HOME



Digby's Hullabaloo
2801 Ocean Park Blvd.
Box 157
Santa Monica, Ca 90405



Facebook: Digby Parton

Twitter:
@digby56
@Gaius_Publius
@BloggersRUs (Tom Sullivan)
@spockosbrain



emails:
Digby:
thedigbyblog at gmail
Dennis:
satniteflix at gmail
Gaius:
publius.gaius at gmail
Tom:
tpostsully at gmail
Spocko:
Spockosbrain at gmail
tristero:
Richardein at me.com








Infomania

Salon
Buzzflash
Mother Jones
Raw Story
Huffington Post
Slate
Crooks and Liars
American Prospect
New Republic


Denofcinema.com: Saturday Night at the Movies by Dennis Hartley review archive

January 2003 February 2003 March 2003 April 2003 May 2003 June 2003 July 2003 August 2003 September 2003 October 2003 November 2003 December 2003 January 2004 February 2004 March 2004 April 2004 May 2004 June 2004 July 2004 August 2004 September 2004 October 2004 November 2004 December 2004 January 2005 February 2005 March 2005 April 2005 May 2005 June 2005 July 2005 August 2005 September 2005 October 2005 November 2005 December 2005 January 2006 February 2006 March 2006 April 2006 May 2006 June 2006 July 2006 August 2006 September 2006 October 2006 November 2006 December 2006 January 2007 February 2007 March 2007 April 2007 May 2007 June 2007 July 2007 August 2007 September 2007 October 2007 November 2007 December 2007 January 2008 February 2008 March 2008 April 2008 May 2008 June 2008 July 2008 August 2008 September 2008 October 2008 November 2008 December 2008 January 2009 February 2009 March 2009 April 2009 May 2009 June 2009 July 2009 August 2009 September 2009 October 2009 November 2009 December 2009 January 2010 February 2010 March 2010 April 2010 May 2010 June 2010 July 2010 August 2010 September 2010 October 2010 November 2010 December 2010 January 2011 February 2011 March 2011 April 2011 May 2011 June 2011 July 2011 August 2011 September 2011 October 2011 November 2011 December 2011 January 2012 February 2012 March 2012 April 2012 May 2012 June 2012 July 2012 August 2012 September 2012 October 2012 November 2012 December 2012 January 2013 February 2013 March 2013 April 2013 May 2013 June 2013 July 2013 August 2013 September 2013 October 2013 November 2013 December 2013 January 2014 February 2014 March 2014 April 2014 May 2014 June 2014 July 2014 August 2014 September 2014 October 2014 November 2014 December 2014 January 2015 February 2015 March 2015 April 2015 May 2015 June 2015 July 2015 August 2015 September 2015 October 2015 November 2015 December 2015 January 2016 February 2016 March 2016 April 2016 May 2016 June 2016 July 2016 August 2016 September 2016 October 2016 November 2016 December 2016 January 2017 February 2017 March 2017 April 2017 May 2017 June 2017 July 2017 August 2017 September 2017 October 2017 November 2017 December 2017 January 2018 February 2018 March 2018 April 2018 May 2018


 

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Hullabaloo


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

 
Watchdogs

by digby




























There is a lot of grassroots energy resisting the Trump administration but I thought I'd just post this for you, in case you were wondering what the liberal professional constitution and ethical watchdogs are doing in the face of the most blatantly corrupt administration in history:
Donald Trump won the presidency back in November, but for many liberal organizations, the battle continues. A loose network of lawyers and watchdogs has dug in to scrutinize issues involving the Trump administration's ethics and transparency.

Key topics include: the conflicts between Trump's business interests and his presidential duties; the constitutional questions raised by his foreign profits; and the performance of his appointees, many of whom now run agencies overseeing the industries they themselves came from.

The groups feel their work is essential, given that Trump's Republican Party controls both the House and Senate. So far, Republican lawmakers have made oversight of the executive branch's ethics a low priority. A central figure in the opposition network is Fred Wertheimer, of the research and strategy group Democracy 21. He says: "The common understanding in the watchdog community is that we're going to have to hold the Trump administration responsible, because no one else is going to do it."

