11/11/16

Trump an Outsider? Think Again!

Trump Campaigned Against Lobbyists, but Now They’re on His Transition Team
New York Times

WASHINGTON — President-elect Donald J. Trump, who campaigned against the corrupt power of special interests, is filling his transition team with some of the very sort of people who he has complained have too much clout in Washington: corporate consultants and lobbyists.

Jeffrey Eisenach, a consultant who has worked for years on behalf of Verizon and other telecommunications clients, is the head of the team that is helping to pick staff members at the Federal Communications Commission.

Michael Catanzaro, a lobbyist whose clients include Devon Energy and Encana Oil and Gas, holds the “energy independence” portfolio.

Michael Torrey, a lobbyist who runs a firm that has earned millions of dollars helping food industry players such as the American Beverage Association and the dairy giant Dean Foods, is helping set up the new team at the Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Trump was swept to power in large part by white working-class voters who responded to his vow to restore the voices of forgotten people, ones drowned out by big business and Wall Street. But in his transition to power, some of the most prominent voices will be those of advisers who come from the same industries for which they are being asked to help set the regulatory groundwork.

The president-elect’s spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, declined a request for comment, as did nearly a dozen corporate executives, consultants and lobbyists serving on his transition team, which was outlined in a list distributed widely in Washington on Thursday.

A number of the people on that list are well-established experts with no clear interest in helping private-sector clients. But to critics of Mr. Trump — both Democrats and Republicans — the inclusion of advisers with industry ties is a first sign that he may not follow through on all of his promises.

“This whole idea that he was an outsider and going to destroy the political establishment and drain the swamp were the lines of a con man, and guess what — he is being exposed as just that,” said Peter Wehner, who served in the administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush before becoming a speechwriter for George W. Bush. “He is failing the first test, and he should be held accountable for it.”
(emphasis mine)

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