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Policy: Technology

Obama revolving door: Apple's top lobbyist to State department

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Beltway Confidential,Timothy P. Carney,Barack Obama,Lobbying,Ethics,State Department,Apple,Technology,Revolving Door

The Obama administration today announced it would nominate Catherine Ann Novelli as "under secretary for economic growth, energy and the environment, Department of State."

Novelli runs Apple's global lobbying shop. She is the VP for "global government affairs" at Apple, but hasn't been registered as a lobbyist since Obama's first few months in office, which means Obama's "lobbying ban" doesn't apply to her.

This hire puts Apple in the same league as Google, which also sent its VP for government affairs to the Obama administration. Hopefully Novelli won't get in the sort of trouble Google's Andrew McLaughlin got it, where he broke the rules and discussed policy with current Google lobbyists.

Many VPs for government affairs have been treated as non-lobbyists for Obama, such as Pfizer's Sally Sussman, who was an Obama bundler.

And, the revolving door spins both ways between Apple and the Obama administration. Lisa Jackson left Obama's EPA for Apple earlier this year.

This all looks like Apple is getting cozier with Washington — which is a change of pace that Washington will find very welcome.

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