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Thread: Steve Hilton: Drain The Swamp -- Trump should fire Scott Pruitt and throw out lobbyis

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  1. #1
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Steve Hilton: Drain The Swamp -- Trump should fire Scott Pruitt and throw out lobbyis

    Steve Hilton: Drain The Swamp -- Trump should fire Scott Pruitt and throw out lobbyists

    By Steve Hilton | Fox News
    9 hours ago

    It became one of the best-known chants on the 2016 campaign trail, and a powerful symbol of Donald Trump’s insurgent, anti-establishment campaign: “Drain The Swamp!”

    The chant caught on because it captured something that everyone feels, even if they’re not familiar with specific examples: that for decades now, public policy in America has been distorted to favor the interests of the rich, the well-connected and the insiders.

    This is elitism and it has been America’s ruling ideology regardless of whether Republicans or Democrats have held power in the White House, Congress or state capitols.

    What a betrayal of the world’s oldest democracy, founded on that most beautiful political principle: people power. Despite the Constitution and the institutions it underpins, who would claim that American democracy today serves “we the people?”

    Instead, our democracy serves The Swamp. Political legitimacy comes not from votes, but from money and influence.

    As I wrote in my book “More Human: Designing a World Where People Come First”: “America, where the rich and powerful literally buy the outcomes they want from the political system, is no longer in any proper sense of the word a democracy, it is a donocracy.”

    But The Swamp is about more than corrupt politicians and their donors. Much of the policy that affects our lives is not made in Congress or state legislatures but in the dreary offices of administrative agencies without even the pretense of democratic accountability.

    Anonymous bureaucrats make countless decisions that seem dispassionately technocratic to them, but are make or break for those directly affected.

    But these very different agents of the elite – the politicians and the bureaucrats – do have one thing in common. They in turn are the agents of lobbyists, who generously offer their time, research, and policy “advice.”

    In many cases, the lobbyists literally write the laws or regulations that their paymasters benefit from. And who are the paymasters, the people really in charge? Big businesses and public sector unions that have the money and the political muscle to make their voices heard.

    The mechanism that makes all this work – apart from money, of course – is The Swamp’s famous “revolving door” between special interests and government.

    You slum it for a while in Congress or the executive branch on a public sector salary, then cash in by working as a lobbyist when you leave. And then it’s back for another stint in government, and so on around the revolving door.

    The purpose of our regular “Swamp Watch” series on “The Next Revolution” on Fox News Channel is to document all this, to bring the hidden ecosystem of The Swamp out into the open. And as regular viewers know, we do it without political fear or favor.

    Swampiness is nonpartisan: our targets are not Democrats or Republicans, corporations or unions – but elitists.

    We champion the interests of working Americans who are left out of the cozy spoils-sharing of The Swamp. That’s what we mean by Positive Populism, the theme of our show.

    And that’s why it’s so important for us to call out swampiness wherever we see it, including in this administration.

    To be fair, President Trump has followed through on a number of important Drain The Swamp pledges: for example, a lifetime ban on government officials lobbying for foreign governments, and a ban on officials lobbying agencies where they worked.

    And do not underestimate the impact of the president’s spectacularly successful deregulation agenda. That’s not just good for economic dynamism, jobs and incomes, as we are already seeing. It means that there’s simply less government for the corrupt special interests to bend towards their ends.

    But there are far too many examples in this administration of exactly the kind of business-as-usual Washington swampiness that the president was elected to root out.

    In department after department, agency after agency, you see lobbyists for special interests now in positions of power to regulate those self-same interests. We will detail them for you in “Swamp Watch” on Sunday. They should all be fired.

    The most visible examples of swampiness, however, have come in the personal conduct of some of the president’s senior Cabinet appointees, who seem to have interpreted their public duties as an opportunity to cash in.

    Thankfully, some of the worst offenders have already been fired by President Trump: Tom Price, the former Health and Human Services secretary, who had a penchant for costly and unnecessary private flights at public expense; and Veterans’ Affairs Secretary David Shulkin, who enjoyed a lavish taxpayer-funded trip to Europe with his wife that somehow included Wimbledon tennis tickets.

