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August 10, 2020
The Revolving Door Project on Fighting Monopoly Power
Congress and the antitrust enforcement agencies have given unprecedented attention to the monopoly issues surrounding Big Tech in recent months. The scrutiny is one step toward rebalancing our increasingly concentrated economy, especially in the time of COVID-19, when small businesses are struggling to survive and corporations are further entrenching their power. But the problem of economic concentration extends far beyond Big Tech. It defines almost every corner of our economy. With the upcoming election and a potential shift in power, Joe Biden has an opportunity to reduce economic consolidation across the board, using executive branch powers including, but not limited to, reforming the antitrust enforcement agencies.
June 17, 2020
“Career” Trade Reps Solicit USMCA Consulting Gigs from Auto Industry
Jason Bernstein and Fred Fischer, both Deputy Assistant U.S. Trade Representatives, reached out to auto industry representatives offering to “assist companies directly with their USMCA implementation needs,” according to Bloomberg’s report. The report did not confirm whether Bernstein and Fischer asked for or received clearance to contact the auto companies, while ethics experts speculate that offering such services while still employed by the government might breach federal ethics requirements.
June 08, 2020 | The American Prospect
Rahm Emanuel, The Worst Man For The Moment
If Emanuel gets Biden’s ear during the transition, he will do everything possible to protect the powerful and sink the ambitions of the populist base. But, again, it isn’t clear if Emanuel is overstating his supposed influence to, in Ruthhart’s words, “keep himself relevant.”
June 04, 2020
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.
May 26, 2020 | The American Prospect
Joe Biden's Friend From JPMorgan Chase
Scher has run all of JPMorgan Chase’s political influence operations since 2008. He is a brotherly and sociable person, but he has worked for two decades to undermine governance by and for the public, rather than private, interest.
May 20, 2020
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 06, 2020
RDP Bemoans Big Pharma Merger Facilitated by Revolving Door BigLaw Lawyers
Revolving Door Project Executive Director Jeff Hauser said, “This anti-competitive merger further entrenches Big Pharma at the expense of all Americans. Big Pharma’s playbook here is no less dangerous for having become rote: They hire well-connected revolving door FTC alumni to secure approval for mergers that undermine the public interest. To restore the public interest at the FTC, we will need to end the FTC-to-BigLaw pipeline that has helped bring about an economy that works well for rich investors rather than American consumers or workers.”
April 29, 2020
Amazon Won’t Play Fair In Commerce Or Congress
Last week, the Wall Street Journal revealed that contrary to stated company policies, Amazon looks at proprietary information generated for third-party sellers on the platform when developing its house-brand offerings. Cases described to the Journal include Amazon engineers peeking at the total sales, profit margins, and shipping costs for a popular third-party car trunk organizer which sells on Amazon Marketplace. Amazon later used that data to help design its own, rival product. Third-party sellers have long believed that Amazon wasn’t looking at this information because…Amazon said it wasn’t looking at this information. Instead, the tech giant’s control of both the Marketplace and its own house brands grants it an anti-competitive advantage over smaller sellers who depend on Amazon’s marketplace to survive. They can’t check all of their competitors’ stats on a whim to figure out how to drive them out of business.
April 28, 2020
Ted Kaufman Hates The Revolving Door. Now He Must Do Something About It.
If he truly cannot stand the conflicts of interest, revolving doors, and regulatory capture of Washington, then he currently holds perhaps the single most powerful job to do something about it.
April 20, 2020
A Larry Summers Comeback Would Threaten Climate Justice
Summers’ influence has directly exacerbated our climate crisis by repeatedly halting any meaningful attempt at curbing the crisis.
April 11, 2020 | Washington Monthly
How Big Tech Is Preparing for a Biden Presidency
If Joe Biden wins in November, you can bet that Big Tech’s representatives will do the same thing as every other industry’s political strategists: scour the list of more than four thousand appointments across the executive branch the new president needs to make, and figure out which of their loyalists are ready for a spin through the government’s revolving door.
March 13, 2020 | Talking Points Memo
Trump’s Failing Coronavirus Response is Standard Issue Republicanism in 2020
“He’s got a certain talent for this,” President Donald Trump said of Vice President Mike Pence when entrusting him with the response to the COVID-19 coronavirus crisis. Pence’s perpetual grimace is the new face of the U.S. response to the coronavirus, after a chaotic week when the White House health team’s internecine squabbles and revolving-door corruption got a bit too public for Trump’s comfort. GOP operatives are likely relieved that their “adult in the room” has taken over. After all, Pence may be a fundamentalist zealot, but he is at least an actual “normal” policy-maker.
March 11, 2020
The Coronavirus Crisis: A Who's-Who of Trumpian Mismanagement
The COVID-19 coronavirus is a public health emergency unlike any the United States has faced in decades, but it is also one which the federal government has tools to counter. Unfortunately, the Trump administration is wielding those tools.
February 27, 2020 | The American Prospect
The Trump Administration’s Contemptuous, Pro-Corporate Response to Coronavirus
The COVID-19 coronavirus is nearly a global pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control’s latest statement warns Americans “to prepare, in the expectation that this could be bad.” Amid a global crisis like this, the public needs true leadership from the president and his top aides, and a highly competent government deserving of the people’s trust, with the capacity to effectively respond to incoming threats.But this is the Trump administration. So instead, we are being asked to put our faith in inexperienced political cronies, servicing the needs of corporations rather than the public, and contemptuous of science, scientists, and the idea of expertise.
February 06, 2020 | Democracy Journal
Personnel is Policy
We’ve become accustomed, watching the Democratic debates, to hearing the moderators focus on the practicability of candidates’ plans to move to Medicare for All, reform immigration policy, and fight gun violence. Make no mistake, these bills are important. They’re the type of policies a functional Congress would advance, and markers of a candidate’s vision for the country. But the media’s near-exclusive focus on these legislative proposals is deeply flawed.