While the public was watching Joe Biden gather the most tolerant team, the lobbyists of the largest American business were less visible in the future administration
Tony Blinken, promoted by Biden to the post of US Secretary of State, has, in addition to his diplomatic experience, a consulting firm that promises its clients a bridge from “situation team to board of directors”. Brian Dees, who will head the National Economic Council, and Candidate Deputy Finance Minister Wally Adeyemo until recently worked for BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company.
Biden offered them government positions for their experience in the Barack Obama administration. At the same time, he ignored comrades-in-arms with the private sector who question the impartiality of future officials.
The democrats who now look after their cozy offices in Washington were not wasting their time during Donald Trump’s presidency. As The Washington Post writes, their track record is replete with financial ties that are troubling: managing sovereign wealth in the Persian Gulf, lobbying for Silicon Valley companies and helping American firms do business abroad. Even now, liberal activists are warning that this approach to the formation of the administration will have an impact on future decision-making.
“Biden sees the people he hires as government veterans and does not necessarily care much about what they did during the interregnum,” says Jeff Hauser, founder of the Revolving Door Project, which tracks private sector interests through officials.
The biggest concern for American liberals is the representatives of technology giants in Biden’s team, as well as BlackRock, which deliberately hired powerful democrats to use them in the future.
Against this background, Texas Senator John Kornin raised the issue of blocking Blinken’s nomination to head the State Department if he did not provide information about his firm’s clients. The fact is that, among other things, his firm WestExec is helping American businesses to work abroad, bypassing geopolitical obstacles.
There is a potential lobbyist among Biden’s associates, Lockheed Martin, one of the country’s largest military corporations. We are talking about Jack Johnson, who is applying for a position in the Ministry of Justice or the Pentagon.
Jeffrey Zients, former head of Obama’s National Economic Council, had time to work on Facebook. His most recent position was with Cranemere, an investment firm that manages assets in Latin America and the Middle East. Zienz will now be responsible for coordinating Biden’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Cynthia Hogan, who is already on Biden’s transition team, worked as an Apple lobbyist from 2016 to 2018.
In addition, former and even current employees of Stripe, Airbnb, Uber, Lyft, Apple, Facebook and Amazon work with Biden, WP writes. A source familiar with democrats’ personnel matters also told journalists that “major technology companies have paid the core management of the new administration. This worries not only activists, but also national security agencies.