Presidential Transitions Are Important. So Why Aren't They More Transparent?

by James Goodwin | August 31, 2016

Next Wednesday, Public Citizen is holding an important event that aims to promote greater transparency in the presidential transition process. The transition process is among the most critical events in our constitutional system of democracy. As the Center for Presidential Transition lays out in detail in its Presidential Transition Guide, this process is where the incoming president's policy agenda is formulated, where candidates for key administrative posts are selected, and where at least the first year of budget priorities are translated into hard numbers. 

When it comes to policy formulation, personnel selection, and budget number crunching, the stakes in this year's presidential transition may be the highest in recent memory. With at least two more years of divided government likely, administrative policymaking, as distinct from legislation, will continue to take on a dominant role. Bottom line: The agenda the next president adopts, and the appointees he or she entrusts with implementing that agenda, will likely determine whether and how we as a nation navigate the policy challenges we face now, as well as any new ones we might encounter over the next several years. 

Remarkably, though, the presidential transition process remains largely shielded from public view. Depending on how a particular transition team is run, there is unlikely to be much in the way of meaningful opportunities for input or accountability available to the general public. Instead, as recent developments with the Trump campaign's ...

Memo to the Next President: Let's Make Government Work for All of Us

by Brian Gumm | August 03, 2016
NEWS RELEASE: Memo to the Next President: Let's Make Government Work for All of Us  Over the past several weeks, the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR) has urged the next president to take a constructive approach to our government and our system of health, safety, environmental, and financial safeguards. With Election Day just three months away, CPR is releasing a new paper that expands on those themes and provides a comprehensive blueprint for how the next president can rebuild our ...

Memo to the Next President: Build a Regulatory System That Works for the People

by James Goodwin | July 14, 2016
In an earlier post, CPR Member Scholar Robert Glicksman discussed the need for the next president to champion a truly positive vision of government and regulation. A new way of thinking and talking about these issues is critically important, and the president should play a key role in charting this course.  While a rhetorical shift is important and long overdue, it is also crucial that the next president be prepared to match actions to words. Consequently, the next president should ...

Memo to the Next President: End the Era of Government Bashing

by Robert Glicksman | June 28, 2016
The most important lessons can be the hardest to learn. Sometimes they even take a crisis. We can hope that the sorry saga of Flint, Michigan's lead-poisoned water will be such a teachable moment for at least some of the anti-government crowd, finally driving home the point that government has a vital role in protecting health and safety, and that it can only play it if it takes the responsibility seriously and is provided the wherewithal to do its job ...

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