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March 22, 2021 | Democracy Journal

Jeff Hauser David Segal

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionExecutive Branch

Building Back Better (Than Expected)

The nominations that President Biden has made thus far serve as a guidebook to the years ahead. By analyzing those picks, we see a vivid picture of where we can expect strong executive actions to take on the corporate monopolies and polluters choking the American economy—and where we can anticipate division between the progressive base and corporatist establishment actors.

March 18, 2021

Press Release

CoronavirusExecutive BranchForeign Policy

Congress Must Examine Biden Admin Possibly Trading Vaccines For Anti-Migration Enforcement

The Revolving Door Project is outraged by yesterday’s news that the Biden administration has been pressuring the Mexican government into turning away migrants at the Mexico-Guatemala border. While this Trump style initiative would be appalling on its own, we are additionally concerned about the possibility that President Biden may have bartered millions of doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine to achieve his anti-migration goals.

March 17, 2021

Elias Alsbergas Vishal Shankar

Report

2020 Election/TransitionDefenseExecutive BranchForeign PolicyRevolving Door

The Industry Agenda: Military-Industrial Complex

A powerful collection of weapons manufacturers and defense contractors are shaping American foreign policy by lobbying policymakers and funding hawkish think tanks to keep U.S. defense spending the highest in the world. Their influence-peddling efforts prioritize the defense industry’s profits over countless lives and pressing domestic priorities like universal healthcare. Our Elias Alsbergas and Vishal Shankar explain how the military-industrial complex seeks to influence the executive branch and which defense industry allies are seeking jobs in the Biden Administration.

March 17, 2021

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

The Financial Conflicts Lurking Around the Corner

Almost two months after he took office, Biden’s Cabinet is nearing completion. Nearly all of the six remaining spots seem set to be filled in relatively short order. Now, with the senior-most leadership in place, more permanent hiring for other political roles is likely to accelerate. And with that in mind progressives and good government groups are engaging in another push to ensure that public interest-minded officials populate all levels of political leadership. On Thursday, 46 groups sent a letter to Chief of Staff Ron Klain asking that new hires at the Justice Department not hail from BigLaw and that those with connections to firms who have already been hired recuse from policy and personnel decisions that could impact former clients. When asked whether the Biden administration would heed that call, White House spokesperson Jen Psaki was noncommittal. That’s disappointing — demanding recusals from BigTech and BigLaw tied hires should be a no-brainer (and, in fact, it’s already a step down from our preferred solution, which is not to appoint them at all) — but, if there’s one thing the administration should know by now, it’s that we’ll not be letting them off the hook when it comes to conflicts of interest.

March 17, 2021

Letter

Department of Justice

Coalition Calls on Biden to Appoint U.S. Attorneys Who Will Advance Criminal Justice Reform

You were elected on what the Marshall Project termed, “the most progressive criminal justice platform of any major party candidate in generations.” Already, in your first month in office, you have repeatedly demonstrated your eagerness to follow through on key promises. Now, you have an opportunity to make additional planks of that platform a reality through your choice of United States Attorneys. Specifically, to create a more just, humane, and compassionate criminal justice system, you must elevate committed reformers to these powerful roles, not the same tough-on-crime prosecutors and corporate law attorneys who helped to construct our current broken order.

March 16, 2021

Max Moran

Blog Post

Revolving DoorTech

Revolver Spotlight: Sonal Shah

What is the spirit of a revolver? Perhaps it’s best described as someone who advances “the increasingly influential private-sector approach to world-changing.” That, after all, is how Anand Giridharadas, in his essential book Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing The World, once described Sonal Shah’s current work.

March 16, 2021

Dorothy Slater Eleanor Eagan Max Moran

Blog Post

ClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

FSOC 101: How Each Member Of The Financial Stability Oversight Council Can Fight Climate Change

Title 1 of the Dodd-Frank Act Title established the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) just over a decade ago. Prior to its arrival, there was no cross-agency government body tasked with protecting the financial system from systemic risks. FSOC was created to avoid repeating the mistakes of the 2008 financial crisis and to be a safeguard against financial practices with the potential to wreak global havoc.

March 16, 2021

Dorothy Slater

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionClimateFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies

A Slam Dunk Climate Opportunity For Biden: Five Open Seats On The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

President Biden is being presented with a straightforward, simple opportunity to make good on his promise to take a whole-of-government approach to fighting climate change. Appointing climate leaders who will take urgent climate action even if their job descriptions do not explicitly mention the environment is one of the easiest and most important ways Biden can display integrity.

March 16, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

Revolver Spotlight: Einer Elhauge

Reports that Harvard Law Professor Einer Elhauge is being considered for a role in the Biden Administration should be treated with extreme caution due to his history of ties to Big Tech and work for the Republican Florida legislature in 2000. Although we at RDP applaud Elhauge’s recent pivot to support strengthening antitrust laws, we urge the Biden Administration to hold appointees to the highest possible standard. In particular, helping promulgate the absurd theory in 2000 that state legislatures can overrule elections conducted under laws they have passed should be disqualifying for any individual attempting to serve in the Biden Administration.

March 15, 2021 | Independent Media Institute

Elias Alsbergas

Op-Ed

ClimateCoronavirusEthics in GovernmentRevolving Door

When Public Officials Get Rented Out By Corporate Power, The People Lose

From Vivek Murthy’s lucrative consulting work with Netflix and Carnival Cruise Lines to Brian Deese’s “greenwashing” of fossil fuel investments at BlackRock, the revolving door between corporate industry and government continues to undermine public trust in the Biden Administration, writes our Elias Alsbergas.

March 11, 2021

Jeff Hauser

Press Release

BigLawDepartment of JusticeRevolving Door

Letter Calls On Garland To Commit To Greater Transparency At DOJ

Long before Trump and his cronies took a sledgehammer to the Justice Department, blatant conflicts of interest and endless trips through the revolving door were already eroding its foundation and threatening its structural integrity. Yet, despite an appeal from 37 progressive and good government groups, including ours, Garland has signaled that he will not target that longer-running source of distrust at the root by shutting out BigLaw attorneys from the Justice Department.