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Mark Renaud and Robert Walker Write Washington Post Opinion Piece Against New Lobbyist Gift Restriction

The Washington Post
October 3, 2011

Wiley Rein lawyers D. Mark Renaud and Robert L. Walker authored an opinion piece published in The Washington Post that responds to a proposal from the Office of Government Ethics that would extend the lobbyist and lobbyist employer ban on gift giving to include gifts to civil servants. The proposal ultimately stems from an executive order President Barack Obama signed in 2009 that prevents lobbyists and lobbyist employers from providing gifts to political appointees.

"We do not personally oppose proposals that would clean up a real source of corruption," write Mr. Renaud and Mr. Walker. "The OGE proposal, however, would do nothing of the sort. Rather, it will stifle the exchange of information between government and the private sector, probably impeding the effective operation of government. And if adopted, these unreasonable rules are likely to never be rolled back."

Mr. Renaud is a partner in Wiley Rein's Election Law & Government Ethics Practice and regularly advises business entities, trade associations, nonprofits and political action committees on laws related to lobbying, ethics, and campaign finance. Mr. Walker, Of Counsel in Wiley Rein's Election Law and Government Ethics Practice, is a former Chief Counsel and Staff Director of both the Senate and House ethics committees and is an expert in federal ethics and lobbying rules.

To read the entire opinion article, please click here.