MIDDAY POSTER: Trump Revokes His Ethics Rule On Way Out

Also, why progressives need to pressure Biden to go big on stimulus, and who funded Buttigieg’s dark money group?
MIDDAY POSTER: Trump Revokes His Ethics Rule On Way Out
Pete Marovich / Getty Images

By Julia Rock

TODAY’S QUOTE:

“Roosevelt was often frustrated with the left, but recognized its power and the importance of its vitality to his own cause.” - Jamelle Bouie, New York Times columnist.

TODAY’S READS:

  1. Can Joe Biden Succeed Where Barack Obama Failed?
  2. The Silicon Valley Startup Influencing The Defense Department
  3. How The U.S. Government Failed To Stop COVID-19

TODAY’S STAT:

TODAY’S FLASHBACK:

Almost two decades ago, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, which imposed criminal penalties on executives who signed false financial statements, was signed into law. Gary Gensler, Biden’s pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission played a key role in pushing that bill through, as a senior advisor to Senator Paul Sarbanes.

“Wall Street has never forgiven Gensler for that,” according to Wall Street On Parade.

TODAY’S BIT OF NEWS:

Pete Buttigieg, Biden's pick for transportation secretary, noted in his financial disclosure last week that he was a public representative with Win the Era, a dark money nonprofit, from April 2020 until last month.

When Buttigieg ended his presidential bid, his campaign committee reformed as Win the Era PAC. His allies also established a 501(c)(4) nonprofit called Win the Era Action Fund, which has donated $1.3 million to the PAC. Win the Era Action Fund hasn’t disclosed its donors, and it’s not clear where the group is incorporated.

Buttigieg’s ethics pledge says he “will not participate personally and substantially in any particular matter involving specific parties in which I know Win the Era is a party or represents a party, unless I am first authorized to participate.” What about the group’s donors?

Spokespeople for Biden and Buttigieg didn’t respond to questions from The Daily Poster. The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on Buttigieg’s nomination on Thursday.

TODAY’S CLICKS:

  • HAPPY REVOLVING DOOR DAY: Hours before leaving office, Trump revoked an ethics order — that he himself had enacted — that prevented members of his administration from lobbying for five years. Meanwhile, the ethics rules that Biden plans to enact are reportedly stronger than the Obama administration’s policies.
  • GO BIG OR GO HOME: It’s not too early for Biden to think about the 2022 midterms, meaning he needs to deliver financial relief and be willing to pass it without Republican support. Biden is pushing to pass new survival checks and funding for vaccines as quickly as possible, while congressional Democrats are indicating that a broader stimulus package may not happen until March. Progressives will need to organize and pressure Biden to make it happen.
  • DEBIT CARD DISASTERS: Bank of America left thousands of unemployed Californians without payments because of a botched rollout of a system to provide benefits on debit cards. One lawyer said the bank “did not provide even basic security measures to protect EDD cardholders.” People who received their stimulus payments on debit cards have also faced fees and other problems. Distributing government benefits, as it turns out, is a big industry for banks.
  • GIG WORKERS: One of the most important things that Biden can do for working people is undo Trump-era rules that classified gig workers as contractors, and invalidate Prop 22, a ballot measure in California that is already stripping protections from thousands of workers. One worrisome sign, though, is that Biden has hired Anita Dunn, whose consulting firm is leading a front group for big tech companies pushing to limit gig worker protections in New York.

TODAY’S OWN:


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