Tag Archives: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

With Corporate Interests at the Helm, EPA Polluter Fines Down 85%, Hitting Lowest Level in 25 Years

“With its scientists censored and a coal lobbyist in charge, its no wonder why EPA’s civil fines for polluters are down 85 percent.”

By Julia Conley , staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-24-2019

A new analysis shows that civil penalties for polluters have declined 85 percent since President Donald Trump took office. (Photo: isciencetimes.com)

With a former coal lobbyist at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the past six months—and a self-described “advocate” against the agency’s work prior to that—the EPA has drastically reduced the fines it’s levied against pollution-causing industries and companies since President Donald Trump took office.

The Washington Post reported Thursday that under Trump, the agency collected just $72 million in fines last year from automobile, fossil fuel, and other companies that pollute the environment—compared with an average of $500 million, which the EPA annually collected during the two decades prior to the Trump administration. Continue reading

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Raising ‘All Manner of Conflict of Interest Questions,’ the Only National Park Site Reopening Amid Shutdown Is in Trump Hotel

“The corruption and disgrace of this government are without bottom.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 1-3-2019,

The Old Post Office tower, which shares property with the Trump International Hotel, will reopen by the end of the week despite the government shutdown. (Photo: Ted Eytan/Flickr/cc)

While 380,000 federal employees have been out of work on furlough for 12 days and 420,000 more are working without pay due to the government shutdown, the General Services Administration has reportedly found the funding to reopen the Old Post Office tower in Washington, D.C., which shares a building with President Donald Trump’s hotel.

Although the government shutdown is expected to continue into next week at least, the tower is set to reopen by the end of this week, according to a report by E&E News. Continue reading

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In ‘Watershed Moment,’ Federal Judge Allows Emoluments Lawsuit, Challenging Trump’s Refusal to Divest Assets, to Proceed

“We are one step closer to stopping President Trump from violating the Constitution’s original anti-corruption provisions.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-25-2018

Last year, an artist projected “Pay Trump bribes here” and “Emoluments Welcome” onto the Trump Hotel in Washington, D.C. to protest President Donald Trump’s refusal to divest from his businesses. (Photo: @igorvolsky/Twitter)

A government watchdog claimed its latest victory on Wednesday as a federal judge rejected President Donald Trump’s bid to block a lawsuit challenging his continued involvement with his businesses—which ethics groups say amounts to a blatant violation of the U.S. Constitution.


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Outrage Grows as Trump Official Complains Deadline for Putting Kids Back in Parents’ Arms Too “Extreme”

“This is a cruel and harmful policy that was aggravated by the administration’s lack of basic humanity in thinking ahead of time about how it would bring these families back together.”

By Julia Conley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 7-6-2018

Hundreds of thousands of Americans protested against the Trump administration’s forcible separation of families at the U.S.-Mexico border last weekend, days after a federal judge ordered officials to reunite families. (Photo: Lindsey Turner/Flickr/cc)

Outrage over the Trump administration’s treatment of families who have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border, many seeking asylum, grew on Friday as officials told a U.S. District court that they would likely not be able to meet a deadline set more than a week ago for reuniting parents with their children.


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These Trump Staffers — Including an ex-NRA Lobbyist — Left Their Financial Disclosure Forms Blank

The Interior Department acknowledges that many of its employees’ forms “were not reviewed and certified properly.”

By Gabriel Sandoval. Published 6-28-2018 by ProPublica

Before accepting a position at the U.S. Department of the Interior last October, Benjamin Cassidy championed gun rights for nearly seven years as a lobbyist for the National Rifle Association, collecting a peak annual salary of $288,333 for his work on Capitol Hill.

The public wouldn’t know that by looking at Cassidy’s government financial disclosure report. The form, which he filed soon after taking a job as senior deputy director of the office of intergovernmental and external affairs, doesn’t list his old job at the NRA — or any past job, for that matter. Cassidy’s form was nearly blank, save for his name, title and some bank holdings and investments. In the space allotted to show his income, it incorrectly stated “None.” Continue reading

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Trump’s Midnight Dump of Ethics Waivers Should End “Drain the Swamp Illusion”

Former lobbyists from some of the most contentious industries under Trump are given the freedom to influence policy making in those very same arenas

By Lauren McCauley, staff writer for Common Dreams. Published 6-1-2017

Candidate Donald Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp” was apparently made with a slew of caveats, which were exposed late Wednesday when the White House posted details of ethics waivers granted to at least 16 senior staff members.

Among the notice (pdf), which detailed 14 different waived ethics rules, are provisions granting lobbyists from some of the most contentious industries the freedom to influence policy making in those very same arenas. Continue reading

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