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The New York Times - Obama Says New Rules Would Guide His Administration

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The New York Times - Obama Says New Rules Would Guide His Administration

By Jeff Zeleny

Senator Barack Obama said on Friday that if elected president, he would impose new lobbying restrictions on members of his administration and seek to end a system of no-bid contracts that he says is riddled by abuse.

Mr. Obama, Democrat of Illinois, also said he would increase public access to information across the federal government and restore an objectivity to the White House that he says has eroded.

"When I am president, I will make it absolutely clear that working in an Obama administration is not about serving your former employer, your future employer or your bank account," Mr. Obama said in remarks prepared for a speech delivered in Manchester, N.H. "It's about serving your country, and that's what comes first."

In his first term in the Senate, Mr. Obama has pursued a variety of ethics proposals, including a ban on gifts, meals and subsidized private air travel for lawmakers.

"Americans of every background and belief are hungry for a new kind of politics," Mr. Obama said, "a people's politics that reconnects them with their government."

If political appointees left their positions in an Obama administration, he said, they would be restricted from lobbying the executive branch for the rest of his time in office; now, his campaign said, there is no such restriction.

For two years, Mr. Obama said, employees would be prohibited from working on regulations or contracts directly related to their previous employers. That ban, he said, would close a "revolving door" for former and future employers.

And he called for an end to no-bid government contracts, pointing to the Iraq war and Hurricane Katrina recovery efforts, which he said were rife with wasteful spending.

His proposals also included giving the public greater access to government business. Mr. Obama said that five days before signing a bill into law, he would allow the public to review and comment on it.


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