« | Home | Categories | »

What We Found in Trump’s Drained Swamp: Hundreds of Ex-Lobbyists and D.C. Insiders

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 23:27 by John Sinteur in category: News


When the Trump administration took office early last year, hundreds of staffers from lobbying firms, conservative think tanks and Trump campaign groups began pouring into the very agencies they once lobbied or whose work they once opposed.

Today we/re making available, for the first time, an authoritative searchable database of 2,475 political appointees, including Trump’s Cabinet, staffers in the White House and senior officials within the government, along with their federal lobbying and financial records. Trump Town is the result of a year spent filing hundreds of Freedom of Information Act requests; collecting and organizing staffing lists; and compiling, sifting through and publishing thousands of financial disclosure reports.
We found 187 former lobbyists who work in the Trump administration.

Here’s what we found: At least 187 Trump political appointees have been federal lobbyists, and despite President Trump’s campaign pledge to “drain the swamp”, many are now overseeing the industries they once lobbied on behalf of. We’ve also discovered ethics waivers that allow Trump staffers to work on subjects in which they have financial conflicts of interest. In addition, at least 254 appointees affiliated with Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign and at least 125 staffers from prominent conservative think tanks are now working in the federal government, many of whom are on teams to repeal Obama-era regulations.

Drilling down even further, at least 35 Trump political appointees worked for or consulted with groups affiliated with the the billionaire libertarian brothers Charles and David Koch, who also have a network of advocacy groups, nonprofits, private companies and political action committees. At least 25 Trump appointees came from the influential Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank founded in 1973, and at least two came from Heritage Action, its related political nonprofit. Heritage says the Trump administration, in just its first year, has enacted nearly two-thirds of its 334 policy recommendations.

Write a comment


  1. All the Democrats have to do is win one or both houses of Congress. Can they do that? Can they drain the swamp?

  2. … and will they be smart enough to make this info on conflict of interest a MAJOR campaign point as it ought to be? One can only hope, but they sure have disappointed in the past.

European Court of Justice Deals Heavy Blow to “Corporate Sovereignty Clause”

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 19:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


In a surprise move, the European Union’s top court has ruled that Investor-State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) clauses contained within almost 200 bilateral investment treaties (BITs) between EU member countries violate EU law, casting doubt on such deals as well as others struck by the bloc as a whole. ISDS clauses allow foreign investors or corporations to sue governments for passing laws or regulations that could undermine the value of their investments.

The Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) found that an award of damages to Dutch-based insurer Achmea from Slovakia under a bilateral investment treaty inherited from former Czechoslovakia contravened EU law since the arbitration tribunal that made the ruling was “not a court of a member state.” As such, it had no power to refer matters to the ECJ, the highest court of the EU.

“The arbitration clause in the BIT has an adverse effect on the autonomy of EU law, and is therefore incompatible with EU law,” the court said.

Write a comment

Kushner leaves US ambassador to Mexico out of meeting with Mexico president

Posted on March 8th, 2018 at 17:59 by John Sinteur in category: News


President Trump’s son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner did not invite the U.S. ambassador to Mexico to meetings with top Mexican officials on Wednesday, according to a new report.

A senior U.S. official told The New York Times that Kushner did not invite Ambassador Roberta Jacobson to meetings with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto and Mexican Foreign Minister Luis Videgaray.

Of course. It’s poor form to ask for a loan in front of the help.

Write a comment