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January 20, 2023
Hannah Story Brown Ananya Kalahasti Andrea Beaty Eleanor Eagan Nika Hajikhodaverdikhan Sion Bell
2020 Election/TransitionAdministrative LawDepartment of Justice
The Trump Administration Made a Mockery of the Law. Why Hasn't Biden Tossed its Cases?
Donald Trump and his Department of Justice consistently made a mockery of the law throughout his four years in power. And while their laughable reasoning and indefensible positions were struck down at a historic rate, many cases were still waiting for Biden. The new administration tossed out a handful immediately but an alarming number remain, either in some form of pause or advancing forward with the Biden administration adopting Trump’s position.
August 25, 2022 | Democracy Journal
Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown
Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationIndependent Agencies
Enforcement: The Untapped Resource
Chronic underfunding means that the agencies with the most laudable missions—the ones seeking to protect ordinary Americans from profit-driven exploitation—often struggle to go up against powerful corporate interests. Strengthening funding for enforcement to protect Americans from environmental, health, consumer, and labor standards violations is an existing, easily justifiable tool for changing that balance of power.
July 28, 2022 | The Lever
Lawmakers Aren’t Disclosing Their Next Jobs
Despite a disclosure law, the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, only one of 56 retiring members of Congress has filed reports on their potential new jobs this election cycle.
July 20, 2022 | The American Prospect
Democrats Need to Fight for a Government That Works
Despite months of increasingly desperate horse trading and frantic whittling, Joe Manchin has narrowed the reconciliation package formerly known as Build Back Better to just a health care bill. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, meanwhile, appears set to torpedo popular, bipartisan antitrust bills on Big Tech’s behalf simply by refusing to bring them for a vote. And a once-sprawling bill on competitiveness and advanced manufacturing is now mostly an economic development subsidy to semiconductor manufacturers.
July 18, 2022 | Politico Europe
To withstand authoritarian threats, ethics standards must be stronger
Earlier this year, many breathed a sigh of relief, after France’s far-right opposition candidate Marine Le Pen’s bid for the country’s presidency went down in resounding defeat for the second time in five years.
That she was able to reprise her role as a second-round presidential candidate, however, let alone pick up close to enough votes, attests to a troubling fact: In France, and elsewhere, the threat from right-wing populist movements is mounting — not receding.
May 05, 2022
Dunn's Latest White House Spin Makes A Mockery Of Ethics Law
The news today that Anita Dunn will return to the White House as a senior advisor makes clear that her involvement with this administration was never credibly temporary.
April 27, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown
ClimateCongressional OversightCorporate CrackdownIndependent Agencies
More “Terrifying” Enforcement Please
On Earth Day 2021, President Biden affirmed his administration’s commitment to bold climate action that would set the world on a path to less than 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming. In the days leading up to this year’s Earth Day, in contrast, his Interior Department announced that it would reopen oil and gas lease sales on public lands. That’s bad enough. At least as alarming, however – if not more, quite frankly – is what his administration still isn’t doing to avoid catastrophic climate change.
April 20, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
CabinetCorporate CrackdownEthics in GovernmentRight-Wing Media
RDP Meets Its Evil Twin
Here at Revolving Door Project, we spend a significant portion of our time working to explain how and why executive branch positions matter. Our team members have collectively published tens of thousands of words detailing the tools executive agencies have to help regular people and insisting that this administration make full use of them.
April 14, 2022
cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFederal ReserveFinancial RegulationFintechRevolving Door
Michael Barr is the Wrong Man to Stop the Next Financial Crisis
Over a decade after the financial crisis, few would still dispute that the revolving door between financial regulators and the financial industry helped pave the way for economic disaster. In the years preceding the crash, regulators who came from the country’s largest banks and planned to promptly return to them, removed regulatory restraints and turned a blind eye to the predictably dangerous effects (see, e.g. Robert Rubin and Alan Greenspan). In the next administration, different regulators drawn from the same well let the fraudsters off the hook and left the working people who had fallen victim to them out to dry.
April 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Conflict Is Key
If you’ve followed the Revolving Door Project for any length of time, you will be aware that we believe the Biden administration and the Democratic party need to fight harder for the public interest and do much more to ensure the public is aware of its efforts. Specifically, it is core to the project’s theory of politics that successful political leaders must not only govern effectively, but drive attention to their work by creating conflict. You can see this thread weaving through almost all of our work, but various members of our team have articulated it most clearly here, here, and here.
April 12, 2022 | The American Prospect
cryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationRevolving Door
Biden Must Block Crypto’s Access to the Revolving Door
Fortunately, Biden has the means to stop at least one aspect of crypto’s campaign in its tracks. Through an executive order, he can cut off crypto’s access to the revolving door by barring the officials who are involved in developing regulations for the digital assets industry from working for it for at least four years. By rights, it should be a bare-minimum anti-corruption standard.
April 06, 2022
Congress Should Heed the Lessons from the Federal Reserve's Ethics Scandals
After a stream of stories throughout the pandemic revealed seemingly rampant congressional insider trading, laughable disclosure practices, and nonexistent enforcement, Congress appears finally to be feeling the pressure to clean up its act. In recent weeks, lawmakers have introduced a flurry of new bills to limit conflicts of interest and help restore public trust in our governing institutions.
As they begin to forge a piece of consensus legislation, they should consider that members of Congress were not the only political leaders to violate public trust throughout the pandemic period. The trading scandals within the Federal Reserve system, for example, revealed material ethical deficiencies that have yet to be satisfactorily addressed. It’s important to recognize that these deficiencies are not unique to the Federal Reserve and that they represent an ongoing threat to public trust in other powerful corners of the executive branch as well. To rebuild that trust in government, lawmakers must learn the lessons of the Federal Reserve scandals and develop fixes for these deficiencies there and elsewhere.
April 06, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Separating Biden World Wheat from Chaff
Measured in positions still awaiting permanent appointments, the first presidential transition is still far from over. Of the 799 positions that the Partnership for Public Service included in its political appointee tracker, 117 still lack a nominee. An additional 161 are empty or being filled in an acting capacity as the nominees for them work their way through an ever more dysfunctional Senate confirmation process.
March 30, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Eleanor Eagan Hannah Story Brown
Corporate CrackdownDe-TrumpificationEthics in GovernmentIndependent Agencies
Build Back Cheaper, and Other Failures of the Centrist Imagination
Across the Biden administration, officials have promised (long overdue) accountability for corporate criminals. But talk is cheap. We at the Revolving Door Project are eager to see serious action to back it up. Our latest analysis, released yesterday, shows the administration is falling short of its ambitious rhetoric. We found that it “pursued at least 24 prosecutions and rulemakings to crack down on white-collar crime this winter, but took no action against at least 48 crimes or abuses.” You can read more about those cases in our brand new tracker. Our team will add updates regularly and share a biweekly news round-up with newsletter subscribers.
March 16, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Facing Rising Prices and Falling Political Fortunes, Biden Needs to Go on Offense
With each passing day, Biden and his party appear to be facing ever more severe political headwinds. Inflation remains elevated, with a new variant threatening to further aggravate supply chain problems. Meanwhile, the (warranted) response to the war in Ukraine has specifically pushed gas prices upwards. Add to this that the Federal Reserve appears eager to throw millions out of work to slow the economy and that some of Biden’s outstanding nominations are in peril thanks to his own, uncooperative co-partisans, and things are undoubtedly looking bleak.