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August 07, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Eileen Appelbaum

Op-Ed

2020 Election/TransitionPrivate Equity

A Day One Agenda for Private Equity

Over the past decade, private equity has creeped and crawled into all corners of our lives. Everywhere you look across our ruinous, virus-riddled landscape, private equity is there. It is behind many of the understaffed and underprepared nursing homes through which COVID-19 tore, the surprise medical bills that will greet those lucky enough to make it home, and the evictions sending people out onto the streets amidst a global pandemic. It is also getting ready to pounce on many of the high-profile companies to have fallen since the pandemic’s onset.

August 05, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan

Op-Ed

Congressional OversightTech

The Big Tech Hearings Could Be a Model for Corporate Accountability

In 2018, Democrats ran and won on a platform to hold President Trump and his cronies accountable. Many observers expected to be treated to a full schedule of oversight programming in the succeeding Congress, with a nearly endless stream of smug incompetents being caught in their lies and obfuscations. Some even dared to hope that the oversight fervor might spill over to another breed of smug incompetents: corporate CEOs. But, alas, the promised enthusiasm for oversight never seemed to materialize, let alone spread to new targets. (As usual, House Financial Services Committee chairwoman Maxine Waters, who confronted big bank CEOs within months of assuming control of her committee, stands out as a rare exception).

July 27, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Government Capacity

Building a Federal Workforce that Works for All

By quietly capturing key positions throughout the executive branch, corporate America has reshaped the rules that govern our economy. RDP regularly calls attention to these oft-overlooked corporate allies to increase the political costs of politicians’ consequential personnel concessions. At the same time, we are leading the way in envisioning an alternative model — one in which political appointments go to a more representative, public-interest minded class of leaders — and charting how we get there. As important as this work is, however, it alone will not be sufficient to remake government for the people. Even the most committed, effective leaders can do very little to advance the public interest if the institutions they lead are broken. And our governing infrastructure is crumbling. After years of attacks from both sides of the aisle, the federal government is able to do less overall and to do what it still does less effectively. This is not, as some would have you believe, an inherent failure endemic to “Big Government” but the opposite — ineffectiveness is the direct result of disinvestment.

July 24, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

House Democrats Must Do More to Hold Trump's Cabinet Accountable

During the 2018 midterms, Democrats promised to act as a much-needed check on a lawless president. Over a year and a half later, however, it is evident they have failed. From the moment House Democrats took control, Revolving Door Project (RDP) has been watching to see that they uphold their promises ready to elevate examples of good oversight and highlight areas where they were falling short. Unfortunately, there have been very few opportunities to do the former and an abundance of examples of the latter.

July 17, 2020

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional Oversight

Oversight of Congressional Oversight: Assessing the House Ways and Means Committee

Last fall, Democrats ran and won on an anti-corruption platform. The Revolving Door Project (RDP) is committed to ensuring that members of the new majority fulfill their promises to bring accountability to Trump, his powerful allies, and corporate bad actors. Oversight is an incredibly powerful tool that can shine a light on overlooked issues, unearth answers about clandestine misbehavior, and generate consensus around reforms.

July 14, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

June 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats. Quietly, Trump and Mitch McConnell have undermined independent agencies’ functionality by slow-walking nominations. And, in particular, they have undermined the norm of statutorily-mandated political balance on many independent agency boards in a move that could keep regulatory power in Republican hands for years after Trump leaves office.

July 13, 2020 | The American Prospect

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed

Congressional Oversight

Trump’s Tax Returns Remain Hidden. Blame Richard Neal.

Don’t let the headlines fool you. The Supreme Court’s decision last Thursday in Trump v. Mazars doesn’t deserve much celebration. Although the Court upheld Congress’s right to investigate the president as a general matter, it placed new restrictions on that power and punted on the specific question at hand: Can Congress get immediate access to President Trump’s financial records through his accounting firm? With the case potentially headed for many more months of litigation, there is a significant chance the president’s records will not be made public before the election this fall.

June 04, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Financial RegulationRevolving Door

A Brief Introduction to Your New Comptroller of the Currency

Last month, Comptroller of the Currency Joseph Otting, announced that he would be stepping down from his post effective May 29. The former First Deputy Comptroller of the Currency, Brian Brooks, has taken his place in an acting capacity. Although he is now one of the country’s top banking regulators, Brooks – who only joined the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) – remains a relatively unknown figure. Here is what we know (and more troublingly, what we don’t know) about the new acting Comptroller.

June 02, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

Independent Agencies

May 2020 Update on the State of Independent Federal Agencies

Over the past several years, President Trump’s assault on governing norms, from his refusal to reveal information about his finances to his glee in firing those who are not sufficiently loyal to him, has sparked public outcry. One set of norm violations, however, has received relatively little attention from the media or from Senate Democrats. Quietly, Trump and Mitch McConnell have undermined independent agencies’ functionality by slow-walking nominations. And, in particular, they have undermined the norm of statutorily-mandated political balance on many independent agency boards in a move that could keep regulatory power in Republican hands for years after Trump leaves office.

May 20, 2020

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Blog Post

Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentRevolving Door

The Revolving Door Project Responds to Coronavirus

In the space of just a few weeks, the coronavirus outbreak has called into question almost every aspect of the political consensus of the last few decades. As it turns out, selling government for parts (aka “privatizing” or “reinventing” government), rolling back regulations, starving governing bodies of resources, and holding those who attempt to serve the public good in contempt, has left us exceedingly vulnerable.

May 11, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

2020 Election/TransitionCampaign Finance

Biden's No Trumpian Real Estate Tycoon, But Still Receives Heavy Real Estate Backing

With real estate tycoon Donald Trump in the White House, the average American is likely more aware than ever of the many ways the federal government helps to subsidize real estate profits. As the average person increasingly struggles to pay rising housing costs with stagnating wages, real estate giants make out like bandits with the help of tax loopholes and direct subsidies. Already a matter of pressing national concern, this stark disparity is only likely to become more salient in the coming months as the pandemic sheds light on the risks of our housing system’s precarity and undermines many people’s fragile grip on housing stability.

May 11, 2020

Eleanor Eagan

Blog Post

2020 Election/Transition

Presidential Power Map Provides Road Map to Potential 2020 Transition

The Revolving Door Project’s “Presidential Power Map” provides an easy-to-understand snapshot of 2020 Democratic presidential primary candidates’ support by sector. By breaking down high-dollar support in this way, this tool encourages users to draw direct lines between big money fundraising and a president’s choices regarding personnel and executive power. Using the “Presidential Power Map,” members of the Revolving Door Project’s team have begun to tease out these connections and to consider what they might mean for the composition and priorities of a future administration.