    One serial offender remains in place, however – and his presence in this administration is now a daily setback for the President’s Drain The Swamp mission.

    Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has not only spent taxpayer money in a cavalier fashion, insisted on preposterous personal perks and pushed for outrageous pay rises for his flunkeys. He entered into a dodgy deal with the wife of an energy lobbyist.

    If a Democratic official had done this in the Obama administration, we would be calling for his head. The fact that it’s happening in this administration, elected on an explicit promise to clamp down on this kind of behavior, makes it even more important that we don’t tolerate it.

    Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has announced he is investigating Pruitt, and that's good. But not enough.

    For the sake of his Drain The Swamp agenda, President Trump must fire Scott Pruitt and throw out the lobbyists from his administration.

    We’ll be debating all this on Sunday at 9 p.m. EDT on “The Next Revolution” – hope you can join us!

    http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2018/...lobbyists.html
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Judy's Avatar
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    Trump has already fixed the lobbyist revolving door. Under his Executive Order, his Cabinet and other officials can't work as a lobbyist for 5 years after service and can never work as a lobbyist for a foreign government after service due to a life-time ban.

    Lobbyists are important to the United States and perform extremely valuable and useful functions. Some are more powerful than they should be, some are dishonest, some have bad judgment, some are greedy crooks, but for the most part they are decent, honest, professional people with expertise, positions, preferences, problems and issues to put forward and lobbying is how we do that in the United States.

    Don't call for Pruitt's firing because he thought he needed security, a sound-proof phone booth in his office or is more comfortable flying first class, call for firing if his work product is wrong. Is it? Are any of the regulations he's getting rid of good ones we should keep or superfluous and harmful to our economy with little or no benefit to our environment?

    Hilton, you've only been in our country 6 years. You came here from England. There's a lot about the United States and the American People that you don't understand yet. Drain the Swamp does not mean no lobbyists. It's a metaphor for fixing our government and taking it back from all those foreign interests who have sucked US dry as a bone. It's not the Farm Bureau (lobbyist), it's not the NEA (lobbyists), the ABA (lobbyists), the AMA (lobbyists), NAM (lobbyists), Unions (lobbyists), NumbersUSA (lobbyists), ALIPAC (lobbyists), Sierra Club (lobbyists) etc., etc., etc. These organizations for the most part represent Americans, and this process of lobbying is our constant feud of various interests many of them competing interests that gets aired peacefully through our political and government functions, rather than through mobs on our streets in a Revolution.

    Under our system, we win some, we lose some, but we always have another day to fight again. Without lobbyists, we wouldn't have any day at all. Keep that in mind.
    Last edited by Judy; 04-22-2018 at 02:23 AM.
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  3. #3
    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by Judy View Post
    Trump has already fixed the lobbyist revolving door. Under his Executive Order, his Cabinet and other officials can't work as a lobbyist for 5 years after service and can never work as a lobbyist for a foreign government after service due to a life-time ban.

    Lobbyists are important to the United States and perform extremely valuable and useful functions. Some are more powerful than they should be, some are dishonest, some have bad judgment, some are greedy crooks, but for the most part they are decent, honest, professional people with expertise, positions, preferences, problems and issues to put forward and lobbying is how we do that in the United States.

    Don't call for Pruitt's firing because he thought he needed security, a sound-proof phone booth in his office or is more comfortable flying first class, call for firing if his work product is wrong. Is it? Are any of the regulations he's getting rid of good ones we should keep or superfluous and harmful to our economy with little or no benefit to our environment?

    Hilton, you've only been in our country 6 years. You came here from England. There's a lot about the United States and the American People that you don't understand yet. Drain the Swamp does not mean no lobbyists. It's a metaphor for fixing our government and taking it back from all those foreign interests who have sucked US dry as a bone. It's not the Farm Bureau (lobbyist), it's not the NEA (lobbyists), the ABA (lobbyists), the AMA (lobbyists), NAM (lobbyists), Unions (lobbyists), NumbersUSA (lobbyists), ALIPAC (lobbyists), Sierra Club (lobbyists) etc., etc., etc. These organizations for the most part represent Americans, and this process of lobbying is our constant feud of various interests many of them competing interests that gets aired peacefully through our political and government functions, rather than through mobs on our streets in a Revolution.

