RNC: Obama's Lobbyist Ban Doesn't Apply to DNC Vice Chair

UPDATE 8:13 p.m. ET: DNC Response added

Shackelford was Deputy Campaign Manager for President Bill Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign. She was elected mayor of Little Rock, Ark. in 1987 and was the first woman to serve as the city's mayor.

In the press release it circulated about Shackelford today, the RNC accused Obama of "hypocrisy" when it comes to lobbyists and asked, "How will the DNC's ban on lobbyist cash bring change when there are major exceptions and registered lobbyists in leadership positions?"

When asked for comment, DNC Communications Director Karen Finney accused the RNC of trying to distract voters from lobbyists working for John McCain's campaign. She noted that Shackelford was elected to her position and is not a paid staffer.

"Clearly the RNC is trying to deflect from the fact that the McCain campaign is run by lobbyists from the back of the Straight Talk Express," Finney said. "Sen. Obama and the DNC have taken an unprecedented and important step to stop taking money from PACs and Washington lobbyists, a standard that McCain's campaign and the RNC he claims to control have refused to follow."

"Officers of the DNC are elected and are not paid staff," Finney said. "No members of the DNC staff, however, are federal lobbyists."

The RNC and McCain's campaign both accept money from lobbyists and PACs. McCain instituted a rule in May against registered lobbyists working for his campaign. Liberals have recently called for the resignation one of McCain's volunteer advisers, Charles Black, a registered lobbyist who has worked on behalf of dictators in Zaire, Somalia, Nigeria and the Philippines.

Black has said he consulted the State Dept. before taking the dictators on as clients and terminated business with them as soon as their relationships with the U.S. went bad, but his presence as a campaign adviser has proven controversial for McCain.

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