You might have been worried, upon reading the news that Donald Trump was going to place his financial affairs in the hands of his children and yell loudly about it being a "blind trust," that he was only interested in being president to enrich himself. Don't be silly! Now that we're getting a look at Donald Trump's transition team, filled with lobbyists and connected DC power players, it appears that Trump is also interested in making those people rich as well.
Trump of course ended his campaign with a call to "Drain the Swamp," and institute a reform of Washington, D.C. that would rip the power away from the city's entrenched and established players. This stirring populist uprising has resulted in a Trump transition team of retreads and lobbyists that wouldn't look out of place in a too-on-the-nose parody of Republican government devoted only to enriching the already very rich:
Drain the Swamp Update: Fat cat Washington lobbyists/corporate insiders have been given big roles in Trump transition planning/policy pic.twitter.com/Dge5riIPYn
— West Wing Reports (@WestWingReport) November 11, 2016
The Times notes that while not every transition area is being headed by people with direct interest in making clients they represent richer, lobbyists for energy companies, Wall Street and the telecom industry are well-positioned to suggest Cabinet members and federal appointments to people who will make their clients wealthier.
Michael Catanzaro, on the "energy independence" section of the team, has clients who've challenged rules about how much methane gas can be spewed at oil and gas drilling sites. The former chief economist for Bear Stearns, David Malpass, is in charge of the "economic issues" section of the transition and also just so happens to run his own financial research firm these days. Jeffrey Eisenach helped lead the fight against net neutrality on behalf of clients in the telecom industry, and is now in charge of determining who works at the F.C.C.
And there's also the case of Ken Blackwell, a senior fellow with the Family Research Council, who as the above West Wing Reports tweet shows is in charge of planning the domestic policy transition. The FRC, for anyone who forgot the culture wars, managed to get itself listed as an anti-LGTBQ hate group with the Southern Poverty Law Center, thanks to their role in opposing rights for and whipping up hysteria against gays and lesbians. So much for New York values.