March 2018, Quick Look Update

Koch brothers richest in the world? Forbes estimates each’s net worth at $60 billion. The Koch’s political network is now, per ProPublic, deep into the Administration…

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

For the first time, political appointee and federal financial disclosure information is publicly searchable.

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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 (March 7, 2018) ProPublica is 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…


The pipelines between conservative policy think tanks — namely the Heritage Foundation and the Koch Brothers’ Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce — and the Trump administration are clear, as is their effect on federal policy.

Just before Trump took office last January, Freedom Partners Chamber of Commerce, one of the main conservative advocacy groups funded by the Koch Brothers, unveiled a deregulatory wish list. The action plan highlighted 19 Obama-era policies affecting the environment, labor and technology that Freedom Partners wanted gone. “This strategy can help to unravel eight years of regulatory overreach starting immediately,” the organization’s vice president, Andy Koenig, wrote in an accompanying press release.


Time for the Koch network



The Koch network and Andy Koenig

A few weeks later, Koenig joined the White House as a policy assistant, putting him in a position to implement his former employer’s agenda. Sure enough, just over a year later, the administration has acted on 16 of the 19 suggestions that Freedom Partners listed.

The moratorium on federal coal leases? Lifted. The Paris climate agreement? Withdrawn. The Clean Power Plan? Repealed. The FCC’s net neutrality policy, the EPA’s Waters of the United States rule, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s arbitration rules? All reversed.

Freedom Partners and the White House didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The Trump campaign had a small staff and was light on policy chops, so it leaned heavily on personnel from the Koch network and the Heritage Foundation during the transition. “When you have a president committed to strong deregulatory policy, there’s no better place to figure out what regulations put a stranglehold on the economy than to go to the Koch network and the Heritage Foundation,” said Marc Lampkin, the co-chair of Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck’s lobbying practice and a former aide to House Speaker John Boehner. “It makes perfect sense that they would be part of the intellectual breeding ground for the administration.”


Read More at ProPublica

The Trump Administration / “Time to Drain the Swamp” 


Read More about Freedom Partners

Freedom Partners, its members, and other supporters are dedicated to protecting freedom and expanding opportunity for every American—no matter where they live, what they do or how much money they have. That’s why we believe in:

Free enterprise—with open and honest markets and free and fair trade

Effective fiscal, monetary and tax policies—solutions that help build a healthy economy to strengthen our neighborhoods, communities and country
Efficient and effective policies that promote and protect hardworking taxpayers—so that American families can get ahead and American businesses of every size can grow and create new opportunities and innovations

Genuine accountability—so that government and elected officials in every capital across America serve the people’s interests, not special interests


Board Members

Mark Holden, Chairman

Mark Holden is senior vice president of Koch Industries, Inc., where he also serves as general counsel and corporate secretary. He also is president and COO of the Legal Division of Koch Companies Public Sector, LLC, which provides legal, and government and public affairs services to Koch Industries, Inc. and its affiliates…