Neera Tanden, Joe Biden's nominee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, already has a difficult pitch for a potential Republican-held Senate, but even progressives and government accountability advocates question her ties to big donors.
Tanden told staff she will remain president of the Center for American Progress through her confirmation, although she has suspended her involvement in fundraising after her nomination, The Washington Post reported.
Still, the ties to big-money liberal donors remain, including those to corporate and foreign interests, progressive and government accountability activists fear.
"CAP has been one of the most aggressive in courting corporate donors," Fordham University Professor Zephyr Teachout told the Post, adding the donors "believe they can shape the worldview of the people whose voices are going to be heard and powerful with the next president."
CAP spokesman Jesse Lee contends the organization "retains complete control" over its operations, not succumbing to influence from donors.
"There are many instances where the work we do cuts against the business or financial interests of our donors," Lee told the Post. "CAP's policy work has always been, and will always be, independent and driven by solutions that we believe will create a more equitable and just country."
Of all the Cabinet level positions, OMB is one of those closest to bridging money and policy, a fact that had Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., concerned in the past, the Post noted.
"Neera Tanden has spent the last decade raising money from the top companies and highest-net-worth individuals in the country, which is a bit at odds with what Biden pitched during the campaign," People's Policy Project President Matt Bruenig told the Post.
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