    Under our system, we win some, we lose some, but we always have another day to fight again. Without lobbyists, we wouldn't have any day at all. Keep that in mind.
    PRESIDENT TRUMP FILLS THE SWAMP – WITH LOBBYISTS


    In the final months of his campaign, President Trump made “draining the swamp” an essential part of his electoral narrative. The campaign used this slogan as a metaphor for his promise to eliminate the circle of Washington, D.C. lobbyists and special interests that supposedly dominate the policy discussion in our nation’s capital.[i] The push to “drain the swamp” included a five-year ban for executive branch appointees lobbying the federal agency in which they served and a lifetime ban on appointees lobbying for foreign governments – provisions which were included in the executive order President Trump issued on ethics early in his term.[ii]

    President Trump’s executive order, however, also removed a number of lobbying restrictions that President Obama had put in place. First, the Trump order removes the restriction barring lobbyists from taking administration jobs with any agency that they had lobbied in the previous two years.[iii] The Trump order still prevents lobbyists who join the administration from specifically working for two years on matters on which they had previously lobbied without a waiver, but the waivers do not have to be released to the public, as they were under President Obama.[iv] These new loopholes have opened new avenues for lobbyists to influence policy. An industry lobbyist can now immediately begin a job at the regulatory agency designed to oversee his former clients and with an undisclosed waiver can work on the very same matters on which he lobbied without any public scrutiny.

    President Trump’s actions upon taking office also demonstrate – despite the tough campaign rhetoric attacking Washington, D.C.’s “revolving door” – not only an unwillingness to take on special interests, but a continued expansion of the influence of lobbyists on his administration. For example, President Trump is expected to select Andrew Wheeler as the deputy chief of the Environmental Protection Agency.[v] Mr. Wheeler is currently a registered lobbyist for Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, and works on several energy and agricultural-related issues for other clients.[vi] While Mr. Wheeler would have to get a waiver from President Trump’s lobbying restrictions to work at the EPA on particular matters on which he previously lobbied, any waiver would not have to be released to the general public.[vii] Mike Catanzaro, another energy lobbyist whose clients included natural gas and fossil fuel companies, will serve as a special assistant to the president for domestic energy and environmental policy.[viii] Even the president of the National Institute for Lobbying and Ethics, an industry trade group, expressed his belief that the Trump administration’s regulations on lobbyists are mostly for show.[ix] Meanwhile, the list of lobbyists who are receiving positions in the administration continues to grow. Geoff Burr, a former construction industry lobbyist, will likely become the chief of staff to the future Secretary of Labor;[x] Chad Wolf, a lobbyist for numerous defense and security contractors, is serving as an advisor to the Transportation Security Administration; and numerous health care and insurance lobbyists have joined the Department of Health and Human Services.[xi]

    The Trump administration has already demonstrated its willingness to waive its own five-year lobbying ban for former officials. In April 2017, senior White House budget adviser Marcus Peacock left his position to join the Business Roundtable, a high-profile pro-business lobbying group chaired by JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Lobbying the Office of Management and Budget for the group would have violated the five-year ban, but the Trump administration helpfully waived the ban.[xii] While Mr. Peacock will recuse himself from lobbying his former administration colleagues at OMB for six months, this short wait is far less than the original five-year ban President Trump has so vocally touted.[xiii]

    President Trump’s claimed efforts to drain the swamp of lobbyists also are undercut by his own former campaign aides setting up shop as lobbyists who market themselves as having special access to the president. Former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was one of the first to signal this trend. Mr. Lewandowski opened a new lobbying firm in late December 2016 and reported that it had relationships with eleven clients by January 2017 – with the firm’s business pitch appearing to be based on helping firms navigate the Trump administration’s agenda.[xiv] The firm is also engaged in setting up a pro-Trump super PAC designed to build grassroots support for a pro-Trump agenda.[xv]

    These examples demonstrate that President Trump has abjectly failed to “drain the swamp.” To the contrary, he has repeatedly turned to industry insiders and lobbyists to advise him, and former aides are taking advantage of their access to the president and the administration to lobby for special interests.


    https://www.citizensforethics.org/pr...amp-lobbyists/
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    DRAIN THE SWAMP, ONE YEAR LATER: IS TRUMP DRAINING OR DROWNING?

