Statement of Meredith McGehee: Rather than “drain the swamp,” the Washington establishment is flooding it

On Friday morning Issue One Chief of Policy, Programs and Strategy Meredith McGehee issued the following statement with regard to President-elect Donald Trump’s transition team. 

I’ve been successfully fighting to hold Washington accountable for the past few decades, most of it as registered lobbyist, and I know how resistant #ThisTown is to anyone rocking the boat. One thing is for certain: Plans to “drain the swamp” will face obstacle after obstacle as those in power — or those close to power — do everything they can to hold on to those levers of control. And the machinations have already started.

The day after the election, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) convened a group of lobbyists to discuss his plans for Congress going forward. Two days after the election, K Street lobbyists began publicly salivating at the potential clients and opportunities that will fill their coffers. This week, the names of President-elect Trump’s transition team began leaking out, with more than half-a-dozen of lobbyists on the team.

Rather than “drain the swamp,” the Washington establishment is flooding it.

There will be and should be a lot of soul searching on behalf of both political parties. They should examine why so many of the Washington establishment — Republicans and Democrats — missed the signs of the populist uprising that put Donald Trump into office. His election should be a wake-up call.

The American people now expect action to address their frustrations and dissatisfactions, to end in our politics and to confront the reality that too many politicians, once they arrive in Washington, lose sight of the interests of those they represent. American voters are clearly not afraid to make their message heard and buck the orthodoxy of the status quo — starting with the White House.

Come January, many in Congress are likely to return to the normal routine of spending too much time thinking about the parceling out of committee chairmanships or meeting their party fundraising obligations — activities that keep members of Congress busy dialing for dollars and hobnobbing with the wealthy interests that they rely on to fund their campaigns.

This past summer, House Speaker Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said his party should “do a better job going after crony capitalism.” In order to address the serious problems in our country, a leader needs to first get his own house in order. That starts by getting the crony capitalists off the transition team and changing Washington’s business-as-usual practices.