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December 03, 2021
Officially speaking, the federal government employs just shy of 3.6 million people (2.2 in the civilian workforce and 1.4 in the military). In reality, however, the number of people whose paychecks originate with the federal government (through grants or service contracts) is much larger — around 12 million according to recent estimates. This workforce, and the contracts that sustain it, rarely get much attention in public discourse. Yet, the federal government’s power to set standards and direct funds through contracting is not an insignificant one. President Biden has begun to tap into those powers with directives to raise the minimum wage to $15/hour for federal contractors and institute a vaccine mandate for those same workers. These are strong first steps but they only scratch the surface of what is possible and what is needed to address the many problems that plague federal contracting. Fully harnessing that power, however, will likely require confronting a deep-seated problem: an active revolving door between the offices charged with granting and monitoring federal contracts and the companies that receive them.
November 18, 2021 | The American Prospect
The Biden administration inherited a morass of understaffed and undermined federal agencies, weakened by the Trump administration. It makes sense that building back the government’s capacity would be an uphill battle for the Biden administration, with so many years of policymaking undermined by his predecessor. What doesn’t make sense is the jarring number of cases in which the administration is going out of its way, at considerable cost, to uphold Trump-era policies that go against Biden’s stated agenda and the public interest.
October 29, 2021 | The American Prospect
Dr. Robert Califf appears to be the clearest front-runner for the (somehow) still open position of commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration. After floating his name in the press a few weeks ago, President Biden recently met with Califf in private. Such meetings tend to be the final step before a nominee is announced.
There’s just one problem: Califf is a longtime political consultant to Big Pharma and, more recently, to Big Tech. In fact, he’s so tied to those industries that he once earned the ire of a certain crucial senator from West Virginia.
October 15, 2021
Califf coordinates lobbying for major corporations — in his case, for Big Tech giants eager to get into the medical sector (and get into patients’ medical data.)
October 06, 2021
Alumni of Gibson Dunn, the law firm that helped Chevron go after Steven Donziger, have influential executive branch jobs under Biden.
October 04, 2021
Powell neglected to mention that he’d personally purchased shares that year in several actively-managed municipal bond funds, as a Revolving Door Project review of the Fed Chair and Vice Chairs’ 2020 financial disclosure forms shows.
September 30, 2021
The fact that the Fed’s current leadership team made or benefitted from multimillion dollar transactions contextualizes what we’ve seen at the Boston and Dallas regional banks: Chair Powell has facilitated a broad culture of lax ethical practices at the highest levels of the nation’s central bank.
September 17, 2021
For those less familiar with the Carlyle Group, the private equity firm where Powell was a partner and senior lawyer from 1997 – 2005, here’s a quick overview of their history with capitalizing on political connections and the revolving door.
September 09, 2021
Phillips has done the bidding of utilities giants during his time on the D.C. Public Service Commission, and spent years working for corporate BigLaw firms which represent oil and gas interests.
September 07, 2021 | American Prospect
Apparently, Harris just doesn’t get why regulators have to be so skeptical of the industry all the time—which makes sense, coming from a fintech executive who’s advocated for the industry on both sides of the revolving door.
September 01, 2021 | Sludge
A financial disclosure reveals that Special Envoy for Energy Affairs Amos Hochstein operated a shadow consultancy with foreign fossil fuel clients.