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Washington’s Revolving Doors Make My Head Spin

Topics: Politics | 3 CommentsBy admin | March 9, 2010

The corporate takeover of the US Government is not tin-foil hat stuff, it’s well documented. We just don’t pay any attention. But will we ever DO anything about it?

This attractive revolving door is made
by the Crane Door company. We didn’t
research them for influence peddling.

I like to think of myself as a little more informed than the “average” citizen – whoever they are – yet I regularly find myself to be disturbingly naive (okay, just plain stupid) regarding how things really work in our government. It has bothered me for some time that our government seems to have been taken over by the finance industry, and that it operates in creepy collusion with a telecom monopoly, but until taking a closer look recently, I had no idea how active that revolving door in Washington really was. Considered “business as usual” by most Washington insiders, it even has a polite euphemism. Instead of calling it a corporate coup of our government, it’s called Agency Capture or Regulatory Capture. I believe in the old school Republican idea that government can be bad for business, but I can hardly accept the reverse, i.e.: that business is good for government. I think the recent banking catastrophes and USDA food safety failures speak for themselves; with the former you have the revolving banking industry/treasury department door, with the latter, the USDA/Monsanto door. I would be astounded if the current administration’s plans to make changes in revolving door policies were successful; the practice is simply far too pervasive. The amount of information on government agencies that are staffed with former corporate influence peddlers is overwhelming. Eisenhower warned of us the Military Industrial Complex back in 1961, and Monsanto has been a target of this scrutiny for some time; see lists like this one or this one. But these are just high-profile, extremely well-funded examples. This form of governing reaches across every industry, and at all levels of government. I’ve compiled a table of examples below, but for a really amazing resource, check out Open Secrets’ Revolving Door database. You can use it to do things like starting with a list of over 300 former public servants to track their connections, or look at revolving door employees by agency. The White House has nearly 500 on staff itself. In spite of the overwhelming number of federal employees that are infecting the way our government runs, there is a bright side. Rather than feeling paranoid and powerless against cold, inhuman, and faceless corporations, we COULD start targeting the actual people responsible with civic action. They only get away with it because we don’t pay attention. The tables and images below begin to give it all a face.

Randall L. Tobias White House – Global AIDS Coordinator Eli Lilly
Head of government affairs
for Monsanto
Deputy administrator of
Environmental Protection Agency
J. Steven Grile Coal and oil company executive and lobbyist for the
mining industry
Deputy Interior Secretary
William Geary Myers III Lobbyist for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association Chief lawyer for the Interior Department
Dan Glickman Akin, Gump, Strauss Hauer & Feld, major DC lobbying/law firm Head of USDA
Michael A. Friedman Senior VP at G. D. Searle & Co., a pharmaceutical
division of Monsanto
Department of Health and Human Services
Clayton K. Yeutter Board of directors of Dow Chemical’s Mycogen Corporation Head of USDA
Michael Friedman Food and Drug Administration,
Acting Commissioner
PhRMA, Pharmacia
Donald Rumsfield Secretary of Defense Gilead,, G. D. Searle
Deborah Steelman White House Budget Director Eli Lilly, Steelman Health Industries, Aetna, American Home Products, Bristol Myers Squib,
Humana, Johnson and Johnson, Pfizer, PhRMA
Mitchell Daniels Jr. Director, Office of Management and Budget Eli Lilly
Gerald J. Mossinghoff Assistant Secretary of Commerce, Commissioner of Patents and Trademarks Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, .PhRMA
Donald C. Alexander Commissioner of Internal Revenue, Department of the
Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., Johnson & Johnson
Edward J. Allera FDA Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., Johnson & Johnson
Barney J. Skladany, Jr. Department of Justice Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P., Johnson & Johnson, Warner-Lambert
Thaddeus J. Burns United States Patent & Trademark Office, U.S. Intellectual Property Attaché-USTR, Geneva Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer & Feld, L.L.P,
Peter Barton Hutt Chief Counsel-FDA Covington & Burling, PhRMA, Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association
Bruce N. Kuhlik Department of Justice Covington & Burling, Merck, PhRMA, and Nonprescription Drug Manufacturers Association
Jeanne S. Archibald General Counsel-Department of Treasury, USTR Hogan & Hartson, L.L.P., PhRMA
Michael R Pollard Federal Trade Commission Michaels & Bonner, P.C, Merck
Jack W. Martin FDA Parry and Romani Associates, Abbott, American Home Products, Bristol- Myers
Squibb, Glaxo-Wellcome, Hoechst Marion Roussel, ICN Pharmaceuticals,
Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Metagenics, Monsanto, Pfizer,
Pharmacia & Upjohn, Schering-Plough, and SmithKline Beecham
Linda A. Skladany OSHA, Department
of Transportation, Department of Education
Parry and Romani Associates, Abbott, American Home Products, Bristol- Myers
Squibb, Glaxo-Wellcome, Hoechst Marion Roussel, Interneuron Pharmaceuticals, Metagenics, Monsanto, Pfizer, Pharmacia
& Upjohn, Schering-Plough, and SmithKline Beecham
Lee Skillington United States Patent & Trademark Office Powell, Goldstein, Frazer, & Murphy LLP, PhRMA
Jeffrey Kushan United States Patent & Trademark Office, USTR Powell, Goldstein, Frazer, & Murphy LLP, Merck

Read Comments

  1. Posted by » Film Industry Is Only FCCing Itself With New Regulations - Dissociated Press on 05.10.10 7:58 pm

    [...] examples of why this should come as no surprise, one of the people who more recently spun through DC’s revolving doors was Catherine Bohigian, chief of the office of Strategic Planning and Policy Analysis at the FCC, [...]

  2. Posted by Best Of 2010 at dissociatedpress.com on 07.18.10 1:58 pm

    [...] starry-eyed Obama supporter to a Teabagging Dick Tuck in just over a year, as I learned about agency capture via Washington’s revolving doors, explored the joys of fictitious capital, and pondered not only where your tax dollars go, but [...]

  3. Posted by You Look Hot With A Fag In Your Mouth at dissociatedpress.com on 11.11.10 12:53 am

    [...] in tobacco packaging. So I guess we shouldn’t be surprised – since our government is pretty much owned by all the industries that it’s supposed to regulate – that the FDA’s latest anti-smoking campaign looks like it was assembled by interns at RJ [...]