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April 16, 2021

Fatou Ndiaye Zena Wolf

Blog Post

CoronavirusExecutive BranchIntellectual PropertyRevolving Door

The Brother Of A Pharma Lobbyist Advises Biden As He Weighs Vaccine IP Waiver

Despite pushback from progressives, Ricchetti has continued to hold a powerful advisory position in the Biden White House. His background in corporate lobbying and strong ties to the pharmaceutical industry are deeply troubling signs as the Biden Administration faces enormously consequential decisions about how to end the COVID-19 pandemic.

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.

January 22, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

Potential Comptroller of the Currency Mehrsa Baradaran’s Background

Baradaran seems committed to challenging the status quo of our financial system that sidelines poor and marginalized communities. The OCC has long been part of a banking system that reinforces racial injustice rather than addresses it — and that remained largely true even after Dodd-Frank was passed and implemented by Obama’s regulatory team. Voices like Baradaran’s are valuable in reconsidering financial regulation and helping raise the bar for who is and who is not an adequately zealous regulator.

January 12, 2021

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionForeign PolicyGovernment Capacity

With Bill Burns At CIA, A Hopeful Move Toward Civil Service Revitalization

At the Revolving Door Project, we have frequently emphasized the importance of strengthening the civil service to ensure government works for public service and doesn’t cater to the interest of powerful people and corporations. We warned about how too much reliance on political appointments in the executive branch reduces accountability, citing academic research that political appointees perform worse than career managers. Especially in the Trump era, we have seen numerous examples of political appointees using the government for personal gain. Biden’s selection of William Burns, a career diplomat, as his CIA director should therefore be widely praised by progressives as a step towards restoring the civil service and depoliticizing the American intelligence community.

January 05, 2021

Vishal Shankar Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCabinetExecutive BranchFinancial RegulationRevolving DoorRight-Wing MediaTech

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.

November 23, 2020

Zena Wolf

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionFinancial Regulation

JANET YELLEN: What You Need to Know

Janet Yellen has had a long and distinguished career in the academy and in public service. Like anyone with such a lengthy career, there have been misses along the way. And RDP and other progressives will be sure to speak out in the future should any of them resurface. But Yellen’s commitment to fighting unemployment and the conventional wisdom has been the through line of her career. The differences between the worldviews of Janet Yellen and Tim Geithner, President Obama’s first Treasury Secretary, could hardly be more stark.