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January 08, 2021

Press Release

2020 Election/Transition

Memo on De-Trumpification

If there is one thing that Wednesday’s events made excruciatingly clear, it is that every additional day that Trump is in office is a dangerous one for our country. The risk is such that, even with only 12 days remaining in the President’s term, many are desperately seeking to remove him from office. Sadly, no matter whether Trump leaves the Oval Office tomorrow or on January 20, we know that many of his associates will remain behind (although just how many is a mystery).

January 06, 2021

Press Release

2020 Election/Transition

Why Progressives Should Care About the Commerce Secretary & Reject Raimondo

As President-elect Joe Biden fills out his Cabinet, progressives have pushed hard on most major positions, save one: Commerce Secretary. Recent reporting on the role frames the Commerce Secretary as a glorified middle-man between C-Suites and the White House.

In fact, the work of the Commerce Department impacts all Americans. Yet for decades, Commerce Secretaries have been chosen not for their policy agenda or experience, but as a reward for their massive campaign contributions and personal loyalty to the President. This practice of selling the Commerce Secretary position to the highest bidder has made it difficult to understand just how valuable a populist Commerce Secretary could be.

January 05, 2021

Vishal Shankar Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCabinetExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationRevolving DoorTech

Biden Should Beware The Right-Wing's Revolving Door Attacks

Fresh off defending Donald Trump’s historic corruption, conservatives have begun attacking President-elect Biden for his nominees’ ties to Big Tech, Wall Street, and corporate lobbying. While these attacks are transparently hypocritical, they are not without factual substance and could prove to be a major political liability for Democrats unless they commit to adopting much-needed ethics reforms.

December 24, 2020

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

Why Progressives Should Care About The Commerce Secretary

As President-elect Joe Biden fills out his Cabinet, progressives have pushed hard on most major positions, save one: Commerce Secretary. Reporting on this role frames the seat as the liaison to the business community, who can “rebuild relationships” with massive corporations like BlackRock, Goldman Sachs, and Mastercard. (Were relationships ever frayed to begin with?) This framing makes the Commerce Secretary seem like a glorified middle-man between C-Suites and the White House, overlooking the actual functions of their Department, including the Patent and Trademark Office, the Census Bureau, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and crucial components of US trade policy.

December 23, 2020 | The American Prospect

Jeff Hauser Erich Pica

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionClimateEthics in Government

The Most Important Biden Appointee No One Has Heard Of

One role that remains unfilled will be vital to enacting Biden’s policy agenda: the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA). Although many Americans have never heard of OIRA, the office is well known among corporate lobbyists, who take full advantage of its ability to stop regulations in their tracks. Since the Reagan administration, OIRA has earned a reputation as “the death row of well-meaning legislation.”

December 23, 2020 | https://www.thedailybeast.com/biden-teams-looming-natsec-conflicts-spell-trouble?ref=scroll

Eleanor Eagan Mariama Eversley

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionEthics in Government

Biden Team’s Looming NatSec Conflicts Spell Trouble

In January of 1961, President Eisenhower warned the nation of the union between the mushrooming arms industry and the Department of Defense. The military-industrial complex, as he put it, would imperil democracy and put the defense industry in the driver’s seat of the nation’s foreign and domestic policy. And now, Joe Biden, with his early foreign policy and defense picks, has made some choices that are emblematic of a conflict of interest-laden status quo for which there is no constituency (at least not one that isn’t on the payroll).

December 21, 2020

Mariama Eversley Miranda Litwak

FOIA Request

2020 Election/TransitionAnti-Monopoly

From Civil Rights Giants to Dairy Farmers, Tom Vilsack for USDA is Bad Politics

Biden has long marketed himself as the unity candidate who could appeal to large swaths of the American electorate. So his selection of his old friend Tom Vilsack as USDA Secretary, whose only unifying characteristic is the disdain he has received from a broad coalition of advocacy groups, is perplexing to say the least.

December 21, 2020

Press Release

Government Capacity

Revolving Door Project Statement on Congressional Leaders' Failure to Protect the Civil Service

On Sunday Congress announced that it had reached a deal on a $1.4 trillion omnibus spending bill that will keep the federal government funded through September. The package includes $1.375 billion for the border wall — sticking the incoming administration with a costly, unpopular, and inhumane project — and does nothing to halt President Trump’s attack on the civil service through the creation and implementation of the new “Schedule F” civil service classification.

December 21, 2020

Miranda Litwak

Newsletter

RDP TRANSITION UPDATE - 12/21/20

Beginning this week, the Revolving Door Project will provide regular updates on how the Biden transition is shaping up. While we do not claim to capture the full powers and responsibilities of these positions, we will discuss the top Administration jobs Biden has yet to fill. We also discuss the individuals vying for top Administration jobs that present serious conflicts of interest.