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Clinton Democrats Defeat Effort To Address Government Revolving Door In Platform

Delegates from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign prevented a lobbyist amendment from being added to the Democratic Party platform. It would have suggested Democrats support regulating the revolving door, which allows federal government officials to work for industries they were in charge of regulating and later return to positions in government.

At the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee meeting in Orlando, Florida, not a single person from the Clinton delegation stood up to defend the campaign’s opposition to the amendment.

The amendment, which was brought by Domingo Garcia, a delegate for Bernie Sanders from Dallas, Texas, stated the following:

Democrats will support laws that will prohibit public officials from working for the industries they regulate for at least four years after they leave office. We will also support prohibiting lobbyists who work for Wall Street or corporate interests from serving on public boards and regulating agencies that previously regulated them.

Garcia urged support for the amendment and argued it was “sickening to see people who are regulating Wall Street, regulating our environment, regulating industries, and then they leave [their] government job and go work for the people they were regulating.”

“Or the opposite,” Garcia added. “They’re working for Goldman Sachs, and they’re hired by the U.S. Department Of [Treasury] and things like that.”

The language did not prohibit government officials from ever taking jobs in industries they regulated or corporate lobbyists from ever taking jobs in agencies, which regulated their industries. It merely called for a measure that would likely curtail some of the political corruption.

Still, the measure was defeated by the Clinton delegation, and there were very loud boos when it was announced by the chair of the meeting, Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy, that the amendment was defeated. (Note: Malloy is under investigation in Connecticut for allegedly violating “conflict-of-interest laws” when he hired a former Cigna lobbyist to the position of insurance commissioner to lead the state’s review of the corporation’s merger with Anthem.)

Nomiki Konst, an at-large delegate for Sanders, frequent CNN contributor and host of SiriusXM’s “The Filter,” condemned Clinton Democrats for refusing to support the amendment.

“We are setting the precedent. Right now, this platform is being labeled as progressive,” Konst declared. “There are many people in this audience back there, who do not agree with that because the language has been weak and it’s code. And it’s code because this is a living platform for the Wall Street lobbyists, who are now owning our party.”

“We are no longer the social progressives, the FDR progressives. We are the Wall Street progressives, and if we want to stand up against Citizens United, like we are all campaigning on, this is what we need to pass. This needs to be all over our platform,” Konst added.

As she was leaving the microphone, she quickly returned to interject, “If one person votes against it, you’re not a Democrat.”

A number of the superdelegates supporting Clinton are lobbyists. For example, as journalist Lee Fang reported, Emily Giske is a Clinton superdelegate, who has worked on behalf of Pfizer, the Securities Industry, and the Financial Markets Association. This is a trade group that represents Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, and Fidelity.

Joanne Dowdell is a superdelegate for Clinton and the senior vice president for global government affairs at News Corporation.

Earlier this year, the Associated Press reported on the many corporations, trade associations, and other groups, which paid Clinton for speeches between 2013 and 2015 after she left her position as United States secretary of state.

Federal records, regulatory filings, and correspondence, which the AP reviewed, showed “almost all the 82 corporations, trade associations, and other groups that paid for or sponsored Clinton’s speeches have actively sought to sway the government—lobbying, bidding for contracts, commenting on federal policy and in some cases contacting State Department officials or Clinton herself during her tenure as secretary of state.”

The report raised strong concerns that agencies in a presidential administration led by Clinton would be highly influenced by lobbyists.

After the vote, Konst concluded Clinton delegates do not “want to voice opposition to common sense amendments because they don’t want to be on record beyond their votes.”

In fact, those watching never had a chance to see the roll call so there could be screen shots taken of who voted against the amendment.

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola

Kevin Gosztola is managing editor of Shadowproof. He also produces and co-hosts the weekly podcast, "Unauthorized Disclosure."