Barney Frank 'disappointed' in staffer joining lobbying

Although President Obama promised to limit the influence of lobbyists, it's Democrat Barney Frank who is drawing the line today with one of his own former staffers.

Although President Obama promised to limit the influence of lobbyists, particularly those career-hopping from K Street to Capitol Hill and back again, it's Democrat Barney Frank who is drawing the line today with one of his own former staffers.

In an April 1 statement, Frank, chairman of the influential House Financial Services Committee, expressed disappointment in Peter Roberson, a staff member who departed earlier this year to join the Intercontinental Exchange as VP of government relations (otherwise known as lobbying). The company has an interest in the financial reform measures that Congress is reviewing. From Politico:

Typically, staffers who become lobbyists are barred from lobbying their former employers for a year — a rule Frank said was not "adequate" in this case. Frank was clearly seething when he issued his 259-word takedown of Roberson.

"I wanted to make clear I share the unhappiness of people at this, and my intention [is] to prohibit any contact between him and members of the staff for as long as I have any control over the matter," said Frank. “I am therefore instructing the staff of the Financial Services Committee to have no contact whatsoever with Mr. Roberson on any matters involving financial regulation.”

PRWeek previously reported that the Obama administration's lobbying restrictions weren't slowing corporations spending on lobbying but were opening up new public affairs opportunities, such as executive thought leadership initiatives. Others in the industry suggest the restrictions actually impede the government's understanding on issues because it restricts access to a number of groups.

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