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Politico discovers NDAs

Non-​disclosure agree­ments, or NDAs, have been around for decades. Politico just dis­cov­ered them, now that Don­ald Trump is the Pres­i­dent Elect, com­plete with a Grumpy Trump photo:

Trump tran­si­tion team mem­bers sign non-​disclosure agreements

Trump tran­si­tion team mem­bers had to sign a code of ethics with a pretty sig­nif­i­cant lob­by­ing ban, but they’ve also had to sign a non-​disclosure agree­ment to make cer­tain they keep all of their work con­fi­den­tial, accord­ing to a copy obtained by POLITICO.

The agree­ment legally bars tran­si­tion staffers from dis­clos­ing info about major por­tions of the tran­si­tion work, like pol­icy brief­ings, per­son­nel mate­r­ial, donor info, fundrais­ing goals, bud­gets, con­tracts, or any draft research papers. It also demands that if any­one on the team sus­pects a col­league of leak­ing mate­r­ial, he or she must tell tran­si­tion team lead­er­ship. And it gives the Trump team grounds to tell those who run afoul of the rules: “You’re fired.”

That’s usu­ally the case when you don’t honor an NDA: you lose your job.

Politico asserts,

This prac­tice of using a non-​disclosure agree­ment dates back to the Trump cam­paign and even his businesses.

Well, heav­ens to Betsy!

Politico’s staff and writ­ers may not be famil­iar with NDAs, but they are com­mon prac­tice in the pri­vate sec­tor, and have been for years. There are jobs where I had to sign an NDA in order to apply, due to the sen­si­tive nature of the job. To this day I still abide by those NDAs.

Politico’s unnamed “good gov­ern­ment experts” bemoan

the way Trump’s pro­lific use of non-​disclosure agree­ments in busi­ness and the cam­paign could hurt gov­ern­ment trans­parency if the pat­tern con­tin­ued. the way Trump’s pro­lific use of non-​disclosure agree­ments in busi­ness and the cam­paign could hurt gov­ern­ment trans­parency if the pat­tern continued.

even while they admit that (empha­sis added),

the Trump transition’s appli­ca­tion page indi­cates: “One should assume that all of the infor­ma­tion pro­vided dur­ing this process is ulti­mately sub­ject to pub­lic dis­clo­sure, if requested under the Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act.”

No NDA is going to pro­tect you from FOIA. No NDA places you above the law, either. You don’t need to have a law degree to know that.

How­ever, it makes you won­der if Politico and their “good gov­ern­ment experts” are dis­pleased that they can not eas­ily place one of their employ­ees in Trump’s tran­si­tion team.

The guys at Jezebel (look them up, I’m not link­ing) are fraz­zled and say “this is not what a democ­racy looks like. This is some­thing far worse.”

I won­der where their out­rage was while the Dems locked out the GOP when they passed Obamacare.

BONUS:
Novem­ber 6, 2015: Clin­ton Signed NDA Lay­ing Out­Crim­i­nal Penal­ties for Mis­han­dling of Clas­si­fied Info, but in her case it was meaningless.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­i­can pol­i­tics, news, and cul­ture at Fausta’s Blog.

Non-disclosure agreements, or NDAs, have been around for decades. Politico just discovered them, now that Donald Trump is the President Elect, complete with a Grumpy Trump photo:

Trump transition team members sign non-disclosure agreements

Trump transition team members had to sign a code of ethics with a pretty significant lobbying ban, but they’ve also had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to make certain they keep all of their work confidential, according to a copy obtained by POLITICO.

The agreement legally bars transition staffers from disclosing info about major portions of the transition work, like policy briefings, personnel material, donor info, fundraising goals, budgets, contracts, or any draft research papers. It also demands that if anyone on the team suspects a colleague of leaking material, he or she must tell transition team leadership. And it gives the Trump team grounds to tell those who run afoul of the rules: “You’re fired.”

That’s usually the case when you don’t honor an NDA: you lose your job.

Politico asserts,

This practice of using a non-disclosure agreement dates back to the Trump campaign and even his businesses.

Well, heavens to Betsy!

Politico’s staff and writers may not be familiar with NDAs, but they are common practice in the private sector, and have been for years. There are jobs where I had to sign an NDA in order to apply, due to the sensitive nature of the job. To this day I still abide by those NDAs.

Politico’s unnamed “good government experts” bemoan

the way Trump’s prolific use of non-disclosure agreements in business and the campaign could hurt government transparency if the pattern continued. the way Trump’s prolific use of non-disclosure agreements in business and the campaign could hurt government transparency if the pattern continued.

even while they admit that (emphasis added),

the Trump transition’s application page indicates: “One should assume that all of the information provided during this process is ultimately subject to public disclosure, if requested under the Freedom of Information Act.”

No NDA is going to protect you from FOIA. No NDA places you above the law, either. You don’t need to have a law degree to know that.

However, it makes you wonder if Politico and their “good government experts” are displeased that they can not easily place one of their employees in Trump’s transition team.

The guys at Jezebel (look them up, I’m not linking) are frazzled and say “this is not what a democracy looks like. This is something far worse.”

I wonder where their outrage was while the Dems locked out the GOP when they passed Obamacare.

BONUS:
November 6, 2015: Clinton Signed NDA Laying OutCriminal Penalties for Mishandling of Classified Info, but in her case it was meaningless.

faustaFausta Rodriguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin American politics, news, and culture at Fausta’s Blog.