Ethics in Government

August 19, 2022 | InsideSources

Max Moran Hannah Story Brown

Op-Ed Department of JusticeEthics in GovernmentExecutive Branch

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.”

July 29, 2022 | The American Prospect

Hannah Story Brown Glenna Li

Op-Ed Congressional OversightEthics in GovernmentIRSRevolving Door

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.

July 27, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

Ethics in GovernmentLarry Summers

NEW: Democrats To Constituents "We Can't Govern!"

As you sit here reading this, a hulking scrum of U.S. Senators is charging towards an underserved August recess, blundering out of Capital Hill exits to do even less work in luxury vacation homes, alpine escapes, and the sullied fundraising retreats of crypto bankers and oil barons. Having failed to pass significant legislation benefiting the American people this year, corporate representatives of both parties have have good reason to rest easy: across the bloodied playing field of the national mall lie the tattered and well-bruised remains of President Biden and his cabinet, a team not of rivals, but do gooders and no getters, struggling for relevance under the sepia-tinged banner of the musty Third Way, proudly proclaiming “We Can’t Govern!”

July 18, 2022 | Politico Europe

Eleanor Eagan Jeff Hauser

Op-Ed Ethics in Government

To withstand authoritarian threats, ethics standards must be stronger

Earlier this year, many breathed a sigh of relief, after France’s far-right opposition candidate Marine Le Pen’s bid for the country’s presidency went down in resounding defeat for the second time in five years.

That she was able to reprise her role as a second-round presidential candidate, however, let alone pick up close to enough votes, attests to a troubling fact: In France, and elsewhere, the threat from right-wing populist movements is mounting — not receding.

July 13, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Hannah Story Brown

Newsletter

Confirmations CrisisCorporate CrackdownDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentLarry Summers

Only Through Change Can We Save Our Institutions Now

So the rollercoaster ride continues, deep into the summer. Thankfully, while Congress is in session—and these next three weeks of negotiation are expected to be deeply consequential for the future of the clean energy transition—the Supreme Court is not. (Well, let’s hope they don’t abuse the “Shadow Docket” [pdf]). We shouldn’t have to hear from them again until the first Monday of October. But of course, after months of waiting with heightened anxiety for Dobbs v. Jackson, West Virginia v. EPA, and many other rulings to drop, the Supreme Court had to leave us with something new to worry over as they headed out the door for summer vacation: Moore v. Harper.

June 30, 2022

Hannah Story Brown

Press Release ClimateCongressional OversightEthics in GovernmentExecutive BranchIndependent Agencies

RELEASE: Impact of Supreme Court’s EPA Decision Can Be Minimized Through Decisive Executive Counteractions

Today the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in West Virginia v. EPA, curbing the EPA’s authority to establish carbon emissions caps under Section 111 of the Clean Air Act. It is a significant blow, and is further evidence of how far this empowered, extremist Supreme Court will go to erode the functions of our government and contravene the public interest. But it is not a lethal blow. Many tools to stave off the climate crisis and facilitate an equitable energy transition remain available to the EPA, to the White House, and to Congress. 

June 28, 2022

Andrea Beaty

Press Release Anti-MonopolyDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentFTC

RELEASE: New Report Finds Extensive Revolving Door To Corporate Interests Undermines Robust Anti-Monopoly Enforcement

The Revolving Door Project published a new white paper, “The Revolving Door In Federal Antitrust Enforcement,” which presents new evidence of the extent and impact of the revolving door at both the leadership and staff levels between the Department of Justice Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission and corporate-aligned entities.

June 15, 2022 | Revolving Door Project Newsletter

Daniel Boguslaw

Newsletter

2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in Government

Justice Is Blind, and So Is Merrick Garland

Punch for punch, the debasement of Attorney General Merrick Garland is without historical correlate. The self-defeating adherence to ideological centrism (often indistinguishable from passivity in the face of elite resistance), paired with his masochistic devotion to the status quo, represents the kind of Blue Dog/New Dem totem that could have only emerged from a lab. Corporatist Democrats believed during the Obama years, as they do now, that through the ritual sacrifice of their Democratic ideals, they could resurrect the corpse of a forgotten age when left and right joined hands to strangle the everyday citizen. That union never happened after the GOP realized they could simply steamroll Democrats like Garland who refuse to open their eyes to the Conservative onslaught, even when it was punching them in the face.

June 06, 2022 | The American Prospect

Timi Iwayemi

Op-Ed CryptocurrencyEthics in GovernmentFinancial RegulationFintech

Sam Bankman-Fried’s Multimillion-Dollar Game

A leading voice in this push is Sam Bankman-Fried, 30-year-old CEO of crypto trading exchange FTX. Christened by some as a crypto prince and others as Washington’s aspiring kingmaker, Bankman-Fried has in the past year developed an extensive crypto policy agenda that entails revolving-door hiring of former CFTC officials, formation of super PACs, and congressional campaign donations.

June 01, 2022

Jeff Hauser

Press Release 2020 Election/TransitionDepartment of JusticeEthics in GovernmentIndependent Agencies

With Jan. 6 Public Hearings on the Horizon, Garland Must Deliver Actual Accountability

“From Gerald Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon, to George H.W. Bush’s pardons of the Iran-Contra scandal’s architects, to Eric Holder and Lanny Breuer’s acquiescence to the financial fraudsters who generated the Great Recession, America has seen a precipitous decline in equality under the law.”

May 17, 2022

Press Release Anti-MonopolyEthics in GovernmentIndependent AgenciesTech

Coalition Tells DOJ: Don’t Bend to Google’s Bullying, Grant Kanter a Recusal Waiver Now

The Revolving Door Project and 27 groups sent a letter to Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta Friday, urging her to promptly issue a recusal waiver for Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter to work on the Department’s case against Google. The groups, including the American Economic Liberties Project, Demand Progress, the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, emphasized that ethics law does not require Jonathan Kanter to recuse and that Google’s attempts to insist otherwise is an effort to “bully regulators into submission.”