    BY ALEXANDER NAZARYAN ON 10/16/17 AT 2:13 PM

    (Excerpt):

    One person close to Trump recalls the president complaining about the executive order, which would presumably cut off a lucrative post-government option for those leaving his administration: “I do this, nobody's gonna work for me!"

    Again, Trump critics are unpersuaded. Among them is Obama’s ethics lawyer, Norman L. Eisen, who practically laughed when I asked him to describe the ways in which the executive order was deficient. The main problem with EO 13770, Eisen told me, is that it effectively allows for anyone to receive a waiver from its pledges. That waiver can be granted retroactively as well. Shaub, the former OGE head, publicized what he saw as the Central Park–sized loophole before leaving his post. (Obama also faced criticism for the use of ethics waivers.)

    “They’ve made a mockery of the executive order and of ethics in general,” Eisen says.

    What’s most remarkable about Trump’s ethical challenges, whether they be real or imagined, is how much the master of image failed to see that the image of a successful businessman does not easily translate into one of a scrupulous public servant, at least not without a few tweaks. You can go from The Apprentice to The West Wing, but you might want to change the theme music.

    For some reason, Trump never grasped that, perhaps because he is 71 and doesn’t think he has to. So he fires Comey, which makes it seem like he has something to hide about Russia, even if he doesn’t. He hosts foreign dignitaries and congressional leaders at his resorts, Mar-a-Lago and Bedminster, and if it doesn’t occur to him that these are marketing opportunities, his critics see nothing but the corruption he promised to eliminate.

    “Drain the swamp” was a powerful campaign slogan, an image that had visceral appeal to the American voter. But it may also have lead Trump into the classic salesman’s trap: overpromise, underdeliver.

    http://www.newsweek.com/trump-white-...d-drain-686000
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    MW Wrote:

    For example, President Trump is expected to select Andrew Wheeler as the deputy chief of the Environmental Protection Agency.[v] Mr. Wheeler is currently a registered lobbyist for Murray Energy, the largest privately owned coal company in the United States, and works on several energy and agricultural-related issues for other clients.
    EPA's Deputy Administrator


    Andrew Wheeler

    About the Office of the Administrator

    Andrew Wheeler was confirmed by the U.S. Senate as the Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on April 12, 2018.

    Mr. Wheeler has dedicated his career to advancing sound environmental policies. He was a Principal and the team leader of the energy and environment practice group at FaegreBD Consulting, as well as Counsel at Faegre Baker Daniels law firm where he practiced since 2009. He also served as the Co-chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Industry team across the entire firm.

    Prior to his work with the firm, Mr. Wheeler served as the Majority Staff Director and Chief Counsel, as well as the Minority Staff Director, of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works for six years. Before his time at the full Senate EPW Committee, Mr. Wheeler served in a similar capacity for six years for the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate Change, Wetlands and Nuclear Safety. He started his career at the Environmental Protection Agency as a Special Assistant in the Pollution Prevention and Toxics office, where he received three bronze medals.

    Mr. Wheeler is the past Chairman of the National Energy Resource Organization (NERO), the past President of the Washington Coal Club, and a Stennis Fellow. Mr. Wheeler is also an Eagle Scout.

    Mr. Wheeler was born in Hamilton, Ohio. He completed his law degree at Washington University in St. Louis, his MBA at George Mason University, and his undergraduate work at Case Western Reserve University in English and Biology.

    https://www.epa.gov/aboutepa/epas-deputy-administrator
    Last edited by Judy; 04-22-2018 at 01:42 PM.
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