Culture of Corruption update

Democrats demonized lobbyists for the last two years on the presidential campaign trail, and won the 2006 midterms by criticizing the “culture of corruption” in the GOP-run Congress.  My, how times have changed.  Look who just got a cushy job as the top lobbyist at the most politically-connected firm on Wall Street:

Goldman Sachs’ new top lobbyist was recently the top staffer to Rep. Barney Frank, D-Mass., on the House Financial Services Committee chaired by Frank. Michael Paese, a registered lobbyist for the Securities Industries and Financial Markets Association since he left Frank’s committee in September, will join Goldman as director of government affairs, a role held last year by former Tom Daschle intimate, Mark Patterson, now the chief of staff at the Treasury Department. This is not Paese’s first swing through the Wall Street-Congress revolving door: he previously worked at JP Morgan and Mercantile Bankshares, and in between served as senior minority counsel at the Financial Services Committee.

Barack Obama told me that if I voted for John McCain, I’d see a revolving door between Wall Street fat cats and smoke-filled back rooms of the White House and Congress.  What do you know — he was right!

In this case, it really is a revolving door.  We’ve covered the excessive political pull that Goldman Sachs has (and uses), which makes this really, really …. interesting.  Patterson leaves GS to become Tim Geithner’s chief of staff, despite Obama’s promise to keep lobbyists out of the government.  GS reaches out and gets one of Barney Frank’s close advisers to take his place.

Nah.  No “culture of corruption” here.  Looks like business as usual … which was what Obama and the Democrats supposedly ran against.