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June 15, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Justice Is Blind, and So Is Merrick Garland

Punch for punch, the debasement of Attorney General Merrick Garland is without historical correlate. The self-defeating adherence to ideological centrism (often indistinguishable from passivity in the face of elite resistance), paired with his masochistic devotion to the status quo, represents the kind of Blue Dog/New Dem totem that could have only emerged from a lab. Corporatist Democrats believed during the Obama years, as they do now, that through the ritual sacrifice of their Democratic ideals, they could resurrect the corpse of a forgotten age when left and right joined hands to strangle the everyday citizen. That union never happened after the GOP realized they could simply steamroll Democrats like Garland who refuse to open their eyes to the Conservative onslaught, even when it was punching them in the face.

June 14, 2022 | The American Prospect

Mekedas Belayneh

Op-Ed Department of CommerceRevolving DoorTech

Big Tech’s Back Door to Digital Trade Rules

The Department of Commerce is currently conducting digital trade talks with nations from the Indo-Pacific and Europe, with negotiations led by its secretary, Gina Raimondo. Through her role as lead negotiator in President Biden’s newly established Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF) and one-year-old U.S.-EU Trade and Technology Council (TTC), Raimondo is poised to influence global trade policies.

June 13, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal

Blog Post

Almost Half Of U.S. Attorney’s Offices Have No Permanent Nominee. Where’s Biden’s Urgency?

This month President Biden nominated five additional people to helm the 93 districts of the Office of the United States Attorney. These five nominees brought Biden’s total nominations for the office up to just 53 out of 92 nominees for the office, or a little more than half. The vast majority of these nominations have occurred in states with a Democratic Senatorial delegation with many of these seats held hostage by Republicans wielding a racist Senate tradition to arbitrarily obstruct the process and these crucial seats nationwide. Now, nearly a year and a half into Biden’s presidency, the fact that almost half of these positions are still left without a nominee is a glaring indictment of Biden’s failure to prioritize these critically important positions. 

June 13, 2022

Toni Aguilar Rosenthal Mekedas Belayneh

Blog Post Food and Drug AdministrationGovernment CapacityIndependent Agencies

The Decades-Long Food Failure at the FDA

In 2008, a deadly salmonella outbreak from contaminated peanut products killed nine and sickened over 700 people. In the aftermath, the peanut executives who poisoned people with food they knew was contaminated received decades-long prison sentences, an all-too-rare case of a corporate criminal being held responsible for the harm they caused. Contemporary public outrage also helped to fuel a push for more structural reform to the food safety regulatory system as a whole. Shortly after the outbreak, the Obama administration began whipping bipartisan congressional support for the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), which sought to prevent future food safety crises by expanding and strengthening the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) authority over food. FSMA ultimately passed both the Senate and the House by wide margins and enjoyed broad public support when finally enacted in 2011. 

June 08, 2022

Timi Iwayemi

Press Release

CryptocurrencyFinancial RegulationFintechIndependent Agencies

RELEASE: Lummis-Gillibrand Crypto Bill Is An Irresponsible Handout To The Crypto Industry

“The industry carve outs in this bill are a reminder of the danger of corporate influence in our political system. The crypto industry’s leading figures have spent enormous amounts to shield the industry from proper financial oversight. This money has been funneled towards revolving-door hiring of former CFTC officials, formation of super PACs, and congressional campaign donations. The industry has also bemoaned the SEC’s robust regulatory posture, decrying it with the self-defeating ostensible insult of ‘regulation by enforcement.’ That supposed criticism merely underlines the urgent need for the SEC to act. Existing law is clear, and it mandates that the SEC enforce existing statutory and regulatory limits that crypto bros have brazenly broken on the assumption that they will be able to buy clemency before they are sanctioned appropriately.”

June 08, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Confirmations CrisisExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

June Gloom for Student Debtors, Plus Biden’s Solar Breakthrough

The tortuous game of will-they-won’t-they cancel student debt continues. Biden’s decision this week to cancel $5.8 billion in debt held by 560,000 former students of the systematically fraudulent, now-defunct Corinthian Colleges seems to signal a willingness (finally!) to wield executive authority on higher ed issues. Meanwhile, a historic coalition of over 500 labor, civil rights and advocacy groups continues to press Biden for sweeping cancellation. The labor movement has been ramping up its calls for student debt cancellation, and more unions, including the Amazon and Starbucks unions and several traditionally blue-collar unions, are joining the fight. This show of force from a broad labor base could help Biden overcome his political reservations, with organized labor actively refuting the Republican talking point that student debt relief is a handout to elite university graduates.

June 06, 2022

Dorothy Slater

Press Release ClimateExecutive Branch

RELEASE: Revolving Door Project Applauds Use Of Defense Production Act For Clean Energy Projects

In response to the Biden administration’s announcement that it will activate the Defense Production Act to spur domestic production of crucial clean energy projects including solar panel parts, building insulation, heat pumps, and power grid infrastructure, Revolving Door Project Senior Researcher Dorothy Slater released the following statement:

June 06, 2022 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed CryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationFintech

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Multimillion-Dollar Game

A leading voice in this push is Sam Bankman-Fried, 30-year-old CEO of crypto trading exchange FTX. Christened by some as a crypto prince and others as Washington’s aspiring kingmaker, Bankman-Fried has in the past year developed an extensive crypto policy agenda that entails revolving-door hiring of former CFTC officials, formation of super PACs, and congressional campaign donations.

June 01, 2022

Jeff Hauser

Press Release 2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentIndependent Agencies

With Jan. 6 Public Hearings on the Horizon, Garland Must Deliver Actual Accountability

“From Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, to George H.W. Bush’s pardons of the Iran-Contra scandal’s architects, to Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer’s acquiescence to the financial fraudsters who generated the Great Recession, America has seen a precipitous decline in equality under the law.”

June 01, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

ClimateDepartment of JusticeExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

Biden's War Against Himself

If the unchecked blood letting, billowing inflation, foreign conflict, and typhoon of domestic Covid infection wasn’t enough to set Americans on edge the past week, a persistent high pitched whine–not unlike the kind projected outside 7/11s to deter listless teenage delinquents from Sacramento to Scranton–descended on the nation. It emanated not from a thoughtfully angled speaker system, but out of the oval office and into the pages of the Wall Street Journal and Fox News studios. Nonetheless, It has had a similar effect in driving young people away.