December 15, 2020
Pete Buttigieg is now a top contender for Secretary of Transportation in the Biden Administration, but his tendency to shift policy positions based on the preferences of large donors and industry lobbyists remains a significant concern if he were chosen to head DOT.
December 13, 2020
Concerns over the presence of corporate insiders in the Biden administration are coming opportunistically from so-called “right-wing populists.” This makes it all the more important for Biden and the Democrats to close the revolving door once and for all.
May 27, 2020
Former Vice President and current Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has often boasted of his considerable foreign policy experience, having served on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and played an active role in the Obama administration’s foreign policy making. Throughout the 2020 primary, however, Biden’s foreign policy agenda rarely featured. A closer look reveals significant cause for concern. While Biden seeks to show that his foreign policy platform would be more progressive than that of Trump’s, his record has weak spots when it comes to far-right Indian nationalism.
May 14, 2020
If Niejelow is indeed taking a major position overseeing campaign policy, it raises significant questions about the line between Biden’s fundraising and policy teams, since Niejelow is a campaign bundler.
May 12, 2020
Now, especially as Biden pivots to consolidating populist votes for the general election, Harris should consider distancing herself from those corporate forces through clear commitments to wielding executive authority against bad actors and for the common good. Here are a few suggestions.
May 11, 2020
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
On December 18, 2019, the United States House of Representatives impeached President Donald Trump for withholding military aid from Ukraine as a means to pressure Vladimir Zelensky to investigate Democratic presidential candidate, Joe Biden. One of the key figures in this scandal was Gordon Sondland, then ambassador to the European Union. Sondland had limited diplomatic experience before his appointment, but he had the privilege of donating $1 million to President Trump’s inaugural committee.
May 11, 2020
As we creep closer to November’s election, Democratic politicians–progressives and moderates alike–have largely fallen in line behind presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Even so, Biden must earn the vote of many progressive voters who are wary of his pro-corporate leanings. While Biden showed promise by teaming up with Sanders’ campaign on policy, there is still cause for grave concern. Just last week, the public learned that Larry Summers was advising the Biden campaign. Last month Biden’s donors put out a list of ideal candidates for senior-level administration positions, which included Wall Street big wigs such as BlackRock CEO Laurence Fink, Blackstone executive Tony James, and investment banker Mark Gallogly. Biden’s wealthy donors must be monitored in order to prevent corporate interests from capturing his transition-planning effort.
May 11, 2020
By breaking down high-dollar support by sector, this tool encourages users to draw direct lines between big money fundraising and a president’s choices regarding personnel and executive power.
April 03, 2020
For the reality-based, Trump’s indifference to the tragedy that the novel coronavirus and COVID-19 are spreading across the country might be maddening but not surprising. Trump downplaying the severity of the crisis, tweeting nonsense, and pushing for a $500 billion corporate bailout are entirely on brand.
February 27, 2020
HHS secretary Alex Azar refused to guarantee a coronavirus vaccine would be affordable to all during Congressional testimony on Wednesday. The outrage reminded Americans why they are sick and tired of the unchecked pharmaceutical industry’s abuses. As we wrote for the American Prospect, Azar is a former pharma lobbyist who, like the rest of President Trump’s coronavirus response team, has no background in public health or research.
February 21, 2020 | The American Prospect
The insidious influence of the wealthy over our politics, as Alexander Sammon wrote last month, is perhaps the defining issue of the 2020 Democratic primary. It’s the reason we at the Revolving Door Project have been yammering on about bundlers—the wealthy and well-connected volunteer fundraisers who almost inevitably end up receiving or influencing key jobs across the executive branch. Bundlers have driven the facile premise of both Tom Steyer and Mike Bloomberg’s campaigns: “I can’t be bought by the rich, because I am one of the rich who buys.” This was initially Donald Trump’s pitch, too. And the desire to reject the influence of bundlers raise hopes in Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren’s campaigns, largely driven by small dollars and people power.
February 21, 2020
Joe Biden’s campaign is hurting for cash and increasingly reliant on the pro- Biden super PAC, Unite the Country, for help. Unite the Country is spending big in early states — the super PAC threw over $5.5 million into Iowa and is now expanding into South Carolina. But the Unite the Country donors swooping in to save Biden’s messaging efforts build on the super PAC’s established base of corporate lobbyists and consultants. Unite the Country recently picked up new supporters from private equity, venture capital, real estate, and other sectors that may be looking for favorable policies or to influence strategic appointments.
February 19, 2020 | Truthout
At this time last year, newly declared Democratic primary candidates were racing to outdo each other with escalating promises to shun big money support. Contenders vowed not to take corporate PAC money, to reject lobbyists’ dollars, to discourage super PACs, and to tell fossil fuel executives, “no, thank you”. Now, however, many seem to be in a wholly different sort of race: to put the most distance between themselves and their prior principled stands.
January 31, 2020
Eleanor Eagan | Max Moran
Beginning in the fall, the Revolving Door Project was one of a handful of voices drawing attention to Democratic primary candidates’ failure to release the names of their most important fundraisers. In op-eds, newsletters, and across other forums throughout the fall we repeatedly made the case that this consequential information could not stay hidden.
Why were we so insistent? A candidate’s list of top fundraisers, or bundlers, provides clearer insight than perhaps any other piece of campaign material into how a candidate would actually do the job of being president.