Below is a list of some of the most active groups.

ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Filed Freedom of Information Act requests for records on possible conflicts of interest and emoluments (gifts or payments from foreign, state or local governments or officials). Seeking perjury investigation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions after he failed to disclose meetings with a Russian official during confirmation hearing to be attorney general.

WHAT THEY BRING

The ACLU brings legal savvy and grass-roots clout to the ethics coalition. But it's busy battling Trump on other fronts as well, such as the travel and refugee bans and deportation of unauthorized immigrants.

American Oversight
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Files FOIA requests at federal agencies so it can monitor their activities. The Audit The Wall project intends to examine plans, contracts and construction of the Southern border wall. With the Environmental Working Group, examining FOIA'd records on EPA administrator's decision to reverse a ban on the pesticide chlorpyrifos.

WHAT THEY BRING

A new group of lawyers, including some who worked at agencies in the Obama administration.

Brennan Center For Justice
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Analyzes laws and standards that keep a president or appointee from profiting on the presidency. Research expected to lead to FOIAs, possibly litigation.

WHAT THEY BRING

Named for progressive Supreme Court Justice William Brennan Jr. and based at NYU Law School, this legal think tank digs into issues ranging from campaign finance and voter ID to mass incarceration in American prisons and the constitutional rights of detainees held at Guantánamo Bay.

Campaign for Accountability
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Petitioned to unseal divorce records of Trump's first nominee for labor secretary, Andrew Puzder, who later withdrew. Filed ethics complaint against Republican congressional aides who worked for the Trump transition team.

WHAT THEY BRING

A small D.C. nonprofit working to "expose misconduct and malfeasance in public life," focusing mainly on state governments.

Campaign Legal Center
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Analyzes and challenges administration actions on ethics, conflict of interest issues; researches long-term solutions.

WHAT THEY BRING

Legal and advocacy group specializing in ethics and election laws: ballot access, campaign finance, political advertising, voting rights, redistricting and related issues. President is former Federal Election Commission Chair (and Stephen Colbert lawyer) Trevor Potter.

Center for American Progress
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Monitors U.S. enforcement of Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which controls overseas conduct of American corporations. Tracks lawmakers' letters to White House concerning ethics issues, and administration responses. Researches and publishes reports on Trump conflicts of interest.

WHAT THEY BRING

The think tank most closely aligned with the Democratic Party establishment; it has expertise in a vast array of issues from governmental to social, plus media, grass-roots and social media operations.

Center for Media and Democracy
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Litigating to uncover EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt's email traffic with energy companies, from his time as Oklahoma attorney general. Examining disclosures of Trump agency appointees for potential ethics concerns.

WHAT THEY BRING

Progressive watchdog group in Madison, Wis.; used leaked documents in high-profile investigations of Koch political network and corporate legislative group American Legislative Exchange Council.

Common Cause
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Called on Attorney General Jeff Sessions to resign over untruthful answers in his confirmation hearing. Urged Senate to delay confirmation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, saying he withheld documents revealing corporate influence in his decisions as Oklahoma attorney general.

WHAT THEY BRING

"Good government" lobbying and grass-roots group with a record reaching back to 1970. Active on voting rights, gerrymandering, other democracy issues. Was a key force in passage of 2002 McCain-Feingold law, other campaign finance and ethics laws.

Constitutional Accountability Center
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Researching U.S. Constitution provisions on foreign and domestic emoluments, to shape legal action by other groups.

WHAT THEY BRING

Primary mission is to promote progressive "textualist" interpretations of the Constitution, versus conservative "originalism."

CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington)
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

One of several hubs of the network. Sued President Trump on his first full workday, alleging that Trump profited by taking payments from foreign diplomats and others at his hotels and golf courses, violating the Constitution's emoluments clause.

WHAT THEY BRING

If the Trump ethics network has stars, they are CREW's Norm Eisen, former ethics counsel for Obama's White House, and Richard Painter, who did that job under President George W. Bush.

Demand Progress
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Tracking White House activities, including disclosure reports of presidential appointees, nondisclosure of visitor logs, lobbying at Office of Management and Budget.

