From the NYT:

“Senator Barack Obama, as he becomes his party’s presumptive presidential nominee, is starting to exert his authority over the Democratic National Committee. A first step? New fund-raising guidelines.

Mr. Obama announced today that the D.N.C. will no longer accept contributions from federal lobbyists or political action committees, which follows the rules he established for his own campaign last year.

“I’ve sent a strong signal in this campaign by refusing the contributions of registered federal lobbyists and PACs and today,†Mr. Obama told an audience in Bristol, Va. “I’m announcing that going forward, the Democratic National Committee will uphold the same standard and won’t take another dime from Washington lobbyists or special interest PACs. They do not fund my campaign. They will not fund our party.â€

He added: “We’re here today because we know that if we’re going to make real progress, this time must be different.—

Good for him. Although, as this article points out, banning contributions and gifts from lobbyists won’t get at some of the deeper sources of their influence, it’s a very good start. (That article places a lot of emphasis on lobbyists’ control of information; I think it probably underplays the importance of lobbyists contributions, bundled and otherwise, in terms of helping to free candidates from some part of the massive time sink that is fundraising.)

Obama also announced that Howard Dean will stay on as DNC chair, also a good move, in my opinion, for reasons explained here. And while I’m linking: this analysis of Obama’s strategy is very, very good.

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