Trump Picks Road Industry Lobbyist to Lead Transportation Transition

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

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 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.

ALSO ON STREETSBLOG

Know Your Transportation Lobbyists: Transit Beats Roads — Sort Of

|
Transportation lobbying is a complicated universe, in which multi-issue environmental groups can be as active as organizations that exist only to influence infrastructure decision-making. But to shed some more light on a cast of characters that Streetsblog Capitol Hill began introducing last month, it’s worth exploring who represents Washington’s two largest transportation players and how […]

Know Your Transportation Lobbyists: The American Trucking Association

|
Earlier this week, we took a closer look at the congressional lobbying teams employed by the transport sector’s biggest players, AASHTO and APTA. Today, it’s time to meet the representatives of the American Trucking Association (ATA), which reported $1.32 million in lobbying spending during the first half of this year on its congressional disclosures — […]

Obama Chooses Trucking Industry Lobbyist to Regulate Truckers

|
The White House’s choice of trucking lobbyist Anne Ferro to head the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) — the agency charged with preventing truck crashes — prompted consternation yesterday from a senior Democrat on the Senate committee that must approve the nomination. Anne Ferro, nominated to lead the FMCSA. (Photo: Smart Woman) Frank Lautenberg […]