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WH Says New Biden Aide's Past Lobbying No Problem WH Says New Biden Aide's Past Lobbying No Problem WH Says New Biden Aide's Past Lobbying No Problem WH Says New Biden Aide's ...

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WH Says New Biden Aide's Past Lobbying No Problem

March 5, 2012
Steve Ricchetti, an ex-lobbyist and Clinton administration official, is back at the White House today as a counselor to Vice President Joe Biden.

Ricchetti, who last registered to lobby in 2008, meets the Obama administration's self-imposed two-year cooling-off period. President Obama, who campaigned in part on reducing the influence of lobbyists in the government, signed an executive order banning ex-lobbyists from working on issues related to their former jobs for two years. (Many K Streeters have speculated that Ricchetti de-registered because he was eying another administration job.)

Still, his firm, Ricchetti Inc., continued lobbying even after he was no longer registered, making $1.34 million lobbying last year, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The firm's clients include insurance and hospital organizations, and Ricchetti's brother, Jeff, remains a lobbyist there.

Despite the firm's lobbying work, a White House official said Ricchetti's hiring presented no ethical issues: "Steve Ricchetti has not acted as a lobbyist within the past two years. Since 2008, Steve advised clients on public policy, communications strategy, and grassroots efforts but did not act as a lobbyist with the federal government on behalf of any client."

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