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November 17, 2022
The Public Does Not Need Another Fintech-Friendly Regulator
At a critical juncture such as this where the industry seeks kid-glove treatment from regulators, backgrounds such as Harris’s should be disqualifying.
November 16, 2022 | The American Prospect
The Biden Administration Does Not Need Another Wall Street Adviser
The White House does not need to hire someone to get a banker’s perspective on inflation.
November 11, 2022
Watchdog Groups Call On The FTC To Release Documents Shedding Light on Phillips Conflicts of Interest
On November 10th, eight groups sent a letter to Chair Khan urging the FTC to release documents shedding light on Commissioner Noah Phillips potential conflicts of interest as
October 31, 2022
Congressional OversightDepartment of Homeland SecurityDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government
A Crisis Of (Un)Accountability: Amidst Profound Political Cruelty, Ethics Matter More Than Ever
The news was flooded in September with images, reports, and increasingly abhorrent context for Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ trafficking of migrants from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard as a political stunt. DeSantis’ actions, and those of his aides, are of course potentially illegal, as was asserted by a Texas sheriff who opened a criminal investigation into the spectacle. This latest sadistic political posturing came at the cost of real people fleeing real persecution, but there is also a crucial piece of this awful puzzle that hasn’t been fully explored. Why did Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents, funded by federal dollars, allegedly forge documents for migrants knowing (even if the migrants themselves didn’t) that their flights were not destined for the locales DHS agents made their immigration proceedings beholden to?
October 28, 2022
Ethics in GovernmentGovernment CapacityIndependent AgenciesRight-Wing Media
Hack Watch: Debunking the Big Budget Bogeyman
It seems pretty incontestable that a big part of the media’s job is “informing the public of things they need to know.” Accordingly, the media’s coverage of how the government spends money is a spectacular example of how it fails. Congress has enabled a vacuum of sensible, accessible information about the appropriations bills it’s supposed to pass each year to fund government activity, and the media has not stepped in to fill the void.
October 24, 2022 | The American Prospect
Consumer ProtectionEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationIndependent AgenciesRevolving Door
The Unlikely Origins of the Chamber-Chopra War
Big business could soon get their chance to kill the CFPB for good, thanks in part to former Obama aide William Daley.
September 22, 2022
FOIA Request: Is Big Tech’s Favorite FTC Commissioner Going To Lobby For Amazon?
Outgoing FTC Commissioner Noah Phillips recused himself from a recent FTC vote involving Amazon and BigLaw firm Covington & Burling. Revolving Door Project filed a FOIA request seeking information on Phillips’ post-employment plans and looked back on Phillips’ corporate-friendly record.
September 21, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Backing Labor is More Powerful Politics Than Ever
For all the hours that people spend at work, stories about working (and working people) rarely get the spotlight. Labor makes headlines mostly when it’s no longer guaranteed. That pattern is clear in the headlines of late, with teachers in Columbus striking for air conditioning and teachers in Seattle striking for raises that barely keep up with inflation; with Minnesota private sector nurses striking to protest understaffing and safety issues that hurt both nurses and patients—all long-standing issues that have seen no national traction for years. Currently, the big labor story is that of the barely-averted freight worker strike, whose demands include such basic requests as not being disciplined for going to the doctor.
September 02, 2022 | The American Prospect
Department of CommerceEthics in GovernmentIntellectual PropertyPatent and Trademark OfficeRevolving Door
Trump’s Patent Director Pressured Judges to Rule in His Law Firm’s Favor
There are numerous ways for the Biden administration to implement these safeguards. One option would be to issue a broad executive order that sets a path to restore public trust in the Patent Office. This order would require that the USPTO create a publicly available record of intervention in appeal proceedings by staff other than APJs, and outline new ethics practices that would ensure key USPTO staff recuse themselves from matters involving prior clients or former employers, and refrain from representing clients or working for companies whose cases they decide for at least three years.
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.
August 24, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter
Strong on the Law, Weak on its Aims
“They keep thinking like lawyers without applying commonsense notions of right and wrong or trust and accountability,” POGO’s Walter Shaub commented Friday. “This administration is strong on the law and weak on commitment to the underlying aims of an ethics program.”
August 19, 2022 | The American Prospect
Toni Aguilar Rosenthal Hannah Story Brown
Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchGovernanceRevolving Door
Where Has Congress Been on Trump Holdovers?
The public hearings conducted by the House Select Committee have exceeded many Democrats’ expectations, not only as conversation-changing political theater, but also as a venue to uncover vital information. For example, the country now knows that Secret Service text messages from January 6th were deleted from phones shortly thereafter in what the agency has called a “planned migration.” This is what congressional oversight activities should do: extract truths from the halls of power and pursue public accountability accordingly.
August 19, 2022 | InsideSources
Open Letter to President Biden on Executive Gun Control Actions
Dear President Biden:
Since the horrific mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas, nationwide calls for stronger gun control have intensified. On May 30, you told reporters that popular legislative proposals like an assault weapons ban and stricter background checks are up to Congress, saying, “I can’t dictate this stuff.”
August 12, 2022
What The Hell Is Anita Dunn Even Allowed To Work On?
“If the White House is taking its ethical obligations seriously and recusing Dunn from all policy areas where she has money in the game, well, what will she even be doing?”
July 29, 2022 | The American Prospect
It’s Past Time to Replace IRS Chief Charles Rettig
Earlier this month, The New York Times broke the story that former FBI director James Comey and his former deputy director Andrew McCabe, both loathed and eventually fired by President Trump, also both underwent rare and intensive tax audits under the National Research Program, which studies tax compliance and calculates the “tax gap” (the difference between legally owed tax and what is actually paid). Out of around 154 million annual tax returns, the National Research Program selected just 5,000 tax returns in 2017 and 8,000 in 2019 to audit. Neither man knew the other had undergone the same audit until a Times reporter told them.