Hillary Clinton stands by her pledge to stop the revolving door by barring lobbyists and K streeters from access to her transition team.
Much has been made of the money lobbyists have given Hillary Clinton for her campaign, but Clinton has thus far barred them from access to her transition team according to a Politico Playbook report Saturday morning.
“K Streeters haven’t been allowed to join policy groups that help advise the campaign, and so far her transition team — which has grown to roughly two dozen employees — have also barred lobbyists from joining its ranks. It’s not yet clear if a Clinton administration would maintain the Obama administration’s ban on lobbyists working in the executive branch. A source familiar with the transition says no decision has been made, and nothing is expected until after the election.”
Hillary Clinton has taken a stand against dark money, vowing that as president she would crack down on conflicts of interest in the government. Clinton supports Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) golden parachute bill that takes aim at “slowing the revolving door” between Wall Street and the government. The bill is co-sponsored by Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) in the House.
In contrast, Republican nominee Donald Trump’s transition team is stocked full of lobbyists. Republican energy lobbyist Mike McKenna and climate change denier and Koch brothers, oil and gas companies buddy Myron Ebell, for example, will be focused on the Energy Department and EPA according to an earlier Politico report.
Mother Jones wasn’t too impressed, writing “Ebell has called President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan ‘illegal’ and the Paris Climate Accord a ‘usurpation of the Senate’s authority.'”
The ban on lobbyists working in the executive branch that liberals hope Clinton will uphold refers to a January 20, 2009 executive order signed by President Barack Obama, which aimed to stop the revolving door between lobbyists and government on January 20, 2009. Obama prohibited “former lobbyists from working on issues on which they lobbied or in agencies they previously lobbied” and barred them “altogether from holding future positions on advisory boards and commissions.”
Senate Democrats’ “We the People” Act is designed to take government back from special interests corporations and lobbyists.
In an August 16 press release, the Clinton campaign announced the senior leadership team for the Clinton-Kaine Transition Project, which is chaired by Ken Salazar, the former Secretary of the Interior. He serves with four ch-chairs, former National Security Adviser Tom Donilon, former Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm, President of the Center for American Progress Neera Tanden, and Maggie Williams, Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University.
“We are extremely pleased that such an accomplished group of public servants has agreed to lead the transition planning for a potential Clinton-Kaine administration,” the Chair of Hillary for America and the President of the Transition project John Podesta said.
Lobbyists will donate to the candidates they suspect will be in charge, in hopes of buying access and influence. So while following the money is a good first start, the real question is what, if anything, did the money buy. So far, it’s not buying access to Clinton’s transition team and that’s saying something.
Meanwhile Donald Trump is letting the Koch brothers run his EPA policy. In other words, there will effectively not be an EPA under a Trump presidency. It will exist, but do nothing other than look the other way.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.