In a move to avoid possible perceived conflicts of interest, Sen. John Kerry says he will avoid lobbyists and campaign fundraising while he works with the congressional supercommittee on deficit reduction, according to a report Monday in the Boston Globe
The Massachusetts Democrat said he’ll concentrate instead on talking and meeting with people who can “inform” his judgment — and hopefully that of the other 11 panel members — as they try to figure out how to cut $1.5 trillion from the federal budget over the next 10 years.
The deadline for the recommendations of the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction is by Thanksgiving, which Kerry noted doesn’t leave much time.
“I’m not meeting with a lot of lobbyists; I’m meeting with people I choose to meet with, who can inform me, assist in the process of crunching numbers and dealing with consequences, and so forth,” Kerry told the Globe. “My schedule is tight and very managed and it does not include meeting with a whole bunch of lobbyists right now.”
Kerry also stressed he “won’t be raising any [campaign] money while the committee is working.”
“I don’t want people to think that I’m being leveraged by contributions,” he said. “I just don’t want the appearance of money being associated with anything I do on this.”
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