WHAT THEY BRING

A digital-democracy group that claims 2 million grass-roots supporters.

Democracy 21
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Another hub of the network. Works with CREW on emoluments. Urged New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to investigate the Trump Organization as a possible conduit of foreign emoluments. In letters to administration officials, lays out arguments to comply with ethics laws — e.g., why Ivanka Trump couldn't do her White House job as a volunteer.

WHAT THEY BRING

Headed by Fred Wertheimer, one of the progressive movement's leading strategists on ethics and campaign finance laws since the 1980s.

Every Voice
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Uses email, social media to mobilize a large grass-roots base to sign petitions, call lawmakers, go to demonstrations on Trump ethics issues and accountability.

WHAT THEY BRING

Advocacy group for tougher campaign finance laws, now has branched out to support challenges on Trump ethics. Also active on state issues.

Free Speech For People
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Called on New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to revoke the state's corporate charter for the Trump Organization, alleging the company has long engaged in illegal conduct.

WHAT THEY BRING

FSFP, based in Amherst, Mass., began as a vehicle to fight the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling. Unlike most groups battling the Trump administration, it explicitly calls for Trump's impeachment.

Government Accountability Project
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

"Know Your Rights" campaign aims to raise federal employees' awareness of legal protections against reprisals from superiors, celebrate "the role of truth and truth-telling" and encourage potential possible whistleblowers.

WHAT THEY BRING

Since 1977, helping governmental and corporate whistleblowers with strategic support and high-profile litigation.

Issue One
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Renewed a push for stronger ethics laws, including more power for the Office of Government Ethics, which oversees compliance with disclosure and conflict of interest laws in the executive branch. Would protect OGE director from being dismissed without cause.

WHAT THEY BRING

Issue One's primary goal is a reform package that includes more transparency of political money, increased political participation, stronger ethics enforcement. Emphasizes bipartisanship.

People for the American Way
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Looks into possible implications of ethics problems and conflicts of interest. Steers its grass-roots supporters to activities held by allied groups.

WHAT THEY BRING

Founded in 1981 to counter the emerging religious right; has diversified in its mission while maintaining one of the progressive movement's largest grass-roots networks.

POGO (Project on Government Oversight)
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Another hub. Works with Capitol Hill oversight committees and agency inspectors general and conducts its own investigations. Advises federal employees on legal rights, job protections and whistleblowing. Updating its handbook for federal workers, The Art of Anonymous Activism.

WHAT THEY BRING

Not your usual Washington nonprofit, POGO works down in the gears of governing. Has ties to Republican and Democratic investigators on Capitol Hill, trains Hill staff in how to do oversight of executive branch. Founded in 1981 as a watchdog on Pentagon spending.

Public Citizen
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Also a hub. Has taken action on White House counselor Kellyanne Conway's violation of ethics rules, presidential adviser Carl Icahn's potential conflicts of interest. Sued Trump over executive order to undo existing regulations. Chronicles corporate influence with website corporatecabinet.org.

WHAT THEY BRING

The network's most diversified group with its own litigation team, grass-roots network, plus staff experts in the hot-button issues: ethics, financial policy, environment, trade, health care. Founded in 1971 by consumer activist Ralph Nader.

Sunlight Foundation
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Monitors government websites to detect and catalog information that is deleted. Tracks open-government practices and FOIA compliance in Trump administration.

WHAT THEY BRING

Created in 2006 to increase disclosure of governmental and political records and make government more transparent. Pushed for enactment of FOIA Improvement Act, which establishes a presumption of openness for data.

United To Protect Democracy
WHAT THEY'RE DOING

Examines constitutional and legal concerns stemming from White House and agency actions — e.g., legal justification for Syria missile strikes, political hiring for attorney positions in DOJ civil rights division.

WHAT THEY BRING

New group created by lawyers from the Obama White House.

His corruption is being normalized so quickly that it's already obvious that many of the issue that would have initiated massive scandals and investigations are already being ignored.And the congressional oversight is a joke.  But there are professionals out there trying to keep track, if only for the record. And that's something.

The good news is that the Villagers are working night and day to keep Chelsea Clinton in her place so you can at least rest easy about that.


.