Updated 2:52 p.m.
A coalition of government ethics groups is giving the White House high marks for its efforts to limit lobbyists' influence and promote transparency.
Common Cause, Democracy 21, the League of Women Voters, and U.S. PIRG for the first time issued a report card that gave the administration "A" grades for its revolving door restrictions on lobbyists and open government efforts, and "B" grades for its lobbyist gift ban, rules restricting lobbyists from serving on advisory boards, and the restrictions on seeking stimulus funds. Click here (.pdf) for the full report card. The groups said the Obama administration's rules "have begun the difficult process of changing the way business is done in Washington," and said the administration deserves both recognition and praise.
"The cumulative effect of the Administration's actions has been to adopt the strongest and most comprehensive lobbying, ethics and transparency rules and policies ever established by an Administration to govern its own activities," the groups write.
The groups go on to say that the administration still has to pursue campaign finance reform in order to bring about meaningful change. Such reform, they said, requires "repairing the presidential public financing system," as well as establishing a public financing system for congressional races and "creating a new campaign finance enforcemenet system to replace the failed Federal Election Commission."
Fred Wertheimer, president of Democracy 21, said the administration "has done a very good job on these issues overall in its first year and we thought it should be recognized" while also pointing out the need for further reform.