Democratic presidential nominee, Joe Biden, is pushing ahead with his preparations for government transition and is already filling-up possible members of his government.
Reports noted, however, that the former vice president’s list consists of people who are members of the very industries he vowed to fight against — contradicting his earlier plan to ban “anyone registered as a lobbyist or a foreign agent” from serving.
New York Times reporter Kenneth Vogel identified at least four of Biden’s White House staff who he said included picks from big pharma and Wall Street.
“BIDEN WH STAFF SO FAR: Venture capital executive (@RonaldKlain), former pharmaceutical, insurance lobbyist (Steve Ricchetti), top Dem recipient of Big Oil $ (@cedricrichmond), and co-founder of firm that represents pharma & private equity (@jomalleydillon),” Vogel tweeted.
BIDEN WH STAFF SO FAR:
Venture capital executive (@RonaldKlain).
Former pharmaceutical, insurance lobbyist (Steve Ricchetti).
Top Dem recipient of Big Oil $ (@cedricrichmond).
Co-founder of firm that represents pharma & private equity (@jomalleydillon).
— Kenneth P. Vogel (@kenvogel) November 17, 2020
Biden’s chief of staff choice, Ronald Klain, and his campaign chairperson Steve Ricchetti, who will be appointed counselor to the president, were both part of the lobbying industry at some point. Louisiana Rep. Cedric Richmond — who was one of the top recipients of money from the oil and gas industry this election — was also tapped for a senior adviser role to the Office of Public Engagement.
Jennifer O’Malley Dillon, Biden’s campaign manager, will also be deputy chief of staff. She also reportedly represents pharmaceutical and private equity firms.
Progressives breakaway from Biden?
Fox News reported that Biden’s picks for his senior staff already go against the demands of progressives who wrote last week urging him to exclude anyone with corporate ties from serving in his administration.
“We urge you to decline to nominate or hire corporate executives, lobbyists, and prominent corporate consultants to serve in high office,”progressive Democrats and “more than 50” liberal advocacy groups reportedly wrote to the former VP, adding that these people are “incapable of working in the service” of the public.
Progressive PAC Justice Democrats also lashed at Biden’s “corporate-friendly appointments’ noting that this could cause the former vice president — who has been proclaimed by the media as the winner of the 2020 presidential election — to “fracture” his relations with progressives.
“If Joe Biden continues making corporate-friendly appointments to his White House, he will risk quickly fracturing the hard-earned goodwill his team built with progressives to defeat Donald Trump,” the group said.
Five current lobbyists in transition team
The Daily Wire noted the irony in Biden’s early appointments compared to the things that he said he would do.
“It should come as no surprise that Biden would fill his cabinet with insiders who represented the very industries he has denounced and said he would take on. Some of these very same industries donated heavily to his campaign,” the outlet wrote.
“Employers with employees that donated heavily to Biden are big-name universities like Harvard and the University of California, along with Big Tech companies Facebook and Microsoft. Employees at Big Pharma and health insurance companies have also donated heavily to Biden, as have employees at big banks,” it added.
The New York Post reported that Biden’s transition team has hired at least 40 lobbyists.
While some have lobbying backgrounds, it said specifically that five are currently registered as lobbyists or were registered as one within the last year.
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Source: The Scoop