Longer Accept Washington Lobbyist Donations
Washington, DC - Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean and the Obama for America Campaign today announced that the DNC will no longer accept Washington lobbyist donations, making the same commitment as Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president.
"The DNC and the Obama Campaign are unified and working together to elect Barack Obama as the next president of the United States. Our presumptive nominee has pledged not to take donations from Washington lobbyists and from today going forward the DNC makes that pledge as well," said Democratic National Committee Chairman Howard Dean. "Senator Obama has promised to change the way things are done in Washington and this step is a sure sign of his commitment. The American people's priorities will set the agenda in an Obama Administration, not the special interests."