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Trump Picks Road Industry Lobbyist to Lead Transportation Transition

1:06 PM EST on November 11, 2016

So much for "draining the swamp." Under Donald Trump, it looks like the White House and Congress will be more infested with lobbyists than ever.

Martin Whitmer, a roads lobbyist, will head Trump's transportation transition team. Photo: Whitmer and Worrall
Martin Whitmer, an asphalt industry lobbyist, will head Trump's transportation transition team. Photo: Whitmer and Worrall
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In a story about the lobbying bonanza that will accompany unified GOP control of Washington, the New York Times reports that Trump has picked Martin Whitmer to head his "transportation and infrastructure" transition team.

Whitmer is chairman of the lobbying firm Whitmer and Worrall, which represents the National Asphalt Paving Association and the Association of American Railroads. According to Whitmer's bio, he was deputy chief of staff at U.S. DOT under President George W. Bush. While there, he advised the Secretary of Transportation on "highway, transit, trucking, safety, energy and trade issues."

Prior to that he worked as a lobbyist for the American Road and Transportation Builders Association, the country's largest industry group for highway construction firms.

This is someone whose job it is to funnel money toward companies that enrich themselves through construction contracts. He's not thinking about how to change things up so America has an efficient, affordable transportation system. Trump has indicated he wants a highway spending bonanza, and this hire is right in line with that.

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