Trump’s lobbyists

Trump the populist, elected, we’re told, by people who want to overturn the DC Establishment and speak up for the workers.

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.

Well…maybe they wear baseball caps and drop their ‘g’s while doing it?

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.

It’s almost as if the whole thing has turned out to be a giant fake. Who could have seen that coming?

“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.”

Should, but won’t. This is TrumpAmerica now.

Transition teams help new presidents pick the new cabinet, as well as up to 4,000 political appointees who will take over top posts in agencies across the government. President Obama, after he was first elected, instituted rules that prohibited individuals who had served as registered lobbyists in the prior year from serving as transition advisers in the areas in which they represented private clients. They were also prohibited, after the administration took power, from lobbying in the parts of the government they helped set up.

Well, yes, but he was born in Kenya, so it doesn’t count.

The energy sector is especially well supplied with interested parties.

Mr. Catanzaro’s client list is a who’s who of major corporate players — such as the Hess Corporation and Devon Energy — that have tried to challenge the Obama administration’s environmental and energy policies on issues such as how much methane gas can be released at oil and gas drilling sites, lobbying disclosure reports show.

He also worked with oil industry players to help push through major legislation goals, such as allowing the export of crude oil. He will now help pick Mr. Trump’s energy team.

Michael McKenna, another lobbyist helping to pick key administration officials who will oversee energy policy, has a client list that this year has included the Southern Company, one of the most vocal critics of efforts to prevent climate change by putting limits on emissions from coal-burning power plants.

Advisers with ties to other industries include Martin Whitmer, who is overseeing “transportation and infrastructure” for the Trump transition. He is the chairman of a Washington law firm whose lobbying clients include the Association of American Railroads and the National Asphalt Pavement Association.

David Malpass, the former chief economist at Bear Stearns, the Wall Street investment bank that collapsed during the 2008 financial crisis, is overseeing the “economic issues” portfolio of the transition, as well as operations at the Treasury Department. Mr. Malpass now runs a firm called Encima Global, which sells economic research to institutional investors and corporate clients.

Mr. Eisenach, as a telecom industry consultant, has worked to help major cellular companies fight back against regulations proposed by the F.C.C.that would mandate so-called net neutrality — requiring providers to give equal access to their networks to outside companies. He is now helping to oversee the rebuilding of the staff at the F.C.C.

Dan DiMicco, a former chief executive of the steelmaking company Nucor, who now serves on the board of directors of Duke Energy, is heading the transition team for the Office of the United States Trade Representative. Mr. DiMicco has long argued that China is unfairly subsidizing its manufacturing sector at the expense of American jobs.

Swamp: drained!

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