Most recently, Obama showed his agri-chemical colors with his nomination of Isi Siddiqui as the chief agricultural negotiator at the office of the U.S. Trade Representative. If confirmed, this would be Siddiqui’s second spin through the revolving door.
After 28 years at the California Department of Food and Agriculture, he entered the Clinton Administration. There he served in the Agricultural Marketing Service before spending four years as the senior trade advisor to Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman.
Then Siddiqui cashed out. In 2002, he became a lobbyist for CropLife America, the lobbying group for pesticide and herbicide manufacturers.
Siddiqui avoids any clash with the executive order restricting lobbyists in Obama administration posts because he last registered as a lobbyist in 2004. Currently, however, he serves as CropLife’s “vice president for science and regulatory affairs.”
So, Siddiqui works for a lobbying organization as the VP in charge of “regulatory affairs,” but he isn’t registered as a lobbyist (meaning he supposedly spends less than 20 percent of his time talking to government officials), so he’s cool by Obama’s standards.
Friday, November 27, 2009
Obama’s revolving door and agri-chemical giants
The agri-chemical industry is one big winner in Obama's America. My column reports on recent developments on this front: