Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

CARSON SAID HE LACKED EXPERIENCE & HAD NO INTEREST IN THE CABINET

L.A. Times Headline “Ben Carson Says He Won't Join Trump's Cabinet Because He Has No Government Experience.”  [Los Angeles Times, 11/15/16]

Washington Post: Carson “Has Less Experience” Than Most Other Trump Appointments.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Carson, a neurosurgeon, has less experience for his proposed position than do most of Trump's other picks.”  [Washington Post, 12/13/16]

Carson Adviser: Carson Said He Would Only Accept An Appointment If Trump Couldn’t Find Anyone Else.  In December 2016 ABC News reported, “Carson adviser Armstrong Williams told ABC News nearly a month ago that the only way Carson would accept a cabinet position was if Trump could not find anyone else.”  [ABC News, 12/05/16]

Ben Carson Took Himself Out Of The Running For Trump’s Cabinet Because Of A Lack Of Experience.  In November 2016 the Los Angeles Times wrote, “But now the former Republican candidate has taken himself out of the running for a Cabinet position in Donald Trump's new administration because he believes he lacks the background necessary to manage a federal agency, according to Carson's longtime advisor.”  [Los Angeles Times, 11/15/16]

An Advisor Said Carson Wouldn’t Serve In The Cabinet Because It Would “Cripple The Presidency.”  In November 2016 the Los Angeles Times wrote, “’Dr. Carson doesn't feel like that's the best way for him to serve the president-elect,’ the advisor, Armstrong Williams, told Reuters.  ‘Dr. Carson feels he has no government experience, he's never run a federal agency,’ Williams told the Hill newspaper. ‘The last thing he would want to do was take a position that could cripple the presidency.’”  [Los Angeles Times, 11/15/16]

An Advisor Said Carson Had No Experience Running Agencies And It Was “Not His Strength.”  In November 2016 CNN reported, “Carson confidant Armstrong Williams said the former neurosurgeon and top Trump surrogate will continue to advise Trump from outside the White House but declined Trump's offer to join his administration as a cabinet-level official.  ‘He's never run an agency and it's a lot to ask. He's a neophyte and that's not his strength,’ Williams said, despite the fact that Carson vied for the Republican nomination to be the next president of the United States.”  [CNN, 11/15/16]

Carson Said He Didn’t Want To Be In Trump’s Government So He Wouldn’t Have To Focus On One Issue.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’The way I’m leaning is to work from the outside and not from the inside,’ Carson said in an interview Tuesday with The Washington Post. ‘I want to have the freedom to work on many issues and not be pigeonholed into one particular area.’”  [Washington Post, 11/15/16]

Carson Said He Would Be “A Fish Out Of Water” Running A Federal Agency.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “He added with a chuckle, ‘Having me as a federal bureaucrat would be like a fish out of water, quite frankly.’”  [Washington Post, 11/15/16]

CARSON IS DANGEROUSLY IGNORANT ABOUT HOUSING & URBAN DEVELOPMENT 

Washington Post: Carson Has No Experience & Called Desegregation Efforts A “Social Experiment.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Ben Carson, President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has criticized federal efforts to desegregate America's neighborhoods as ‘social engineering.’  In an op-ed last year, the retired neurosurgeon — who has no experience in urban development — compared the government’s attempts to integrate communities to the ‘failed social experiment’ of mandated school busing.”  [Washington Post, 12/07/16]

Carson Said Efforts To De-Segregate Government Housing Were “Downright Dangerous.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’These government-engineered attempts to legislate racial equality create consequences that often make matters worse,’ Carson wrote in a Washington Times op-ed. ‘There are reasonable ways to use housing policy to enhance the opportunities available to lower-income citizens, but based on the history of failed socialist experiments in this country, entrusting the government to get it right can prove downright dangerous.’”  [Washington Post, 12/07/16]

Carson Criticized Efforts To Enforce The Fair Housing Act, The Federal Law The Prevents Housing Discrimination.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Carson specifically criticized the Obama administration’s housing rules issued in 2015 to help cities better adhere to the 1968 Fair Housing Act. The law prohibited housing discrimination and required communities to promote fair housing.”  [Washington Post, 12/07/16]

Washington Post: Carson Has No Specific Experience But He Suggested He Would Dismantle Desegregation Efforts.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Carson does not have specific experience with the activities of HUD, which manages low-income housing assistance, facilitates financing for homeownership and administers fair-housing programs. But he has a documented position on fair-housing policies that has advocates nervous about what protections a Trump administration might dismantle — particularly for racial desegregation.”  [Washington Post, 12/05/16]

Carson Compared The Work Of HUD To A “Communist Country.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In an interview with a radio host in Iowa last year, Carson criticized an agreement between HUD and the city of Dubuque to address those issues.  ‘This is what you see in communist countries, where they have so many regulations encircling every aspect of your life that if you don’t agree with them, all they have to do is pull the noose,’ Carson said.”  [Washington Post, 12/13/16]

CARSON FREQUENTLY SPOUTS OFFENSIVE NONSENSE 

Carson Bizarrely Overstated His Own History Of Violence Or Criminal Behavior.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “On Thursday, CNN published a report in which reporters interviewed nine friends, former classmates and neighbors to try to corroborate Carson's accounts of personal violence against his mother and acquaintances as a child and as an adolescent. It could not find anyone who would say they were a victim of Carson's or even had knowledge about the incidents.  ‘I was trying to kill somebody,’ Carson told a San Francisco audience in September. He wrote in his 1990 best-selling autobiography, ‘Gifted Hands: The Ben Carson Story,’ in recounting an incident where as an adolescent he tried to stab a friend: ‘Grabbing the camping knife I carried in my back pocket, I snapped it open and lunged for the boy who had been my friend. With all the power of my young muscles, I thrust the knife toward his belly. The knife hit his big, heavy ROTC buckle with such force that the blade snapped and dropped to the ground.’”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Said It Was His “Personal Theory” That Pyramids Were Built As Granaries By Biblical Joseph.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “On Wednesday, BuzzFeed published an article featuring a video of the then-Johns Hopkins neurosurgeon delivering a commencement address at Andrews College in 1998 in which he discussed his belief that the pyramids in Egypt were built as granaries, not as tombs for pharaohs.  ‘My own personal theory is that Joseph built the pyramids to store grain. Now all the archaeologists think that they were made for the pharaohs’ graves. But, you know, it would have to be something awfully big if you stop and think about it. And I don’t think it’d just disappear over the course of time to store that much grain,’ he told students, according to the video posted.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

He Defended The Claim By Saying Secular Progressives Were Attacking The Bible.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “Carson defended his beliefs on Thursday, telling reporters in Miami that ‘some people believe in the Bible, like I do, and don’t find that to be silly at all and believe that God created the Earth and don’t find that to be silly at all.’  ‘The secular progressives try to ridicule it anytime it comes up, and they’re welcome to do that,’ he added.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Proposed Segregated Bathrooms For People That Are Transgender.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “’How about we have a transgender bathroom?’ Carson asked Fusion anchor Jorge Ramos in a Thursday interview, adding that ‘[i]t’s not fair for them to make everybody else uncomfortable.’ Carson went on to say that he thought everybody has equal rights, ‘but I’m not sure anybody should have extra rights — extra rights when it comes to redefining everything for everybody else and imposing your view on everybody else.’  Human Rights Campaign denounced the remarks. ‘Ben Carson can’t go a week without invoking reckless and irresponsible stereotypes about the LGBT community, and his suggestion that transgender people be required to use segregated bathrooms echoes an ugly past our country should never revisit,’ the group's president, Chad Griffin, said in a statement.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Claimed The Holocaust Would Not Have Happened If European Jews Were Armed.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “’I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,’ Carson said in an interview with CNN's Wolf Blitzer on Thursday. ‘I'm telling you, there is a reason these dictatorial people take the guns first.’  The comment followed Blitzer's reading of a passage from Carson's new book, ‘A More Perfect Union: What We the People Can Do To Reclaim Our Constitutional Liberties,’ in which the retired neurosurgeon wrote that ‘German citizens were disarmed by their government in the late 1930s, and by the mid-1940s, Hitler's regime had mercilessly slaughtered 6 million Jews and numerous others whom they considered inferior. Through a combination of removing guns and disseminating deceitful propaganda, the Nazis were able to carry out their evil intentions with relatively little resistance.’”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Said That People Should Combat Mass Shootings By Attacking The Shooter.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “The candidate told ‘Fox and Friends’ that if a gunman like the one who killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Oregon had walked up to him and asked his religion, he would not go along.  ‘Not only would I probably not cooperate with him, I would not just stand there and let him shoot me, I would say, ‘Hey guys, everybody attack him. He may shoot me, but he can’t get us all,’’ Carson suggested, when talking about the October killings.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Said Most Racism In The U.S. Is From The Progressive Movement And Directed At People Like Him.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “’I’m not sure I agree that there isn’t a fair amount of racism here,’ he said in response to a statement from Prager that the U.S. is the least racist country of those with multiple races.  ‘There is, but it’s not where you would expect it to be,’ Carson continued, ‘it is mostly with the progressive movement who will look at someone like me, and because of the color of my pigment, they decide that there’s a certain way that I’m supposed to think. And if I don’t think that way, I’m an Uncle Tom and they heap all kinds of hatred on you. That, to me, is racism.’”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Said Many People Are Straight When They Go To Prison But Choose To Come Out Gay.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “Two months before he declared his candidacy, Carson sat down on CNN's ‘New Day’ and in the course of the interview remarked that being gay is a choice, citing the example of people who go to prison straight and come out gay.  ‘A lot of people who go into prison straight and when they come out, they’re gay, so did something happen while they were in there? Ask yourself that question,’ he told Chris Cuomo.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Said The ACA Was The Worst Thing Since Slavery And That The ACA Was Slavery.  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “At the Values Voter Summit in October 2013, Carson remarked that ‘Obamacare is really I think the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery.’  ‘And it is in a way, it is slavery in a way, because it is making all of us subservient to the government, and it was never about health care. It was about control,’ he said.”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Carson Suggested That The “PC Police” Are Ushering In A “Gestapo Age” “Very Much Like Nazi Germany.”  In October 2015 Politico wrote, “At a March 2014 event in New York, a reporter for Breitbart News asked: ‘I've been told that he [Carson] said we're living in a 'Gestapo age'. What do you mean by that?’  ‘I mean very much like Nazi Germany — and I know you’re not supposed to talk about Nazi Germany, but I don’t care about political correctness — you know, you had a government using its tools to intimidate a population,’ Carson said. ‘We now live in a society where people are afraid to say what they actually believe, and it's because of the PC police, it's because of politicians, because of news — all of these things are combining to stifle people's conversation.’”  [Politico, 10/09/15]

Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

SESSIONS IS A RACIST 

Sessions Criticized All Dominican Immigrants As Unskilled And Unable To Benefit Society. In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “At a 2006 congressional hearing, Sessions said that an entire group of people wouldn’t thrive in America. ‘Fundamentally, almost no one coming from the Dominican Republic to the United States is coming because they have a skill that would benefit us and would indicate their likely success in our society,’ he said.”  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Said Of The Ku Klux Klan “I Used To Respect Them, But If They Smoke Pot, I Sure Can’t.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Sessions seemed surprised that Klansmen would smoke marijuana, and Kowalski said he teased him that it was the 1980s. To which Sessions replied, as Kowalski remembers: ‘I used to respect them, but if they smoke pot, I sure can’t.’”   And, “Later, in the U.S. attorney’s office, Sessions made the same comment, but this time, two other lawyers were also present: Thomas H. Figures and Albert Glenn.  Figures, the only black prosecutor in the office, who was also working on the case, later testified before the Judiciary Committee that he was deeply offended and did not think the comment was a joke. Kowalski and Glenn, also white, testified they thought the comment was intended to be humorous.  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Acknowledged Calling The NAACP “Communist-Inspired” And “Un-American.”  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions acknowledged referring to the NAACP and other organizations as ‘communist inspired’ and ‘un-American organizations with anti-traditional American values,’ the New York Times reported in April 1986.”  [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Washington Post: “Accusations Of Racism Have Dogged Sessions’ Career.” In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Accusations of racism have dogged Sessions's career: Actually, they almost derailed it. In 1986, a Senate committee denied Sessions, then a 39-year-old U.S. attorney in Alabama, a federal judgeship. His former colleagues testified Sessions used the n-word and joked about the Ku Klux Klan, saying he thought they were ‘okay, until he learned that they smoked marijuana.’”  [Washington Post, 11/18/16]

Headline: “Donald Trump's Choice For US Attorney General Was Deemed Too Racist To Be Federal Judge”  [The Independent, 11/18/16]

The Independent: Sessions Never Denied Multiple Allegations Of Racism.  In November 2016 The Independent wrote, “Jeff Sessions, now a US senator, denied agreeing a lawyer was probably a 'race traitor', defending the Ku Klux Klan and refering to a black official as 'the n*****'” [The Independent, 11/18/16]

Sessions Allegedly Suggested A White Lawyer Was A “Disgrace To His Race” For Representing Black Clients.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “The accusations came from fellow prosecutors and employees in his office. One, Gerry Hebert, then a trial attorney in the Department of Justice's Civil Rights Division, who worked frequently with Sessions, testified that he told Sessions that a judge had called a white lawyer a ‘disgrace to his race’ because he represented black clients.  ‘Well, maybe he is,’ Sessions allegedly responded.”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Sessions Called A White Attorney Representing Black Clients A Race Traitor. In November 2016 The Independent wrote, “Mr Sessions’ nomination for a position as a federal judge was previously blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee after it heard allegations he: agreed a white lawyer working for black clients was probably ‘a race traitor’” [The Independent, 11/18/16]
 

SESSIONS WAS ALREADY DEEMED UNFIT FOR THE JUDICIARY

Allegations Of Racism Cost Sessions A Seat On The Federal Bench In 1986.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “Two decades ago, Sessions, then a U.S. attorney from Mobile, Ala., appeared before the body as President Ronald Reagan’s nominee for the U.S. District Judge for the Southern District of Alabama. The contentious hearing took place over four days, and ended with Sessions unable to overcome allegations of racist remarks and behavior, credited at the time with thwarting his bid.”  And, “In the end, the committee voted 10-8 against recommending Sessions to the whole Senate for confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. Reagan withdrew his nomination in July, almost six months to the day after nominating him.”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Headline: “Donald Trump's Choice For US Attorney General Was Deemed Too Racist To Be Federal Judge”  [The Independent, 11/18/16]

Sessions Was Denied A Federal Judgeship By A Senate Committee In 1986 After Allegations Of Racism. In November 2016 The Independent outlined the allegations of racism against Sen. Sessions that kept him off of the federal bench in 1986:  

Mr Sessions’ nomination for a position as a federal judge was previously blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee after it heard allegations he:

  • agreed a white lawyer working for black clients was probably "a race traitor”;
  • claimed the only problem he had with the Ku Klux Klan (KKK) was their drug use;
  • called a black lawyer “boy” and told him to “be careful what you say to white folks”;
  • referred to a black local government official as “the n*****”;
  • and called US civil rights groups “un-American organisations teaching anti-American values” and “communist-inspired”, accusing them of trying to “force civil rights down the throats of people”.

The controversial comments allegedly made by Mr Sessions came to light during a Senate committee meeting in 1986. [The Independent, 11/18/16]

SESSIONS DEFENDED TRUMP’S MUSLIM BAN

Sessions Said It Was “Appropriate To Begin To Discuss” Trump’s Muslim Ban.  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions, a former federal prosecutor, was one of the few lawmakers to defend Trump after he proposed a complete shutdown on Muslims entering the U.S. He told Stephen Bannon -- the former Breitbart News chief named as Trump’s chief White House strategist -- on a radio show in 2015 that Trump was ‘treading on dangerous ground’ but it is ‘appropriate to begin to discuss’ the issue.” [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Sessions Supported The Use Of Religious Tests In Immigration In A 2015 Debate.  In December 2015 CBS News reported, “In a rebuke of Donald Trump's plan to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 16-4 Thursday on an amendment that confirms that the U.S. should not block people from the country because of their religion.”  And, “The four ‘no’ votes were Sens. Jeff Sessions, R-Alabama, Thom Tillis, R-North Carolina, David Vitter, R-Louisiana and GOP presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas.”  And, “’Are we really prepared to disallow, in the consideration of tens of millions of applications for entry to the United States, any questions about religious views and attitudes?’ Sessions said.”  [CBS News, 12/10/15]

SESSIONS TARGETED CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS FOR POLITICAL PROSECUTION

Sessions Targeted Black Community Leaders For Voter Fraud Prosecutions.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “In 1985, when he was U.S. Attorney in Mobile, Sessions’ office brought indictments over allegations of voter fraud in a number of Black Belt counties, an area in Alabama named for the color of the soil but with a majority black population.  In Perry County, Sessions’ office charged three individuals with voting fraud, including Albert Turner, a long-time civil rights activist who advised Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and helped lead the voting rights March in Selma on March 7, 1965, known as ‘Bloody Sunday’ after state troopers and a local posse attacked the protestors.  Prosecutors alleged that Turner, his wife Evelyn, and activist Spencer Hogue altered ballots for a Sept. 1984 primary election.” And, “A jury of seven blacks and five whites acquitted the defendants of all charges. The presiding judge threw out more than half of the charges for lack of evidence before the jury received the case.”  [USA Today, 11/18/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Selective Prosecution In The “Marion Three” Case.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The Perry County case in Marion, Ala., was among several ‘Black Belt’ county voting-irregularity investigations by the federal government in 1985. The government alleged that three voter-registration activists had tampered with absentee ballots in the 1984 primary election in favor of candidates endorsed by the Perry County Civic League. They charged the defendants, dubbed the “Marion Three,” with violations of federal mail fraud statutes.”  And, “Many in the community were outraged, questioning why similar investigations weren’t being conducted in mostly white counties. There were daily demonstrations during the trial in support of the Marion Three.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Was Asked To Investigate Similar Allegations OfTampering With The Rights Of Black Citizens To Vote, But He Declined.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 1982, then-District Attorney Roy L. Johnson wrote to Sessions about complaints of voting irregularities and said the most serious allegations involved interference with absentee ballots. (Johnson is now deceased.) Absentee ballots were a tool to turn out rural black voters without fear of intimidation at the polls, but legitimate questions were raised about fraud.  In 1983, a majority-black state grand jury weighed these voter fraud allegations and found serious problems — primarily with the tampering of the right of black Perry County citizens to vote — and asked the federal government to intervene.  But Sessions did not investigate.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Attempting To Dissuade African Americans From Voting With The Fraud Prosecution.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “Robert Turner, Albert’s brother and an attorney in Marion, Ala., said in a phone interview Friday that the defendants – later known as the Marion Three – were trying to assist poor and elderly voters in casting ballots. In some cases, the defendants said they were helping illiterate voters mark their ballots, and only altered ballots when requested.  ‘There are and there were large numbers of elderly people in Perry County who need assistance,’ said Turner, who helped with his brother’s defense. ‘They couldn’t get to the polls on their own. As a matter of fact, the technical requirements of completing and mailing (the ballots) were not understood.’” And, “’I thought that the prosecution was unwarranted and had no merit,’ Robert Turner said Friday. ‘I thought it was deliberately done to dissuade black people from voting. I don’t think he did it for a just cause.’”  [USA Today, 11/18/16]
 

SESSIONS HAS MADE A CAREER OUT OF DISMANTLING VOTING RIGHTS 

Sessions Said It Was “Good News… For The South” When The Supreme Court Gutted The Voting Rights Act.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Then in 2006, as a U.S. senator, he voted to renew the Voting Rights Act for 25 years. But seven years later, he said it was ‘good news . . . for the South’ when the Supreme Court struck down a key provision of the law, which made it more difficult for the federal government to protect people from racial discrimination in voting.”  [Washington Post, 12/24/16]

Sessions Voted For The Voting Rights Act Extension After “Efforts To Dismantle” It.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2006 agreed the Voting Rights Act should live on for another 25 years, but that lone vote does not reflect the attorney general nominee’s previous efforts to dismantle a key tool for enforcing the law in the South.”  [USA Today, 11/24/16]

USA Today: Sessions Was Part Of A Campaign To Weaken The Voting Rights Act.  In November 2016 USA Today wrote, “But for many years beforehand, Sessions was part of a campaign of Southern Republicans who believed the law had become an unfair, outdated burden that didn’t reflect the increased black voter registration and number of black elected officials. Under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act, places with a history of persistent discrimination — like Alabama — couldn’t run their elections without special oversight and approval of a watchful federal government.”  [USA Today, 11/24/16]

Sessions Declined To Investigate Allegations Of Tampering With Black Citizens’ Right To Vote.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 1982, then-District Attorney Roy L. Johnson wrote to Sessions about complaints of voting irregularities and said the most serious allegations involved interference with absentee ballots. (Johnson is now deceased.) Absentee ballots were a tool to turn out rural black voters without fear of intimidation at the polls, but legitimate questions were raised about fraud.  In 1983, a majority-black state grand jury weighed these voter fraud allegations and found serious problems — primarily with the tampering of the right of black Perry County citizens to vote — and asked the federal government to intervene.  But Sessions did not investigate.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]

Sessions Said He Thought That Voter Suppression Problems Would Just Solve Themselves.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’My feeling was that the problem would not continue; that the people would straighten up, clean up, after their act. And I saw no reason to prosecute after the county had not prosecuted, and we did not,’ Sessions said, adding that irregularities that year involved only a few ballots.”  [Washington Post, 11/28/16]


SESSIONS MAY BE UNWILLING TO DEFEND THE RIGHTS OF LGBT AMERICANS

Bloomberg: “Sessions Has Been Hostile To Gay Rights.”  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “Sessions has been hostile to gay rights, voting for a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2006 and against the 2010 repeal of ‘don’t ask, don’t tell,’ the policy that banned gays and lesbians from serving openly in the military.  David Stacy, the government affairs director for Human Rights Campaign, told Metro Weekly that the prospect of Sessions as attorney general is ‘absolutely terrifying.’” [Bloomberg, 11/18/16]

Sessions Used His Position As Alabama A.G. To Try To Keep An LGBT Group Off Of A Public University Campus.  In December 2016 CNN reported, “Sen. Jeff Sessions, Donald Trump's pick to be United States attorney general, launched a public campaign as Alabama attorney general in 1996 to prevent a gay rights group from holding a conference at the University of Alabama, according to a KFile review of contemporaneous press accounts and legal filings.”  [CNN, 12/02/16]

Sessions Said It Was Up To People Like Him To Overturn Same Sex Marriage Rights.  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “In June 2015, when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples have a constitutional right to marry, Sessions issued a statement saying the nation’s highest court had ‘redefined a sacred and ancient institution.’  ‘It is not an act of courage but supreme arrogance to pretend that the wisdom of five judges is greater than all the men and women who have voted upon this issue in the 50 states, and the men and women whose convictions have defined the course of western civilization,’ the statement continued. Sessions said the Supreme Court’s decision was ‘part of a continuing effort to secularize’ the country ‘by force and intimidation.’ He concluded: ‘[W]hether these progressive victories are transient, or permanent, depends on us.’”  [ABC News, 11/18/16]

Sessions Attacked The Supreme Court For Their 2015 Same Sex Marriage Ruling.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “When same-sex marriage finally became the law of the land in 2015, after the 5-4 Obergefell v. Hodges Supreme Court decision, Sessions did not hold back his displeasure.  ‘I think what this court did was unconstitutional. I don't think they had the power to do what they did. There's nothing in the Constitution that requires such a result, no mention of marriage in the Constitution,’ Sessions told WKRG in Mobile, Alabama, shortly after the Supreme Court decision.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]

Sessions Opposed Hate Crimes Protections For The LGBT Community.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “Same-sex marriage is not the only pro-LGBTQ legislation Sessions has opposed. He voted against the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009, which expanded federal hate-crimes law to include bias-motivated violence based on sexual orientation and gender identity.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]

Sessions Opposed Repealing Don’t Ask Don’t Tell And Didn’t Vote For ENDA, Which Protected The LGBT Population From Workplace Discrimination.  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “He also voted against the repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy in 2010, and in 2013 he declined to vote in favor of the federal Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would have protected LGBTQ employees from workplace discrimination.”  [NBC News, 11/19/16]


SESSIONS DISCLOSURES ARE LARGELY INCOMPLETE

Sessions Omitted Answers From His Nomination Questionnaire For The Judiciary Committee.  In December 2016 National Public Radio supported, “Sessions, 69, returned his questionnaire to the committee amid little fanfare late last Friday evening. The former U.S. attorney and attorney general for the state of Alabama dutifully listed his employment record. But under a section asking for "any unsuccessful candidacies you have had for elective office or unsuccessful nominations for appointed offices," Sessions didn't mention his failed bid for a federal judge post.”  [National Public Radio, 12/13/16]

Sessions Was Accused Of Making Several Other Intentional, But Inexplicable, Omissions From His Questionnaire.  In January 2017 CNN reported, “The groups say Sessions failed to provide media interviews, speeches, op-eds and more from his time as US attorney in Alabama, the state's attorney general and from his first term as senator, from 1997 through 2002.  They said Sessions listed just 20 media interviews, 16 speeches outside the Senate, two op-eds, an academic article and a training manual, as well as just 11 clips of interviews with print publications -- including none prior to 2003.  ‘Sen. Sessions claims that records do not exist for the vast majority of press interviews he has given over the years. However, many are easily located online,’ the groups said, calling the omission ‘inexplicable.’”  [CNN, 01/01/17]

Sessions’ Omissions Are Curious, Considering That He Accused A Nominee Of Committing A Felony For The Same Thing In 2010.  During an April 2010 meeting of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Sen. Sessions addressed what he viewed to incomplete questionnaire responses from Judicial Nominee Goodwin Liu.  He said, “[32:08] To say we’ve lost confidence that Professor Liu has been serious in working to fulfill his duty to provide the committee with a complete record is an understatement.  I would just say, if you had a federal judge, or United States Magistrate, or a serious practicing attorney, when they get a questionnaire like this, they don’t play around with it, because they know it’s a serious thing.  It has their certification that they’ve complied with it completely when they sign it.  They’ve been in court; they know how matters… how these things are important.”  And he later added, “[36:44] Let me answer Senator Cornyn’s question.  As a prosecutor, Title 18, Section 1001 makes it a criminal offense to make a false statement to the government. Two years in jail. A felony.  This is a certification that these nominees make that is true and correct and is witnessed by a notary public.  A judge who finds that a nominee, or someone coming before them, left out 117, and now 130 or 40 documents would consider contempt, I think.”  [United States Committee On The Judiciary: Executive Business Meeting, 04/15/10]

ROSS IS A WELL-KNOWN “VULTURE CAPITALIST”

Forbes: Ross Has Been Called A “Vulture Investor.”  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “While some view him as a savior, risking millions to revive firms that might otherwise go out of business, others have called him a “vulture investor” for preying on weak companies, sometimes slashing jobs and pensions to turn a profit.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]

New York Times: Ross Is “One Of The Most Visible And Successful Of A Breed Of Investor Known As ‘Vultures’.”  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The nomination of Mr. Ross would be the capstone to a career on Wall Street that has spanned decades and has made him one of the most visible and successful of a breed of investor known as ‘vultures’ because of their penchant for going after nearly dead businesses.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Got Very Rich By Buying And Gutting Businesses, Worth Estimated At $2.9 Billion.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “With wealth estimated at $2.9 billion, Mr. Ross, who turns 79 on Monday, would join a cabinet that is already expected to include one of the superwealthy in Betsy DeVos, the nominee for secretary of education, and that may soon have others.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

ABC News: Ross Was Known As “The King Of Bankruptcy.”  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “Ross, 78, made a fortune restructuring failed companies in the manufacturing and steel industries, among others, earning him the moniker, the ‘King of Bankruptcy.’”  [ABC News, 11/30/16]


ROSS HAS A HISTORY OF REGULATORY PROBLEMS & QUESTIONABLE PRACTICES

Ross Paid A $2.3 Million SEC Fine For Failing To Properly Disclose Fees.  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “And in August WL Ross & Co. agreed to pay a $2.3 million fine to the SEC related to charges that it didn't properly disclose its fee allocation practices to some investors. The firm did not admit any wrongdoing and volunteered to pay back the fees with interest, on top of the fine.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]

Ross Was Sued For Profiting From Insider Trading By Shareholders Of A Subprime Lender.  In April 2015 Law360, a legal news publication, wrote, “An Ocwen Financial Corp. board member improperly profited from selling a $72 million company stake held by his financial funds weeks before Ocwen’s poor quarterly performance was publicly disclosed, according to an investor suit filed in New York court Wednesday.  Stockholder Robert Lowinger claims Wilbur L. Ross Jr. used his position as an Ocwen board member and as manager of WL Ross & Co. LLC and other funds to sell over $72 million in Ocwen stock back to the company just two weeks before a 20 percent drop in the stock price, which followed the company's posting of poor operating results for the quarter ending June 30.  The sale saved Ross’ funds $18 million at Ocwen’s expense, the derivative shareholder complaint says, and Lowinger has repeatedly asked the board of trustees to pursue insider trading charges against Ross to no avail.”  [Law360.com, 04/30/15]

A Subprime Lender Was Fined $2.2 Billion By The CFPB In 2013, While Ross Was On The Board.  In December 2013 the New York Times’ Dealbook wrote, “A $2.2 billion agreement is settling accusations against a large but little known player in the mortgage industry that escaped last year’s sweeping mortgage settlement.  The Ocwen Financial Corporation, which has ridden its specialty in servicing subprime loans to become the fourth-largest mortgage servicer in the country, was accused of improperly handling the loans of homeowners after the financial crisis. The agreement with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and 49 states covers similar ground to a $25 billion settlement made last year with the largest banks.”  [New York Times Dealbook, 12/19/13]

Ross Left The Board Of Ocwen In November Of 2014.  According to a Form 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Wilbur Ross left the board of Ocwen Financial Corporation on November 20, 2014.  [SEC Form 8-K: Ocwen Financial Corporation, 11/20/14

ROSS HAS A MULTITUDE OF POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Forbes: “It Remains To Be Seen How Ross […] Will Comply With Federal Ethics Laws.”  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “It remains to be seen how Ross -- whose investments in financial institutions around the globe, for instance, could raise questions about conflicts of interest -- will comply with federal ethics laws governing cabinet members’ business interests.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]

New York Times: Ross Had Potential Conflicts Due To Relationships With Foreign Leaders From Russia And China.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Still, those overseas deals could raise questions about his relationships with foreign leaders and businesspeople from China and Russia.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Was Vice Chairman Of The Largest Bank In Cyprus At The Time Of His Appointment.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “He is vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, the biggest bank in that European island nation, and he is credited with helping the bank to recover from a severe crisis in 2013.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

His Position At Bank Of Cyprus Made Him A Close Associate With A Businessman With Ties To The Kremlin.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “He is vice chairman of the Bank of Cyprus, the biggest bank in that European island nation, and he is credited with helping the bank to recover from a severe crisis in 2013. But Mr. Ross’s investment in the bank also makes him a de facto business partner with Viktor F. Vekselberg, one of Russia’s most prominent businesspeople and a man with ties to the Kremlin.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Had Deep Ties To Chinese State-Owned Energy Company, Run By The Son Of A Former Prime Minister.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Yet for all the anti-China commentary, Mr. Ross has been a frequent visitor in the past two decades and has made inroads in that country’s energy industry.  Mr. Ross linked up with the most powerful player in the country’s power generation business, China Huaneng Group, in 2008. The state-owned company had been run for years by the eldest son of Li Peng, the former prime minister who was the godfather of the country’s electricity industry.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Could Have Resigned From His Board Seats, But Hadn’t At The Time His Appointment Was Announced.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Some suggest Mr. Ross’s business ties may pose potential conflicts of interest. But the sale of his company, W.L. Ross, may make it easier for Mr. Ross to separate himself from its far-flung interests, which include businesses in Europe, China and India. His remaining financial interests in the firm’s funds could be put in a blind trust, and he could easily resign from the five corporate boards on which he sits.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Could Stand To Profit From Steel Industry Trade Rulings Commerce Would Oversee.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “For example, Ross’ investments in steel place him close to an industry that has waged an aggressive campaign of trade cases against foreign competitors in recent years. That could raise questions over whether he would benefit financially from favorable trade rulings by Commerce’s International Trade Administration.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]


ROSS’ APPOINTMENT MAY BE MAKING GOOD ON OLD FAVORS

Ross Ensured That Trump Kept His Failing Casino In Atlantic City In 1990.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “To some degree, Mr. Ross helped Mr. Trump do that when some of his casinos in Atlantic City fell on hard times. Mr. Ross and Carl C. Icahn, another billionaire investor and supporter of Mr. Trump, were both bondholders in the Trump Taj Mahal casino when it was teetering on financial collapse in 1990. Instead of pushing the casino into an immediate bankruptcy, Mr. Ross and Mr. Icahn worked with Mr. Trump and others to structure a more orderly bankruptcy filing in 1991. The negotiated restructuring helped Mr. Trump salvage his name and brand at a time when he arguably did not have many friends on Wall Street.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]

Ross Donated $200,000 To Trump’s Campaign In 2016.  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “Ross initially supported Marco Rubio’s big for the presidency, according to Federal Election Commission data, but turned his attention -- and wallet -- to the GOP nominee in July, when he gave $200,000 to the Trump Victory Fund, the joint fundraising effort between Trump and the Republican National Committee.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]


ROSS ENCOURAGED TRUMP TO SIDESTEP CONGRESS

Ross Suggested That Trump Change U.S. Trade Policy Through Executive Action.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Yet Mr. Ross has also suggested that he is receptive to some of the anti-trade views favored by American labor unions and by Mr. Trump.  ‘The president has a huge amount of fire in terms of abrogating treaties, and he can do a lot without reference to Congress,’ Mr. Ross said in an interview the day after the election.  Mr. Ross, a member of Mr. Trump’s economic team during the campaign, said he expected the new president to do a lot on trade and regulation through executive action.  ‘He is serious about suspending any new regulations,’ said Mr. Ross, who held one of Mr. Trump’s first fund-raisers.”  [New York Times, 11/25/16]


ROSS WAS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SAGO MINE WHEN 12 MINERS DIED IN 2006

Ross’ Company Owned The Sago During The 2006 Explosion That Killed 12 Miners.  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “In 2006, however, 12 coal miners suffocated after an explosion at a West Virginia mine that was owned by International Coal Group. The mine had a history of safety violations; the lone survivor and families of the deceased miners sued. The company settled all of the suits and was sold to Arch Coal in 2011 for $3.4 billion.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]

Ross Defended His Management Of Sago, “Even With Multiple Warning Signs.”  In November 2016 ABC News reported, “As the owner of the Sago mine, Wilbur Ross was accused by miners and their families of ignoring safety regulations that cost the lives of 12 miners in the 2006 Sago mine disaster. Days after the mine explosion, ABC News' Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross had a sit-down interview with the billionaire in which he defended his company's management of the mine even with multiple warning signs in the form of previously-issued safety citations.”  [ABC News, 11/30/16]

Ross Personally Made $210 Million When The Company That Owned Sago Went Public.  In November 2016 Forbes wrote, “His foray into investing in distressed coal companies that same year proved similarly lucrative: Ross went public with his coal assets, under the banner International Coal Group, and personally made $210 million.”  [Forbes, 11/29/16]

Ross Admittedly Had A Clear Understanding Of The Sago Mine’s Abysmal Safety Record.   In January 2006 ABC News’ Brian Ross interviewed Ross.  The transcript reads in part:

BRIAN ROSS
And it turns out that the violations were well-known to the billionaire chairman of the company back in New York.

WILBUR ROSS
Well, there were violations. Every mine in the country has violations.

BRIAN ROSS
208 violations, 96 of them significant or substantial, 13 D-level. You know what that means?

WILBUR ROSS
Yeah.

BRIAN ROSS
That means unwarranted failure.

WILBUR ROSS
I understand what they mean.

BRIAN ROSS
How could you operate a mine like that? Why would you keep it open with those records of violations?

WILBUR ROSS
Well, you have to put it in the context of the industry. I mean...

BRIAN ROSS
Every day, men go down into those holes. 

WILBUR ROSS
I understand. 

BRIAN ROSS
Where, according to the records, and you've seen them... 

WILBUR ROSS
Sure. 

BRIAN ROSS
The roofs keep falling in. They found combustible materials in there just weeks before this accident. 

WILBUR ROSS
Yeah. 

BRIAN ROSS
Were you comfortable sending men into that hole? 

WILBUR ROSS 
We were comfortable based on the assurances from our management that they felt that it was a safe situation. 

[ABC News, 01/05/06]

Photo by Keith A. Almli (CC BY-SA 3.0)

DEVOS KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT PUBLIC EDUCATION

Detroit Free Press: DeVos “Has No Relevant Credentials Or Experience.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump has made a number of controversial cabinet nominations already. But none seems more inappropriate, or more contrary to reason, than his choice of DeVos to lead the Department of Education.  DeVos isn’t an educator, or an education leader. She’s not an expert in pedagogy or curriculum or school governance. In fact, she has no relevant credentials or experience for a job setting standards and guiding dollars for the nation’s public schools.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Is A “Dearth Of Evidence Supporting” DeVos’ “Ideological Convictions.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.  For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Are “Deep Questions About Betsy Devos' Substantive Understanding Of Education Policy.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “Beyond the conflicts, there are also deep questions about Betsy DeVos' substantive understanding of education policy.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]
 

DEVOS IS AN IDEOLOGICAL ZEALOT THAT DOESN’T CARE ABOUT RESULTS

Detroit Free Press: DeVos Has “Zealously Championed Free-Market Education Reform” “With Little Regard For The Outcome.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “This deeply dysfunctional educational landscape — where failure is rewarded with opportunities for expansion and "choice" means the opposite for tens of thousands of children — is no accident. It was created by an ideological lobby that has zealously championed free-market education reform for decades, with little regard for the outcome.  And at the center of that lobby is Betsy DeVos, the west Michigan advocate whose family has contributed millions of dollars to the cause of school choice and unregulated charter expansion throughout Michigan.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

Detroit Free Press: There Is A “Dearth Of Evidence Supporting” DeVos’ “Ideological Convictions.”  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “She is, in essence, a lobbyist — someone who has used her extraordinary wealth to influence the conversation about education reform, and to bend that conversation to her ideological convictions despite the dearth of evidence supporting them.  For 20 years, the lobby her family bankrolls has propped up the billion-dollar charter school industry and insulated it from commonsense oversight, even as charter schools repeatedly failed to deliver on their promises to parents and children.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

DeVos Pursued School Choice Campaigns For Explicitly Religious Purposes.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “Ms. DeVos is a chip off the old block. At a 2001 gathering of conservative Christian philanthropists, she singled out education reform as a way to ‘advance God’s kingdom.’ In an interview, she and her husband, Richard DeVos Jr., said that school choice would lead to ‘greater kingdom gain.’”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

New York Times: DeVos’ Charter School Model In Michigan Led To Poor Performance.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The DeVoses, the most prominent name in state Republican politics, have been the biggest financial and political backers of the effort.  But if Michigan is a center of school choice, it is also among the worst places to argue that choice has made schools better. As the state embraced and then expanded charters over the past two decades, its rank has fallen on national reading and math tests. Most charter schools perform below the state average.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]


DEVOS WILL PUT PROFITS OVER OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

New York Times: DeVos Has Been The Biggest Backer Of For-Profit Charters In Michigan.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Michigan is one of the nation’s biggest school choice laboratories, especially with charter schools. The Detroit, Flint and Grand Rapids school districts have among the nation’s 10 largest shares of students in charters, and the state sends $1 billion in education funding to charters annually. Of those schools, 80 percent are run by for-profit organizations, a far higher share than anywhere else in the nation.  The DeVoses, the most prominent name in state Republican politics, have been the biggest financial and political backers of the effort.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]

Washington Post: DeVos Is An Advocate Of For-Profit, Online K-12.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One big supporter of virtual education is Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as his nominee for education secretary.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]


DEVOS IS OPPOSED TO OVERSIGHT FOR OUR CHILDREN’S EDUCATION

DeVos Spent Nearly $1.5 Million In An Attempt To Eliminate All Oversight On Michigan Charter Schools.  In November 2016 The Atlantic wrote, “DeVos’s family poured $1.45 million into an effort to prevent Michigan from adding oversight for charter schools. That effort ultimately failed. DeVos and her husband have been supporters of charter schools for decades and longtime opponents of regulation. And according to Chalkbeat, around 80 percent of the state’s charter schools are run by private companies. The lack of oversight has prompted concern from the Obama administration that some bad charters were being allowed to operate without improving or being forced to close.”  [The Atlantic, 11/23/16]

Even Charter Advocates Say DeVos’ Michigan Charter Law Caused Failing Schools To Spread.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The Michigan law pushed by Ms. DeVos to establish charter schools 20 years ago allows an unusually large number of organizations to start such schools, yet established little mechanism for oversight. Even Republican supporters of charter schools say the law has allowed failing charter schools to expand or replicate.  Last spring, the DeVos-backed group was the chief force behind the defeat of legislation that would have established standards for identifying and closing failing schools, both charter and public, in Detroit, where a flood of charter schools in the past decade has created what even charter school supporters call chaos.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]


DEVOS HAS NO INTEREST IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Detroit Free Press: DeVos Has “No Track Record” Of Advocating For Or Interest In Public Schools.  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “And more important, the U.S. Secretary of Education must understand the value of both high-performing charters and traditional public schools.  She has no track record of working along those lines, and no experience that suggests she’s even interested in it.”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

New York Times: “It Is Hard To Find Anyone More Passionate About The Idea Of Steering Public Dollars Away From Traditional Public Schools Than Betsy Devos.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]

New York Times: Even Charter School Advocates Worry That DeVos Will Starve Public Schools.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Even some groups that share her support for charter schools worried that picking someone so closely identified as a champion of vouchers signaled that the Trump administration would try to starve public schools.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]
 

DEVOS HAS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST WITH HER JOB AS EDUCATION SECRETARY

The Detroit Free Press Questioned If DeVos Would Divest From Her Anti-Public School PAC If She Served As Education Secretary.  In December 2016 Stephen Henderson, Editorial Page Editor for the Detroit Free Press, wrote, “Even if Betsy DeVos ceased her substantial contributions to pro-school choice lawmakers, or to GLEP’s PAC, what credibility would she have in a policy job that requires her to be an advocate for all schools? Would her family divest from the PAC if she were Secretary of Education? Rein in campaign spending? And even if it did, how could she credibly distance herself from her history as a lobbyist?”  [Detroit Free Press, 12/03/16]

DeVos Was Heavily Invested In A Student Lender With Business Dependant On Dept. Of Ed Policies.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Ms. DeVos and her husband Dick DeVos are investors in RPM Ventures, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based venture-capital firm that was one of SoFi’s earliest backers, according to the firms’ websites. Founded in 2011, SoFi is worth about $4 billion and in the midst of raising a new round of money.  Much of SoFi’s business stems from refinancing student loans; the Department of Education is by far the country’s biggest student lender, with $1.3 trillion in outstanding loans.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/05/16]

DeVos Held A Major Investment In A For-Profit K-12 Company.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One big supporter of virtual education is Betsy DeVos, the Michigan billionaire tapped by President-elect Donald Trump as his nominee for education secretary. Her husband, Dick DeVos, listed on a financial disclosure form in 2006 that he and his wife owned K12 stock. The nonprofit organization she runs, the American Federation for Children, lists K12 on its website among organizations that support school choice.”  And, “Virginia-based K12 Inc. is the largest operator of for-profit charter schools in the country and is a national leader in running online full-time public schools in numerous states.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]
 

DEVOS IS WEALTHY AND OUT OF TOUCH

DeVos Was Born In To Money And Her Family Has Always Used It To Further Extreme Ideologies.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “Betsy DeVos stands at the intersection of two family fortunes that helped to build the Christian right. In 1983, her father, Edgar Prince, who made his money in the auto parts business, contributed to the creation of the Family Research Council, which the Southern Poverty Law Center identifies as extremist because of its anti-L.G.B.T. language.  Her father-in-law, Richard DeVos Sr., the co-founder of Amway, a company built on ‘multilevel marketing’ or what critics call pyramid selling, has been funding groups and causes on the economic and religious right since the 1970s.”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

DeVos Used Family Money For Conservative Christian Foundations.  A December 2016 op-ed in the New York Times stated, “And so the family tradition continues, funding the religious right through a network of family foundations — among others, the couple’s own, as well as the Edgar and Elsa Prince Foundation, on whose board Ms. DeVos has served along with her brother, Erik Prince, founder of the military contractor Blackwater. According to Conservative Transparency, a liberal watchdog that tracks donor funding through tax filings, these organizations have funded conservative groups including: the Alliance Defending Freedom, the legal juggernaut of the religious right; the Colorado-based Christian ministry Focus on the Family; and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy.”  [New York Times Op-Ed, 12/13/16]

New York Times: DeVos Is “A Daughter Of Privilege” And Also Married In To Money.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “A daughter of privilege, she also married into it; her husband, Dick, who ran unsuccessfully for governor of Michigan a decade ago, is heir to the Amway fortune.”  [New York Times, 11/23/16]

Photo by William Munoz (CC BY-SA 2.0)

TILLERSON HAS NO FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE

Tillerson Would Be The First Secretary Of State In The Modern Era With No Public Sector Experience.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Tillerson has no experience in the public sector, a first in modern history for a potential secretary of state.”  [Washington Post, 12/13/16]

Pew Research Center: “Tillerson Would Be First Secretary Of State Without Military Or Government Experience.”  [pewresearch.org, 12/29/16]

Tillerson Has Never Worked Anywhere Other Than Oil Company ExxonMobil.  In December 2016 National Public Radio reported, “Tillerson is the CEO of ExxonMobil where he's worked his entire career.”  [National Public Radio, 12/20/16]

EXCEPT WORKING WITH PUTIN’S RUSSIA TO MAKE MONEY

Tillerson Was Awarded The Order Of Friendship By The Russian Government.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Tillerson received the Order of Friendship from Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013. Tillerson's work with ExxonMobil included a stretch working for Exxon Neftegas Ltd., putting him in charge of the subsidiary's fields in Russia and the Caspian Sea.  Two years before receiving the award, ExxonMobil won a contract to explore for oil in a Russia-controlled portion of the Arctic Ocean, which was made more economically viable for drilling in part thanks to the sea ice decline that's followed global warming. Putin himself announced the deal at a meeting in Sochi (where the Winter Olympics would be held the next year).”  [Washington Post, 12/13/16]

CNN: Tillerson’s Order Of Friendship “Underscores The Close Ties” Between Tillerson And Russia.  In December 2016 CNN wrote, “In 2013, Vladimir Putin awarded ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens.  The silver badge underscores the close ties that have existed for many years between Russia and Tillerson, the leading candidate to be President-elect Donald Trump's secretary of state.”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

Bloomber: “Tillerson’s Russian Ties Go Deep.”  In April 2015 Bloomberg wrote, “Tillerson’s Russian ties go deep. He first met Putin in 1999 on remote Sakhalin Island, and in 2013 the Russian president gave him the Order of Friendship, one of the nation’s highest honors.”  [Bloomberg, 04/09/15]

CNN: Tillerson’s Relationship W/ Russia Was The Reason He Was Selected As Exxon CEO.  In December 2016 CNN wrote, “In fact, his close relationship with Russia is one of the major reasons Tillerson was selected to succeed Lee Raymond as CEO of Exxon (XOM) in 2006, according to Steve Coll's book ‘Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power.’”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

The Head Of The Russian Foreign Affairs Committee Said Tillerson Would Be A “Sensation.”  In December 2016 CNN wrote, “Russia has already indicated it would welcome Tillerson being named America's top diplomat.  ‘Trump continues to amaze,’ Alexey Pushkov, the head of the foreign affairs committee in the lower house of Russian parliament, said on Twitter. He said that selecting Tillerson would be a ‘sensation’ and noted he has ‘a lot of experience working with Russia.’”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

Tillerson’s Exxon Deal With Russia Gave Russian Companies A Stake In U.S. Oil Projects As Well.  In December 2016 CNN wrote, “The Exxon deal meant a great deal to Russia. Sechin, who was also then the deputy prime minister of Russia, bragged that after the Exxon agreement was signed, the valuation of Rosneft soared by $7 billion in just five days.  The partnership also gave Rosneft the chance to get a stake in Exxon's North American projects, including ones in West Texas and in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico.”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

Tillerson Said He And Exxon Were Anxious To Get Back To Work In Russia.  In December 2016 CNN wrote, “Exxon would likely stand to gain if sanctions are lifted on Russia by the new administration.  ‘We are very anxious to get back to work there,’ Tillerson told industry analysts in March when asked if Exxon would be interested in restarting its venture with Rosneft in Russia.”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

Tillerson Thanked Russia For Not Making Sanctions On Russia Worse For Exxon. In December 2016 CNN wrote, “Tillerson noted that it would take time to resume operations, especially in the Arctic, because ‘we had to dismantle all of the capability and the infrastructure’ due to sanctions.  Tillerson said he's ‘thankful’ the Russians haven't done anything to ‘make the situation worse.’ To the contrary, Tillerson said Russia has ‘done things to help us hang on to the rights we have’ in the wake of the sanctions.”  [CNN, 12/11/16]

Tillerson’s Exxon Helped Defeat A Bill That Would Make It Harder For Trump To Repeal Russian Sanctions.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “ExxonMobil successfully lobbied against a bill that would have made it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against Russia, clearing the way for the oil giant to restart a program worth billions of dollars if Donald Trump eases those restrictions as president.  The company’s effort could be helped by outgoing CEO Rex Tillerson, who, if confirmed as secretary of state, would be a key adviser on the decision.”  [Politico, 12/18/16]

TILLERSON’S PAST W/ EXXON PRESENTED SEVERAL POTENTIAL CONFLICTS

ExxonMobil Stood To Profit If The U.S. Lifted Sanctions On Russia.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Once Russia annexed Crimea in 2014, the United States instituted sanctions against Russia that froze ExxonMobil's Arctic agreement. Were those sanctions to be lifted, the deal would probably move forward — making Tillerson's shares of ExxonMobil stock much more valuable.”  [Washington Post, 12/13/16]

Tillerson Was Already Forced To Enter An Agreement With State To Avoid Actions That Benefit His Own Stock Holdings.  In January 2017 CNN reported, “Tillerson, 64, has also agreed with the State Department to sell the more than 600,000 Exxon shares he owns at the moment, the company said. They're worth more than $54 million at today's prices.”  [CNN, 01/04/17]

Tillerson Said He Would Recuse Himself From Decisions Involving Exxon For Only One Year.  In January 2017 Bloomberg wrote, “If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Tillerson will recuse himself for a year from government decisions involving Exxon Mobil Corp., where he served as chairman and chief executive officer until Jan. 1, according to a separate filing posted by the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday. Because the company explores for oil and natural gas on six continents, he may have a lot of recusing to do.”  [Bloomberg, 01/04/17]

TILLERSON HAS SO MANY CONFLICTS, HE MAY NOT BE ABLE TO DO HIS JOB

Tillerson’s Personal Portfolio Is Up To $400 Million And Spans A Dozen Countries.  In January 2017 Bloomberg wrote, “Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for U.S. secretary of state, disclosed assets worth as much as $400 million in a federal ethics filing that reflected investments spanning more than a dozen nations.”  [Bloomberg, 01/04/17]

Tillerson Was Forced To Divest From 156 Different Entities Within 90 Days Of Confirmation.  In January 2017 Bloomberg wrote, “Tillerson’s filing says he will divest from 156 different entities within 90 days of his confirmation.”  [Bloomberg, 01/04/17]

Bloomberg: Tillerson “May Have A Lot Of Recusing To Do.”  In January 2017 Bloomberg wrote, “If confirmed by the U.S. Senate, Tillerson will recuse himself for a year from government decisions involving Exxon Mobil Corp., where he served as chairman and chief executive officer until Jan. 1, according to a separate filing posted by the Office of Government Ethics on Wednesday. Because the company explores for oil and natural gas on six continents, he may have a lot of recusing to do.”  [Bloomberg, 01/04/17]

Tillerson May Be Required To Recuse Himself From The Chain Of Command On All Russian Sanction Decisions.  In January 2017 Bloomberg wrote, “Tillerson’s filing says he will divest from 156 different entities within 90 days of his confirmation.”  [Bloomberg, 01/04/17]

CHAO WAS HOSTILE TO WORKERS AND LABOR AS LABOR SECRETARY

Chao Bragged About Attacking Organized Labor.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Labor leaders remain hostile after her sharp-elbowed approach to unions set the tone. Shortly after she left office in 2009, she touted her department’s crackdown on unions.  ‘From 2001-2008, the Labor Department secured more than 1,000 union fraud-related indictments and 929 convictions,’ she claimed in a Heritage Foundation essay, though she provided no specifics.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Chao’s Labor Department Failed To Investigate Wage Theft Complaints.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The Government Accountability Office said in a report that her department did not fully investigate when low-wage workers lodged complaints against their employers over failure to pay the minimum wage or overtime.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Chao’s Labor Department Told A Woman Receiving No Pay The Department Wouldn’t Help Her.  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “The Government Accountability Office, an investigative arm of Congress, said the Labor Department under Chao inadequately investigated complaints from low-wage and minimum-wage workers alleging that employers failed to pay the federal minimum wage and required overtime, according to a July 2008 report. In one example, the department told a woman receiving room and board, but no pay, for working as a night attendant at an assisted living facility that she could file a private lawsuit, according to the report.”  [Bloomberg, 11/29/16]

GAO: Chao’s Labor Department Left Thousands “With Nowhere To Turn.”  In November 2016 Bloomberg wrote, “In another report a year later, GAO said Labor Department procedures “left thousands of actual victims of wage theft who sought federal government assistance with nowhere to turn.””  [Bloomberg, 11/29/16]

Chao’s Failure To Adequately Inspect Mines Was Implicated In The Deaths Of Miners.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Chao also faced criticism in two mining disasters that occurred after coal mine inspections were reduced. In the Sago Mine incident in 2006, 12 miners were killed. The following year, three rescue workers died at Crandall Canyon Mine as they tried to reach trapped miners.  Though Chao announced beefed up inspections after the two disasters, an inspector general’s report in 2008 found that many mines still went uninspected.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]


CHAO IS ANOTHER CORRUPT WASHINGTON INSIDER

Washington Post: Chao Is A Washington Insider Nominated After Trump’s Promise To “Drain The Swamp.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In naming a former Cabinet member, who has been married to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) since 1993, Trump selected another Washington insider after campaigning on a promise to “drain the swamp” of the influences that he said permeate the capital.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

A Commerce Department Official Said Chao Asked Him To Illegally Funnel Money McConnell’s Campaign.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Chao also faced controversy involving her husband. In 1999, a House committee heard testimony from John Huang, a former midlevel Commerce Department official, who said that Chao asked him to contribute to McConnell. The Indonesian company for which he worked, Huang said, illegally reimbursed him for the $2,000 contribution. Huang later pleaded guilty to violating campaign finance laws for funneling $100,000 to Bill Clinton’s 1996 reelection campaign.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Chao Used Taxpayer Money To Campaign For Republican Candidates In 2006.  In October 2008 Bloomberg wrote, “The White House directed officials including cabinet secretaries to appear at more than 300 events to help elect Republican candidates in 2006, according to a draft Congressional report.  The appearances were coordinated by the White House Office of Political Affairs, often at taxpayer expense, said the report by the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.  ‘In some instances,’ the draft report stated, ‘the White House specifically requested that travel be billed to the taxpayers to save Republican campaigns money.’ Of 326 events in 2006 attended by Bush administration officials, 303 required travel outside Washington, according to the report.”  And, “Commerce Secretary Carlos Gutierrez attended 59 events, followed by former Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns, who attended 38, and Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao, who attended 25, according to the draft report.” [Bloomberg (via nytimes.com), 10/16/08]
 

CHAO’S MARRIAGE TO MCCONNELL IS A CONFLICT OF INTERESt

McConnell Said He Would Not Recuse Himself When His Wife Is Negotiating With Congress For The Whitehouse.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “McConnell and House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) are critical players both in negotiating with the administration and quieting fractious members — often from their own party — who might obstruct their goals. Whether Chao will negotiate directly with her husband was unclear Tuesday.  ‘Let me be quite clear, I will not be recusing myself,’ McConnell said. ‘I think it was an outstanding choice.’”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Chao’s Husband Is The Leader Of The Body Tasked With Confirming Her Appointment.   In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The pace of Chao’s nomination is likely to move quickly, as her recent public service means that there are somewhat recent vetting files on her. McConnell promised to quickly move ahead with hearings on some nominees even before Trump is sworn in Jan. 20.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Photo by Gage Skidmore (CC BY-SA 2.0)

POMPEO APPLAUDED CONTROVERSIAL NSA SURVEILLANCE PROGRAMS

Pompeo Opposed Limits On NSA Surveillance.  In November 2016 Newsweek wrote, “Pompeo is an advocate for expanding the federal government’s surveillance authority. After the leaks of the former intelligence contractor Edward J. Snowden, Pompeo opposed limits on government surveillance imposed by the Obama administration and Congress.”  [Newsweek, 11/21/16]

Pompeo Proposed A Law To Re-Enact And Strengthen NSA Surveillance Efforts.  In November 2016 Newsweek wrote, “Most significantly, he opposed the USA Freedom Act, which replaced the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of Americans’ phone records with a system in which the government has to get a court order to obtain records from phone companies.  ‘Congress should pass a law re-establishing collection of all metadata, and combining it with publicly available financial and lifestyle information into a comprehensive, searchable database,’ Pompeo wrote in an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal. ‘Robust surveillance, drawing on a variety of technical and human intelligence and backed up by rigorous investigation of all leads, is the best way to mitigate the [terrorist] threat.’”  [Newsweek, 11/21/16]

Pompeo Said Placing Safeguards On Surveillance Measures Was Abandoning The Intelligence Community.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “But he has used that perch to be a fierce advocate for expanding U.S. surveillance efforts, both at home and abroad. Washington ‘is blunting its surveillance powers,’ Pompeo wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed earlier this year, just a few weeks after the deadly 2015 terror attack in San Bernardino, California.  He also bashed a series of surveillance reforms approved earlier this year that shuttered a program to collect bulk phone records, imposed limits on other types of data collection and instituted new public reporting requirements.  ‘The intelligence community feels beleaguered and bereft of political support,’ he wrote. ‘What’s needed is a fundamental upgrade to America’s surveillance capabilities.’”  [Politico, 11/18/16]

Pompeo Said Oversight And Criticism Of U.S. Torture Techniques Made Americans Less Safe.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Pompeo's nomination could get a frosty reception from Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee during his confirmation. He was a strong critic of its 2014 report on CIA torture of terrorism suspects. The 525-page document detailed evidence of CIA officials condoning torture and misleading government oversight staff about such practices.  ‘What I can tell you about this report is two simple things,’ he said during an interview on the Hugh Hewitt radio program. ‘One, it has made America less safe, that is this release will ultimately cause Americans to be killed. And second, there was no good rationale for putting forth this report. There was literally no news, save for some salacious details that actually put these very warriors at risk.’”  [Politico, 11/18/16]

Scientific American Headline: “Trump Proposes An Advocate Of Mass Public Surveillance As CIA Chief.”  [Scientific American, 11/23/16]

Scientific American: “Mike Pompeo Wants To Collect Bulk Data For Detailed Profiles Of Anyone Who Uses The Internet”  [Scientific American, 11/23/16]

Scientific American: Pompeo Proposed A Nearly-Universally Unpopular Surveillance Bill.  In November 2016 Scientific American wrote, “Pompeo introduced a bill in 2015 to restore wide spying powers to the National Security Agency that had been curbed by Congress after revelations by Edward Snowden. The legislation was too extreme both for liberals and for libertarian-leaning conservatives; it was called “Big Brother on steroids” by the Tea Party activist group FreedomWorks. It also failed to win much support from other Republicans and never made it out of committee.”  [Scientific American, 11/23/16]


POMPEO SPOKE OUT IN FAVOR OF CIA BLACK SITES AND TORTURE 

Pompeo Defended Waterboarding And Other “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.”  In November 2016 National Public Radio reported, “Pompeo objected to a 2014 report from Senate Democrats that was critical of waterboarding and other so-called enhanced interrogation tactics.  ‘Our men and women who were tasked to keep us safe in the aftermath of 9/11—our military and our intelligence warriors—are heroes,’ Pompeo said in a statement. ‘These men and women are not torturers, they are patriots. The programs being used were within the law, within the Constitution...’”  [National Public Radio, 11/21/16]

Pompeo Lamented The Dismantling Of The CIA’s Black Site Program.  In December 2016 Roll Call wrote, “Trump’s nominee for CIA director, Rep. Mike Pompeo, has said the agency’s dismantled black site interrogation program was “within the law, within the constitution,” while the president-elect’s pick for attorney general, Sen. Jeff Sessions, twice voted against anti-torture legislation.”  [Roll Call, 12/12/16]

POMPEO WAS HOSTILE TOWARD ISLAM, AT BEST

Washington Post: Pompeo “Accused Muslim American Leaders Of Being ‘Potentially Complicit’” In Boston Marathon Bombing. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “But following the Boston Marathon attacks in 2013, he accused Muslim American leaders of being ‘potentially complicit’ by failing to condemn extremist views more forcibly.”  [Washington Post, 11/18/16]

Pompeo Blamed Muslim-American Leaders For The Boston Marathon Bombing, Obviously With No Evidence.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “After the Boston Marathon bombing, Pompeo took to the floor for a speech in which he said, ‘Mr. Speaker, it’s been just under two months since the attacks in Boston, and in those intervening weeks, the silence of Muslim leaders has been deafening.’ Muslim groups bristled, noting that a number of major organizations criticized the terrorist attack within hours.”  [Politico, 11/18/16]

Washington Post: Pompeo Introduced Bill To Appease Conspiracy Theorists’ Fear Of Muslim Brotherhood.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “And Rep. Mike Pompeo — Trump’s pick for CIA director — has co-sponsored a bill to ban the Muslim Brotherhood, an Egypt-based Islamist organization that conspiracy theorists on America’s far right have accused of plotting to infiltrate the government.”  [Washington Post, 11/18/16]

Pompeo Said Muslim Americans Have A “Special Obligation” To Speak Out Against Terrorism.  In November 2016 The Atlantic wrote, “After the 2013 Boston Marathon bombings, Pompeo said American Muslim leaders had a ‘special obligation’ to speak out. He said: ‘Instead of responding, silence has made these Islamic leaders across America potentially complicit in these acts and more importantly still, in those that may well follow.’”  [The Atlantic, 11/18/16]


POMPEO IS INCREDIBLY COZY WITH THE KOCH BROTHERS

New York Times: Pompeo Choice May Be A Way For Trump To Get Closer To Koch Brothers.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pompeo, the president-elect’s pick to direct the C.I.A., may also be a way for Mr. Trump to warm relations with the Koch Industries directors Charles G. and David H. Koch.”  [New York Times, 11/18/16]

Pompeo’s Campaigns Were Largely Championed And Financed By The Koch Brothers.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pompeo was first elected to Congress with a large amount of financial support and a prominent public endorsement from the Koch brothers, and the Kansas congressman has remained closely aligned with them since. Individuals associated with Koch Industries are by far the biggest donors to Mr. Pompeo’s political career, contributing $357,000 to him since 2009.  The Koch brothers — among the biggest players in financing Republican candidates nationwide — remained largely on the sidelines in this year’s presidential race.”  [New York Times, 11/18/16]

PRICE’S HOLDING PRESENT A VARIETY OF CONFLICTS WITH HHS JOB

Price Had Traded Over $300,000 In Shares Of Medical Companies Since 2012.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump’s pick to run the Health and Human Services Department traded more than $300,000 in shares of health-related companies over the past four years while sponsoring and advocating legislation that potentially could affect those companies’ stocks.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/22/16]

Price Sponsored Dozens Of Health-Related Bills While Investing In Healthcare Companies.  In December 2016 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican, bought and sold stock in about 40 health-care, pharmaceutical and biomedical companies since 2012, including a dozen in the current congressional session, according to a Wall Street Journal review of hundreds of pages of stock trades he filed with Congress.  In the same two-year period, he has sponsored nine and co-sponsored 35 health-related bills in the House. His stock trades included Amgen Inc., Bristol Meyers Squibb Co., Eli Lilly & Co., Pfizer Inc. and Aetna Inc.”  [Wall Street Journal, 12/22/16]

A “Good Government Group” Filed Ethics Inquiries With The SEC About Price’s Potential Insider Trading.  In January 2017 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, “New Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer of New York and the top Democrats on the two committees vetting Price said the Office of Congressional Ethics and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission should probe the possibility that Price participated in insider trading. The good government group Public Citizen filed inquiries with both entities Thursday morning.”  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 01/05/17]

PRICE GOT A DISCOUNT ON PHARMA STOCK AHEAD OF FDA REGULATION

Price Got A Sweetheart Deal On Privately Sold Shares Of A Foreign Biotech Firm.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “When tiny Australian biotech firm Innate Immunotherapeutics needed to raise money last summer, it didn’t issue stock on the open market. Instead, it offered a sweetheart deal to “sophisticated U.S. investors,” company documents show. t sold nearly $1 million in discounted shares to two American congressmen sitting on House committees with the potential power to advance the company’s interests, according to company records and congressional filings. They paid 18 cents a share for a stake in a company that was rapidly escalating in value, rising to more than 90 cents as the company promoted an aggressive plan to sell to a major pharmaceutical company. Analysts said the stock price could go to $2.  One of the beneficiaries was Rep. Tom Price, a Georgia Republican poised to become secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, which regulates pharmaceuticals.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

The Company Had An Explicit Strategy To Target Americans Because They Could Charge Them More.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “A review of corporate documents raises a more unusual aspect of the deal. Innate Immuno is a foreign company which, in documents and presentations, is explicit about a business strategy targeting the U.S. market, where the amount that can be charged for a new drug is generally far higher than in other countries.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

The Company Was Raising Money To Fast Track Approval Through HHS’ FDA.  In January 2017 PBS reported, “Innate Immuno has hinged its strategy on winning a preliminary green light for a new multiple sclerosis drug, known as MIS416, from the HHS’s Food and Drug Administration. It says in its private placement offering documents that money raised in the U.S. will help it finance the FDA approval process, which can take years. Innate Immuno CEO Simon Wilkinson could not be reached for comment.”  [PBS.org, 01/13/17]

Former Bush Ethics Lawyer: Questions Remain Over Potential Insider Trading From Price.  In January 2017 the Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote, “Members of Congress can buy and sell stocks, but can’t use insider knowledge when making investment decisions, said Richard W. Painter, a law professor at the University of Minnesota who served as the chief ethics lawyer for President George W. Bush and his staff from 2005-07.”  And, “In Price’s case, however, Painter said there was the lingering question of whether Price benefited from insider information in his acquisition of Innate Immunotherapeutics and other health care related companies.  ‘If he were in possession of material, non-public information and traded with that in his possession, that would be a criminal offense. That’s insider trading,’ Painter said. ‘If I were on the nominating committee, I wouldn’t vote to confirm until I heard the SEC was satisfied that there was no use of non-public information, or no reason to believe there was.  I’d want to know you won’t have a situation where he gets confirmed and then another shoe drops and you’ve got an HHS secretary under an SEC investigation.’”  [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 01/12/17]

Price’s $50K-$100K Investment In Innate Was Among The Largest Purchases He Made Since 2012.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Price purchased between $50,000 and $100,000 in Innate shares in August, which was among the largest stock buys he had made since 2012, according to congressional financial disclosures. The investment was larger than his trades in more established pharmaceutical stocks like Pfizer and Merck.”  [New York Times, 01/13/17]

The Private Stock Sale To Price Came At About ¼ Of What The Shares Traded For A Few Months Later.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “With his discount from the private placements, Mr. Price would have purchased some stock at 25 Australian cents per share in August and some at 34 cents. The stock closed on Friday at $1.31.”  [New York Times, 01/13/17]

PRICE FREQUENTLY TRIES TO INTERVENE WITH INDEPENDENT REGULATORS

Kaiser Health News: Price Is The “Go-To Congressman” For Medical Special Interests.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Rep. Tom Price, the physician and Georgia Republican tapped for the nation’s leading health care job, has long criticized federal spending as excessive. Yet during his years in Congress, he’s worked hard to keep federal dollars flowing to his most generous campaign donors.  Price has been a go-to congressman, a review of his records show, for medical special interests hotly sparring with regulators or facing budget cuts.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

As A Congressman, Price Made Frequent Inquiries With Medical Regulators.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Over the past decade, he has waded into issues related to specific drugs and medical devices, making 38 inquiries with the federal Food and Drug Administration, according to federal records obtained through the Freedom of Information Act. He questioned the FDA on his constituents’ behalf about matters as minute as a device for fertility treatment and an ingredient in pain creams.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

Kaiser Health News: Price Has “Gone To Bat” With Medical Regulators For Campaign Donors.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “In other cases, he has gone to bat for companies whose executives and employees have generously contributed to his campaigns and political action committees.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

Price Made Several Attempts To Intervene With Independent FDA Regulators For Constituents.  In January 2017 Kaiser Health News wrote, “Records obtained through a public records request show that Price has taken an interest in his constituents’ struggles with the FDA. He hand-signed a letter of concern over the availability of heart valves used in pediatric surgeries in 2005. Four years later, he urged review of a local company’s sperm-analysis device. He dubbed the company a “pillar of the community” and said it should be exempted from a clinical trial that would be “impossible to pass.” Earlier this year, his staffer pressed the FDA on behalf of a constituent trying to get capsaicin palmitate, a hot-pepper ingredient similar to one available over the counter — on a list of approved products for specialized pain creams.”  [Kaiser Health News, 01/09/17]

PRICE IS A RADICAL IDEOLOGUE ON HEALTHCARE POLICY

Politico Headline: Price Has A “Radically Conservative Vision For American Health Care.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Politico: Price’s Selection May Signal Intent To Roll Back Medicare And Medicaid.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Gutting Obamacare might be the least controversial part of Tom Price’s health care agenda.  By tapping the tea party Republican as his top health care official, President-elect Donald Trump sends a strong signal he may look beyond repealing and replacing Obamacare to try to scale back Medicare and Medicaid, popular entitlements that cover roughly 130 million people, many of whom are sick, poor and vulnerable.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Under Price’s Vision, Medicare And Medicaid Would Cease To Be Entitlements.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “One of the 18 members of the House GOP Doctors Caucus, Price supports major changes to Medicaid and Medicare, health insurance pillars of the Great Society programs of the 1960s. Under his vision, both programs would cease to be entitlements that require them to provide coverage to every person who qualifies.”  [Washington Post, 11/29/16]

Price Wanted To Turn Medicare Into A Privatized Voucher System.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “A close ally of Speaker Paul Ryan and his successor as House Budget Committee chairman, Price also supports privatizing Medicare so that seniors would receive fixed dollar amounts to buy coverage — an approach that Democrats lambaste as a voucher system that would gut a 50-year-old social contract and shift a growing share of health care costs onto seniors.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Price Wanted To Eliminate The Ban On Excluding Preexisting Conditions From Health Coverage.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Price’s plan would offer less protection for people with pre-existing conditions — individuals would need to maintain continuous insurance coverage, or risk running into problems getting covered.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

Politico: Price Has A Vision To Limit Or Eliminate Health Coverage For 20 Million Americans.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “His vision for health reform hinges on eliminating much of the federal government's role in favor of a free-market framework built on privatization, state flexibility and changes to the tax code. The vast majority of the 20 million people now covered under Obamacare would have far less robust coverage — if they got anything at all.”  [Politico, 11/29/16]

LAW PROHIBITED MATTIS FROM ACCEPTING THE POSITION W/OUT A WAIVER

Mattis Needed Legislation To Bypass Federal Law That Prohibits Him From Serving As Sec. Of Defense.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “To take the job, Mattis will need Congress to pass legislation to bypass a federal law stating that defense secretaries must not have been on active duty in the previous seven years. Congress has granted a similar exemption just once, when Gen. George C. Marshall was appointed to the job in 1950.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

New York Times: Mattis’ Appointment Raises Questions About Civilian Control Of The Military.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “General Mattis’s selection also raises potentially consequential questions about the issue of civilian control of the military, a standard set by the framers of the Constitution. The founding fathers were adamant that the country be led by a civilian president who exercises control over the military as commander in chief so that the nation will not become a military state. Similarly, the leader of the Defense Department is always a civilian who is superior to the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s top military official.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

An Anonymous “Senior Pentagon Official” Said There Were Concerns About Civilian Control Of The Military With Mattis.  In December 2016 the Washington Post quoted an anonymous “Senior Pentagon Official” on Mattis, “But the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss Trump’s personnel choices, said: ‘If there’s any concern at all, it’s the principle of civilian control over the military. This role was never intended to be a kind of Joint Chiefs of Staff on steroids, and that’s the biggest single risk tied to Mattis.’”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

Washington Post In Dec. 2016: There Was Little Indication Whether Mattis Would Get His Waiver.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “It is unclear whether the legislation required to make Mattis the Pentagon chief will be difficult to obtain from Congress. A 1947 national security law said that a general must wait 10 years from leaving active duty before becoming defense secretary.” And, “The 10-year period was reduced to seven years in 2008 for several senior civilian defense positions, including defense secretary.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

The Only Previous Such Waiver Came Immediately After The Law Was Passed As Sort Of A ‘Grandfather Clause.’  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “An exception was granted on a one-time basis for Marshall, with lawmakers saying in special legislation at the time that it was the ‘sense of the Congress that after General Marshall leaves the office of Secretary of Defense, no additional appointments of military men to that office shall be approved.’”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

MATTIS LACKS THE TEMPERAMENT TO MANAGE DEFENSE POLICY

Mattis In 2005: “It’s Fun To Shoot Some People.” In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis occasionally has come under scrutiny for impolitic remarks. Most notably, he said in 2005 during a panel discussion in San Diego that ‘it’s fun to shoot some people’ and ‘I like brawling,’ drawing criticism from the Marine commandant at the time, Gen. Michael Hagee.”  [Washington Post, 12/01/16]

Some Senior Officials Questioned Mattis’ Ability To Work As A Civilian In The Pentagon.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “While General Mattis is revered by Marines and enlisted soldiers, several military officials interviewed on Friday raised questions about whether his proven combat skills as a military leader will be the right tools to overcome the calcified bureaucracy that is the Defense Department.  A defense secretary must navigate the politics of the White House and Congress while balancing and, in some cases, steering the views of his top military officers.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

Allegedly, Gen. Mattis Refused To Attempt A Rescue Of Green Berets That Were Hit By A Friendly Fire Smart Bomb.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “General Mattis’s selection has also resurfaced an accusation from ‘The Only Thing Worth Dying For,’ a 2010 book by Eric Blehm, who wrote about a group of Green Berets after they were hit by an American smart bomb in Afghanistan in 2001. In the book, Mr. Blehm quotes a former Army Special Forces officer accusing General Mattis, then a brigadier general, of refusing to send helicopters to rescue the Green Berets. The general declined to be interviewed for the book.”  [New York Times, 12/02/16]

Politico: Mattis Told People To “Be Polite, Be Professional, But Have A Plan To Kill Everybody You Meet.”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

MATTIS HAS AN AGGRESSIVE AND OVERT ANIMOSITY TOWARD IRAN

Mattis’ Grievance With Iran Is So Strong That He Lost His Job At Central Command Over It.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “In fact, Mattis’ anti-Iran animus is so intense that it led President Barack Obama to replace him as Centcom commander. It was a move that roiled Mattis admirers, seeding claims that the president didn’t like ‘independent-minded generals who speak candidly to their civilian leaders.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: Pres. Obama Forced Mattis To Retire From The Marines Over His Aggression Toward Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “It was also this Iran obsession that led Obama to force Mattis’ retirement back in January 2013. In the weeks before being told he would be replaced as Centcom commander, he requested a third aircraft carrier be added to the two regularly deployed in the Persian Gulf. His request was denied because, he was told, the carrier was needed in the Pacific. But Mattis was undeterred, not only arguing the point with national security adviser Tom Donilon but also taking actions in the Gulf the White House considered provocative. The back and forth got ugly: When confronted again by Donilon, one of Mattis’ senior aides told me, the Centcom commander snapped at him: ‘You’re not in the chain of command; I don’t take orders from you.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: Some Pentagon Officials Worry Mattis’ Lack Of Objectivity On Iran Could Lead To War.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “But Mattis’ Iran antagonism also concerns many of the Pentagon’s most senior officers, who disagree with his assessment and openly worry whether his Iran views are based on a sober analysis or whether he’s simply reflecting a 30-plus-year-old hatred of the Islamic Republic that is unique to his service. It’s a situation that could lead to disagreement within the Pentagon over the next four years—but also, senior Pentagon officials fear, to war.”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Politico: One Senior Marine Officer Said Mattis Had A Personal Grudge Against Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “’It’s in his blood,’ one senior Marine officer told me. ‘It’s almost like he wants to get even with them.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis Even Suggested That ISIS Was Just A Front Group For Iranian “Mischief.”  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Then, Mattis linked Iran to the rise of ISIS. ‘I consider ISIS nothing more than an excuse for Iran to continue its mischief,’ he said. ‘Iran is not an enemy of ISIS; they have a lot to gain from the turmoil that ISIS creates.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis Said Iran And ISIS Must Be One In The Same Because The Two Weren’t Fighting.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “What Mattis said next was eerily reminiscent of George W. Bush’s claim that because Al Qaeda wasn’t attacking Saddam Hussein, the two must be linked: ‘I would just point out one question for you to look into,’ Mattis intoned. ‘What is the one country in the Middle East that has not been attacked by ISIS? One. That is Iran. That is more than happenstance, I’m sure.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Mattis’ Assertion On Iran And ISIS Was Provably False.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Or maybe not. Mattis’ ISIS-is-Iran claim is breathtakingly short on facts. The Iranians are arming Iraq’s Popular Mobilization Forces, who are fighting ISIS in Mosul, and Tehran has made little secret of its opposition to the Sunni terrorist group. Back in July, Iranian television said its government had uncovered an ISIS plot to set off bombs in Tehran, leading to the arrest of 10 terrorist operatives. ‘The U.S. has lots of disagreements with Iran,’ a senior Pentagon civilian official told me on Friday, ‘but what to do about ISIS isn’t one of them. We want them defeated, and so do they.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Senior Pentagon Civilian: Mattis Should Know Better On Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “’It’s just not that simple,’ this senior Pentagon civilian official told me, ‘and Jim Mattis ought to know that. He’s been kicking around the region for a long time; he knows how complicated it is.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

Senior Marine Officer: Mattis Was Dangerously Obsessed With Iran.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “But others worry that he might be to eager to get into a fight. ‘Back when he was Centcom commander,’ the senior Marine officer says, ‘Jim was really focused on Iran, and was well aware that any kind of confrontation with them could easily spin out of control. He once did a study of it, and completely shut down Navy officers who told him the Iranian military was no match for the Americans. He just rejected that. Totally. Which is why I find his later comments, in which he seemed to be picking a fight with them, almost inexplicable. But there it is—that’s the danger. It’s Beirut and Iraq, really.’”  [Politico, 12/04/16]

MATTIS HAS CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND HAS USED HIS INFLUENCE BEFORE

Mattis Had Huge Investments In, And Sat On The Board Of Defense Contractor General Dynamics.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Mattis’ financial disclosure, posted publicly on Sunday, shows he has between $3.5 million and $10 million, with much of the assets in mutual funds and bank accounts.  That also includes between $600,000 and $1.25 million in stock and options in General Dynamics, where he currently serves as a member of the board of directors.”  And, “But his biggest post-career financial haul appears to have come from General Dynamics, the Pentagon's fourth-largest contractor, which builds everything from tanks to submarines and communications equipment.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Was Paid $242,000 As A Board Member Of Defense Contractor General Dynamics.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “According to the financial disclosure, Mattis received $242,000 as a General Dynamics board member and $150,000 for serving on the board of embattled biotech firm Theranos.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Only Sold Much Of His General Dynamic Stock In January.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Mattis sold off $12,000 of his $330,000 in GD stock last week, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing. He also has more than $570,000 in vested stock options with the defense contractor, SEC filings show.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

Mattis Said He Would Recuse Himself For Only A Year On Decisions Surrounding Contractor That Paid Him Millions.  In January 2017 Politico wrote, “Once confirmed, Mattis also pledged to recuse himself for one year in matters involving General Dynamics and to resign from Hoover. He resigned from the Theranos position and from the board of the Center for a New American Security, a Washington think tank, last month.”  [Politico, 01/08/17]

MATTIS HAS TROUBLING TIES TO FIRM FACING CRIMINAL INVESTIGATION

Biotech Firm, Theranos, Faced A Criminal Fraud Probe, First Reported In April 2016.  In April 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Theranos, the embattled blood-testing laboratory, said on Monday that federal officials were conducting a criminal investigation into the company, adding to a series of questions from officials about its inner workings. In a note to outside partners, the company said that the Justice Department had requested documents and that the investigation was active. The note also said that the Securities and Exchange Commission was investigating the company.”  [New York Times, 04/18/16]

Theranos Admitted That Their Blood Tests Did Not Work After Suits And Criminal Investigations.  In May 2016 the Los Angeles Times wrote, “Desperate to stop the shutdown of its California lab, Theranos told federal regulators that it is retracting the results of tens of thousands of blood tests that doctors had depended on to care for patients over the last two years.  The Palo Alto company confirmed a report by the Wall Street Journal that said Theranos was voiding or correcting two years of results from its blood-testing device called Edison – a much-hyped technology that had made company founder Elizabeth Holmes, a Stanford dropout, a multi-billionaire on paper. Consumers were told that for a low price and a quick finger prick Edison would give them test results in a matter of hours.  But doctors may have made wrong decisions based on the faulty results.”  [Los Angeles Times, 05/19/16]

Mattis Intervened On Behalf Of Theranos’ Flawed Technology While Leading Central Command.  In December 2016 CNN reported, “Holmes reportedly reached out to Mattis in 2012, after a military official flagged Theranos' technology to the FDA. She wanted Mattis to use his authority to dispel any concerns. Mattis forwarded the emails internally, indicating a sense of urgency in moving forward with the technology, but it never took off.”  [CNN, 12/02/16]

Mattis Told Theranos’ CEO That He Was Going To Help Her Sell Her Flawed Technology.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis, busy overseeing the war in Afghanistan as commander of the U.S. Central Command, expressed interest in testing Theranos’s technology in combat areas, according to the e-mails.  ‘I’ve met with my various folks and we’re kicking this into overdrive,’ Mattis wrote to Holmes in June 2012. ‘I’m convinced that your invention will be a game-changer for us and I want it to be given the opportunity for a demonstration in-theater soonest.’  He urged Holmes to call or e-mail him if she felt they needed to talk.”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Tried To Work Around Military Regulatory Efforts To Fast Track Theranos Technology.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “She noted that a deputy director working for a division of the military that oversees regulatory issues and compliance had launched a formal inquiry to regulators without warning Theranos.  ‘I would very much appreciate your help in getting this information corrected with the regulatory agencies,’ Holmes wrote in the e-mail to Mattis. ‘Since this misinformation came from within DoD, it will be invaluable if this information is formally corrected by the right people in DoD.’  Within hours, Mattis forwarded the exchange to military officials, asking ‘how do we overcome this new obstacle.’  ‘I have tried to get this device tested in theater asap, legally and ethically,’ Mattis wrote. ‘This appears to be relatively straight-forward yet we’re a year into this and not yet deployed.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Was Rewarded With A Seat On The Theranos.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “In 2013, a year after he pushed for the technology to be tested by the military, Mattis joined the Theranos board of directors.”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Stood By Theranos After Details Of The Alleged Fraud Began To Emerge.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “Mattis declined to answer specific questions about the e-mails or Theranos technology, but gave a statement in support of the company.  ‘Theranos had demonstrated a commitment to investing in and developing technologies that can make a difference in people’s lives, including for the severely wounded and ill,’ Mattis said. ‘I had quickly seen tremendous potential in the technologies Theranos develops, and I have the greatest respect for the company’s mission and integrity.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Took The Theranos Position Over Some Specific Objections From DoD Ethics Officials.  In December 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “In late July 2013, two months after he retired from the Marine Corps, Mattis asked a defense department ethics official about future employment with Theranos’s board of directors.  Mattis got the okay, with a restriction.  ‘Absent additional information regarding your personal or substantial participation in potential procurement of the Afghanistan pilot test of the Theranos device ... I further advise you not to represent Theranos before the DoD [Department of Defense] and DON [Department of the Navy] on that particular matter for the lifetime of the matter,” Robert D. Hogue, counsel for the Marine Corps commandant, wrote to Mattis in a letter provided by Theranos.’”  [New York Times, 12/05/16]

Mattis Only Resigned From The Theranos Board In December 2016, Months After The Criminal Probes Came To Light.  In January 2017 the Wall Street Journal wrote, “The retired Marine Corps general President-elect Donald Trump has picked to lead the Defense Department resigned from the board of embattled Theranos Inc., people familiar with the matter said.  The move distances Gen. James Mattis from a blood-testing startup embroiled in scandal ahead of his confirmation hearings. The 66-year-old general decided to step down from the Theranos board last month, the people said.”  [Wall Street Journal, 01/15/17]

 

PRUITT DOES NOT BELIEVE IN THE MISSION OF THE AGENCY HE WANTS TO LEAD

Washington Post: Pruitt’s Nomination Is “An Assault” On The Administration’s Environmental Legacy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday nominated Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of the oil and gas-intensive state of Oklahoma, to head the Environmental Protection Agency, a move signaling an assault on President Obama’s climate change and environmental legacy.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

New York Times: Pruitt Pick Signals Determination To Dismantle Efforts To Counter Climate Change.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

New York Times: Pruitt Has Sued The EPA 14 Times Out Of Allegiance To The Energy Industry.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “It was one of a series of instances in which Mr. Pruitt put cooperation with industry before confrontation as he sought to blunt the impact of federal environmental policies in his state — against oil, gas, agriculture and other interests. His antipathy to federal regulation — he sued the Environmental Protection Agency 14 times — in many ways defined his tenure as Oklahoma’s attorney general.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

Washington Post: “Pruitt Has Spent Much Of His Energy As Attorney General Fighting The Very Agency He Is Being Nominated To Lead.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt has spent much of his energy as attorney general fighting the very agency he is being nominated to lead.  He is the third of Trump’s nominees who have key philosophical differences with the missions of the agencies they have been tapped to run.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Has Sued The EPA Several Times Over Their Attempts To Regulate Energy Policy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt, who has written that the debate on climate change is ‘far from settled,’ joined a coalition of state attorneys general in suing over the agency’s Clean Power Plan, the principal Obama-era policy aimed at reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from the electricity sector. He has also sued, with fellow state attorneys general, over the EPA’s recently announced regulations seeking to curtail the emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, from the oil and gas sector.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Said He Was “A Leading Advocate Against The EPA’s Activist Agenda.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “On his Linked In page, Pruitt boasts of being ‘a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda.’”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Argued That The EPA Had Very Little Regulatory Authority.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In an interview with The Post in September, as a D.C. federal appeals court was preparing to hear arguments over the Clean Power Plan, Pruitt detailed why he has remained a leading opponent of the EPA’s efforts to curb carbon emissions by regulating power plants. ‘What concerns the states is the process, the procedures, the authority that the EPA is exerting that we think is entirely inconsistent with its constitutional and statutory authority,’ he said at the time.  Agencies such as the EPA, he said, should not be trying to ‘pinch hit’ for Congress.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Fought To Limit Federal Regulation Of Water Pollution.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Pruitt has also fought to limit the scope of the federal government in regulating pollution of rivers under the Waters of the United States rule.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Started Working To Fight Climate Regulations Before They Were Even Finalized.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Although Mr. Obama’s climate rules were not completed until 2015, Mr. Pruitt and a handful of other attorneys general began planning as early as 2014 for a coordinated legal effort to fight them. That resulted in a 28-state lawsuit against the administration’s rules. A decision on the case is pending in a federal court, but it is widely expected to advance to the Supreme Court.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Began Making The Legal Case Against Emission Goals The Day Targets Were Announced.  In December 2016 National Public Radio’s State Impact reported, “When the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency last week proposed new rules to cut carbon emissions by 30 percent, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt — predictably — blasted the plan as another example of federal overreach in the Obama Administration’s war on fossil fuels.  And the same day the EPA announced its CO2 emission goal, Pruitt was already making a case for litigation over it.”  [State Impact, 06/12/14]

New York Times: Pruitt “Formed An Alliance” With Energy Companies To Fight Regulation.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt, 48, is a hero to conservative activists, one of a group of Republican attorneys general who formed an alliance with some of the nation’s top energy producers to push back against the Obama regulatory agenda. Fossil fuel interests greeted Mr. Trump’s selection with elation.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

PRUITT REPEATEDLY QUESTIONED CLIMATE SCIENCE

Pruitt Said Debate Over The Existence Of Climate Change Should Be Encouraged.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “’Scientists continue to disagree about the degree and extent of global warming and its connection to the actions of mankind,’ he wrote in National Review earlier this year. ‘That debate should be encouraged — in classrooms, public forums, and the halls of Congress. It should not be silenced with threats of prosecution. Dissent is not a crime.’”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Allowed Energy Lobbyists To Ghost Write A Letter From Him Questioning Air Pollution Estimates.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “In 2014, the New York Times reported that a letter ostensibly written by Pruitt alleging that the agency overestimated air pollution from natural gas drilling was actually written by lawyers for Devon Energy, one of the state’s largest oil and gas companies.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

CNN: “Pruitt Has Consistently Denied The Scientific Consensus On Global Warming.”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Questioned If Global Warming Was “True Or Not.”  In December 2016 CNN reported, “’There's a tremendous dispute, as you know, that's going on in the marketplace about how much this global warming trend that the administration talks about, if it's true or not,’ Pruitt said on a October 2016 episode of ‘Exploring Energy.’  ‘Is it truly man-made and is this just simply another period of time where the Earth is cooling, increasing in heat? Is it just typical, natural type of occurrences as opposed what the administration says?’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Said That The Consensus Of Climate Scientists Isn’t “True Science.”   In December 2016 CNN reported, “He continued, ‘What people don't realize is that what the scientists have done is input data into a computer and produced modeling as far as the trajectory of what's going to occur. It's predictive in nature. It's speculative in nature. It's not objectively measured, as far as us knowing for sure what's going to occur. Look, I mean, I think there should be a vigorous debate about that. I mean, I think that ... We ought to have true science. We ought to let science be science and let it educate and inform the policy makers on what should and should not occur.’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

Pruitt Framed The Consensus Around Climate Science As A Debate Between Scientists.   In December 2016 CNN reported, “’Fundamentally, from my perspective, it's wrong at its core because the debate about climate change is truly that. It's debate,’ he said. ‘There are scientists that agree. There are scientists who don't agree to the extent of man's contribution, and what's even harmful at this point. We've had ebb and flow. We've had obviously, climate conditions change throughout our history. That's scientific fact. It gets cooler, it gets hotter. We don't know the trajectory, if it is on an unsustainable course. Nor do we know the extent by which the burning of fossil fuels, man's contribution to that, is making this far worse than it is. In fact, studies show in the last decade or so, that carbon emissions are actually down. The United States has done a tremendous amount of work to lower those carbon emissions.’”  [CNN, 12/13/16]

PRUITT LAUNCHED A IDEOLOGICALLY MOTIVATED “FEDERALISM UNIT”

Pruitt’s “Federalism Unit” Was Intended To “Combat Unwarranted Regulation And Systematic Overreach.” In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “After he was elected attorney general in 2010, Pruitt established a ‘Federalism Unit’ to ‘more effectively combat unwarranted regulation and systematic overreach by federal agencies, boards and offices,’ according to his online biography.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

New York Times: Pruitt’s Federalism Unit Was “Explicitly Designed” To Fight Obama Priorities.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt may be the right man to do that. As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt created a “federalism unit” in his office, explicitly designed to fight President Obama’s health care law and environmental regulations.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government Over Immigration Policy.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “And he has gone on to challenge the administration not just over the environment but over a host of other areas. He joined other Republican attorneys general in a lawsuit over Obama’s immigration policies.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government For Religious Exemptions To Contraception Coverage Mandates In The ACA.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “He has also sued the administration over the Affordable Care Act, saying the health-care mandate on religious employers to provide coverage including contraception was unconstitutional.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Sued The Federal Government To Stop The Dodd-Frank Financial Reforms.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “He has sued over the Dodd-Frank financial reform.”  [Washington Post, 12/08/16]

Pruitt Was The Lone Attorney General To Opt Out Of A 49-State Settlement With Mortgage Banks.  In February 2012 the Oklahoman reported, “Differences over philosophy of government kept Oklahoma out of the mortgage settlement the 49 other states struck with five national lenders, but the state still will be awarded $18.6 million in damages for borrowers seeking relief from unfair or lawful mortgage servicing practices, Attorney General Scott Pruitt said Thursday.”  [Oklahoman, 02/10/12]

PRUITT GAVE THE ENERGY INDUSTRY UNPRECEDENTED ACCESS TO HIS OFFICE

Pruitt Allowed Energy Lobbyists To Send Letters On His Office’s Letterhead To Government Agencies.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “As Mr. Pruitt has sought to use legal tools to fight environmental regulations on the oil and gas companies that are a major part of his state’s economy, he has also worked with those companies. A 2014 investigation by The Times found that energy lobbyists drafted letters for Mr. Pruitt to send, on state stationery, to the E.P.A., the Interior Department, the Office of Management and Budget and even President Obama, outlining the economic hardship of the environmental rules.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Was Rewarded With Political Favors For Giving Lobbyists Unprecedented Access To His Office.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The close ties have paid off for Mr. Pruitt politically: Harold G. Hamm, the chief executive of Continental Energy, an Oklahoma oil and gas company, was a co-chairman of Mr. Pruitt’s 2013 re-election campaign.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Worked Secretly With Energy Companies To Fight Environmental Regulations.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “But that campaign, once Mr. Pruitt was sworn in, quickly became an opportunity to work secretly with some of the largest oil and gas companies, and the state’s coal-burning electric utility, to try to overturn a large part of the Obama administration’s regulations on air emissions, water pollution and endangered animals, documents obtained by The Times show.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Took The Unprecedented Step Of Jointly Filing Regulatory Suits With The Energy Industry.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “As attorney general, Mr. Pruitt took the unusual step of jointly filing an antiregulatory lawsuit with industry players, such as Oklahoma Gas and Electric, the coal-burning electric utility, and the Domestic Energy Producers Alliance, a nonprofit group backed by major oil and gas executives, including Mr. Hamm.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Took Campaign Contributions From Many Of The Energy Execs He Worked With.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Behind the scenes, he was taking campaign contributions from many of the industry players on his team, or helping deliver even larger sums of money to the Republican Attorneys General Association, which he became the chairman of.”  [New York Times, 12/07/16]

Pruitt Stopped A Suit To Clean Up Oklahoma Waters After Taking Tens Of Thousands From The Accused.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “A legal fight to clean up tons of chicken manure fouling the waters of Oklahoma’s bucolic northeastern corner — much of it from neighboring Arkansas — was in full swing six years ago when the conservative lawyer Scott Pruitt took office as Oklahoma’s attorney general.  His response: Put on the brakes.  Rather than push for a federal judge to punish the companies by extracting perhaps tens of millions of dollars in damages, Oklahoma’s new chief law enforcement officer quietly negotiated a deal to simply study the problem further.  The move came after he had taken tens of thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from executives and lawyers for the poultry industry.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

Pruitt Took $40,000 From Executives Named In The Clean Water Suit.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “As Mr. Pruitt ran for election, at least $40,000 in contributions poured into his campaign from nearly 30 executives at poultry companies named in the lawsuit or attorneys at law firms representing them, including Mark Simmons, the founder of Simmons Foods; Donald J. Smith, then the chief executive of Tysons Foods; and Gary Weeks, a lawyer listed on the court papers as representing George’s, another company targeted in the lawsuit, according to data assembled by the nonprofit Environmental Working Group and confirmed by The New York Times. That money represents about 4 percent of the total $1 million he raised in the 2010 campaign, records show.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

13 Of Pruitt’s 14 EPA Lawsuits Involved Co-Parties That Contributed To His Campaign.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “In total, Mr. Pruitt filed 14 lawsuits challenging federal environmental regulations. In 13 of those cases, the co-parties included companies that had contributed money to Mr. Pruitt or to Pruitt-affiliated political campaign committees.”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

A Judge Accused Pruitt Of Bringing A Suit On Behalf Of Corporate Farmers.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “Mr. Pruitt joined with Missouri and several other mostly rural states in one federal suit to beat back California’s regulations requiring egg farms, including those in Oklahoma, that wanted to sell in the state to seek more humane treatment of hens. In rejecting the suit, the federal judge admonished the plaintiffs.  ‘The court concludes plaintiffs have not brought this action on behalf of their interest in the physical or economic well-being of their residents in general,’ Judge Kimberly J. Mueller of the United States District Court wrote in her 2014 opinion, ‘but rather on behalf of a discrete group of egg farmers whose businesses will allegedly be impacted.’”  [New York Times, 01/14/17]

HALEY HAD NO FOREIGN POLICY EXPERIENCE…

NBC News: Haley Will Face Questions Over Her “Limited Foreign Policy Experience.”  In November 2016 NBC News reported, “Haley's limited foreign policy experience is likely to draw scrutiny during her Senate confirmation hearings.”  [NBC News, 11/23/16]

Washington Post On Haley: “She Is Considered A Novice In International Affairs.”  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Haley, 44, who is serving her second term as governor, has worked on trade and labor issues and traveled abroad as governor, including to Europe. She is considered a novice in international affairs, but her home state senator, Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), appeared to be trying to buck up her foreign policy bona fides in a statement praising Haley on Wednesday.”  [Washington Post, 11/23/16]

Politco: Haley Has No Foreign Policy Experience And Her Views On Many Things Were Unknown.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Haley has never served in federal government. She also lacks obvious foreign policy experience, and little is known about her stance on contentious topics such as how to end the war in Syria.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

UN Official: Haley Is Such A Foreign Policy Novice That There Are No Expectations.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “’She's such an unknown in foreign policy space that its kind of hard to tell what to expect,’ one U.N. official said.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Foreign Policy Experts Decried Haley’s Complete Lack Of Experience.  In November 2016 CNN published commentary from a South Carolina reporter that read, “Foreign policy experts are meanwhile wringing their hands over Haley's lack of experience. "I mean, there may have been foreign policy types who passed through South Carolina, I think there's a BMW factory there," David Rothkopf, editor of Foreign Policy magazine, said during an interview on MSNBC while making clear he thought she would be a terrible choice.”  [CNN, 11/17/16]

Foreign Policy Expert: Haley Will Have A Steep Learning Curve Due To A Lack Of Foreign Policy Experience.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Richard Gowan, a senior fellow at the European Council on Foreign Relations and close follower of the United Nations, said there will be a lot of relief around the institution that they’re not getting a person from the Bush-vs.-the-U.N. era.”  And, “Still, there is much unknown about how Haley will approach the job, given her lack of international experience. Obama’s two U.N. ambassadors, by comparison, were established experts about the organization. At the same time, Gowan expects that the political situations in places not on the president-elect’s radar, like the Central African Republic and South Sudan, to only worsen, which will mean a ‘hellishly steep learning curve for Haley,’ he said.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Foreign Policy Expert: Haley’s Appointment May Be Seen As A Gift By The Russian Ambassador.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “’She’s going to be going up against Russia’s ambassador Vitaly Churkin — who has been here a decade,’ Gowan said. ‘The Russian’s have been able to outmaneuver the U.S. on several fronts this year so I think Churkin will see this as a great Thanksgiving gift. There will be a lot of concern about that imbalance.’”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Politico: Haley’s Lack Of Experience May Leave Her At A Disadvantage With Russia.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Her political background means she’ll be well suited for much of the retail diplomacy that comes with this posting. But when it comes to machinations with the Security Council’s permanent members — and Russia in particular — her lack of experience may be a disadvantage.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Haley’s Only Foreign Policy Experience Consists Of A Few International Trade Missions.  In November 2016 the Charleston Post and Courier wrote, “The 44-year-old’s chief foreign work centers on negotiating with international companies seeking economic development deals in the state and leading seven overseas trade missions as governor. Her husband, Michael, was deployed for nearly a year in Afghanistan with the S.C. National Guard in 2013.  Recent UN ambassadors typically have experience in presidential administrations, usually with the State Department or National Security Council. The post would be Haley’s first in the federal government.”  [Charleston Post and Courier, 11/23/16]

Haley Was Criticized For One Of Her Trade Missions For Spending $127K In Taxpayer Money On Luxury Hotels And Expensive Parties. In November 2016 Politico wrote, “For one of those trips, a 2011 trade mission to Europe, Haley drew fire for costing South Carolina taxpayers $127,000, staying at fancy hotels and attending swanky parties.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Haley Diplomatically Lashed Out At The Reporter That Ran The Story. In November 2016 Politico wrote, “She lashed out at the Post Courier reporter who wrote a critical story about the trip, calling her a “little girl” (Haley later apologized).”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

The Charleston Post And Courier Detailed Haley’s Foreign Policy Experience: 8 Trips To Trade Shows.  In November 2016 the Charleston Post and Courier wrote:

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has taken at least eight trips to other countries since taking office in 2011.  The trips have been to mainly attend trade shows and meet with potential economic development prospects.  She has visited Germany most, taking three trips to the country with the headquarters for automaker BMW, which has its only U.S. plant in Greer.  Haley has visited Sweden twice with Volvo building its first North American auto plant in Berkeley County.  She attended air shows as part of South Carolina landing Boeing's only jet manufacturing plant outside the Seattle area.

2011 - Paris air show/BMW's headquarters visit in Germany

2012 - London air show

2012 - Japan trade mission

2013 - Frankfurt auto show

2014 - Canada trade mission

2014 - India trade mission

2015 - Sweden (Secret visit for Volvo plant negotiations)

2015 - Frankfurt auto show/Sweden trade mission”  

[Charleston Post and Courier, 11/23/16]

…OTHER THAN TELLING REFUGEES TO STAY OUT OF SOUTH CAROLINA

Haley Asked The State Department Not To Send Syrian Refugees To South Carolina In 2015.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “In 2015, Haley was one of several governors who asked the State Department not to resettle Syrian refugees in their states, citing a “lack of historical and verifiable intelligence” on their identities. Governors lack the power to stop the resettlement, however — and South Carolina today hosts several dozen refugees from Syria.”  [Politico, 11/23/16]

Haley Said Refugee Resettlement To South Carolina Had To Stop Because Of 9/11.  In November 2015 the Washington Post wrote, “South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said genuine fears of possible terrorist attacks, rather than politics, had spurred calls to halt the process.  ‘This is very much about the fact that 9/11 is too close in our memory,’ she said, referring to the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. ‘We will continue to let everyone know that this is something that puts everybody at risk, Republicans and Democrats, and something has to be done. And if he does choose to veto, we’re not going to stop.’”  [Washington Post, 11/18/15]

CBS News: “Haley Says She Supports Allowing Persecuted Immigrants To Come To South Carolina -- As Long As They're Not From Syria.”  In November 2015 CBS News reported, “Gov. Nikki Haley says she supports allowing persecuted immigrants to come to South Carolina -- as long as they're not from Syria.  Republicans in the state Legislature called on Haley to oppose all international refugees. But the Republican governor said as long as nothing changes in who is being resettled in the state, neither will her stance.”  [CBS News, 11/16/15]
Haley Was Concerned About Refugees And Asked Sec. Kerry To Stop Sending Refugees To South Carolina.  In July 2016 the Charleston Post and Courier wrote, “The growing numbers concern Haley, who last November asked Secretary of State John Kerry to halt resettlement of Syrian refugees in the state until receiving assurances that proper security checks were completed.”  [Charleston Post and Courier, 07/13/16]

MNUCHIN HAS NO EXPERIENCE OR INTEREST IN PUBLIC POLICY

New York Times: Mnuchin Has Never “Showed Himself To Be An Accomplished Economist.”  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Over his business career, he was never particularly involved in politics, nor did he publicly express an interest in public policy. He never ran a large organization or showed himself to be an accomplished economist.”  [New York Times, 11/30/16]

New York Times: Mnuchin Has No Record And Made Few Public Statements About Public Policy.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “It is hard to discern what policies Mr. Mnuchin will seek to enact beyond those espoused by Mr. Trump. Like the president-elect, he has talked about lowering taxes and lifting regulations, but mostly without describing specifics.”  [New York Times, 11/30/16]

New York Times: Mnuchin Will Have A Steep Learning Curve On International Trade.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Still, he is expected to face a steep learning curve when it comes to working on international trade, where he doesn’t have much previous experience.”  [New York Times, 11/30/16]

New York Times: Mnuchin’s Friends Say He Has No Discernable Ideology Other Than Ambition.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “But anyone looking for hints about Mr. Mnuchin’s ideology may be disappointed: His friends say he is not ideological and that, if anything, his ideology is simply his ambition.”  [New York Times, 11/30/16]

New York Times: Mnuchin Has No Experience Other Than Ties To Wall Street.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “Steven Mnuchin, a financier with deep roots on Wall Street and in Hollywood but no government experience, is expected to be named Donald J. Trump’s Treasury secretary as soon as Wednesday, people close to the transition say.”  [New York Times, 11/29/16]

MNUCHIN OWNED AND RAN A CONTROVERSIAL MORTGAGE BANK

Washington Post: Mnuchin Led A Group To Buy A Subprime Lender With “Some Of The Nation’s Shoddiest Loans.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Mnuchin led a consortium of investors that purchased the troubled bank IndyMac from the federal government in 2009, acquiring a $13.9 billion portfolio of some of the nation’s shoddiest loans for about $1.6 billion. Tara Bradshaw, a spokeswoman for Mnuchin, said about 178,000 loans were already in the foreclosure process when he took over the bank and renamed it OneWest.”  [Washington Post, 12/30/16]

Mnuchin’s Tenure As Chairman Of OneWest Was Marked By Controversy.  In November 2016 the New York Times wrote, “The group was apparently referring to Mr. Mnuchin’s role in 2009 in a group that bought the failed California mortgage lender IndyMac from the government. He became the chairman of the company, renamed OneWest, which was ultimately sold to CIT, the nation’s largest small-business lender, in 2015 for more than twice the price the group had paid.  During Mr. Mnuchin’s tenure, OneWest faced allegations that it had foreclosed improperly on some borrowers. Fair-housing groups also filed a complaint with the federal government, claiming that OneWest was not meeting its legal obligation to make loans in minority neighborhoods.”  [New York Times, 11/29/16]

Mnuchin’s OneWest Received Nearly $1 Billion In Federal Bailout Money.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “A leading candidate to be ­President-elect Donald Trump’s treasury secretary was deeply involved in running a bank that has received $900 million in federal bailout money and that has been accused of discrimination — examples of the potentially thorny conflicts of interest that could plague Trump’s nascent administration.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Mnuchin Got The Federal Government To Agree To Cover His Losses When He Bought OneWest. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Central to the deal was a promise by federal regulators to cover a significant share of the bank’s losses — a guarantee that lasts through 2019. In addition, the bank — later renamed OneWest — has repeatedly faced criticism over its attempts to foreclose on homeowners who were in the process of modifying their loans, among other practices.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Mnuchin Extracted Huge Commitments From The Federal Government To Cover His Losses In OneWest. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “To lure buyers, the agency promised to share in any future losses on the bank’s outstanding loans. Mnuchin and his partners were responsible for the first $2.5 billion, then the FDIC would cover 80 percent of the losses until they totaled $3.8 billion.  After that, the government would reimburse the bank for 95 percent of its losses. The bank is expected to reach that level — and continue receiving government payments — by 2019, when the agreement ends, according to documents on the FDIC’s website.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Community Groups Filed HUD Complaint Over Racial Discrimination At OneWest During Mnuchin’s Tenure. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “On Thursday, an advocacy group filed a complaint with the Department of Housing and Urban Development accusing the bank of locating branches in predominantly white neighborhoods while avoiding minority communities, including two years in which only two black borrowers received home loans across six counties.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Community Groups Alleged That Mnuchin Located Bank Branches In Places That Wouldn’t Attract People Of Color As Customers. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “But the bank remained a target for consumer advocates and watchdog groups under Mnuchin. In the complaint filed Thursday with the Department of Housing and Urban Development, advocates alleged that only 11 of the bank’s 74 branches are in Hispanic neighborhoods. One was in a majority Asian neighborhood, and there were none in predominantly black communities.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Washington Post: Outside Analysis Shows Very Few Loans From Mnuchin’s OneWest Went To People Of Color. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The complaint covers the final year of Mnuchin’s tenure at OneWest; the sale to CIT was completed in August 2015. The California Reinvestment Coalition’s analysis of loans made that year alleged that only 8.4 percent of mortgages went to Hispanics, though they accounted for 43 percent of the region’s population. It also alleges that the bank did not properly maintain foreclosed homes in minority areas.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Washington Post: Mnuchin’s OneWest Was Criticized For Their Accelerated Pace Of Foreclosures. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “But as the housing crisis deepened, Mnuchin’s bank came under criticism for the pace of its foreclosures and what customers complained was a hard-line stance.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

MNUCHIN HAS A MULTITUDE OF POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Mnuchin’s Deal With Federal Regulators To Limit Losses With A Bank He Ran Remains In Effect Until 2019.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Central to the deal was a promise by federal regulators to cover a significant share of the bank’s losses — a guarantee that lasts through 2019. In addition, the bank — later renamed OneWest — has repeatedly faced criticism over its attempts to foreclose on homeowners who were in the process of modifying their loans, among other practices.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

Mnuchin Was On The Board Of A “Too Big To Fail” Bank, Overseen By Treasury As Of November 2016. In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Mnuchin’s long involvement with the bank could raise questions about his ability to lead an agency at the forefront of the government’s oversight of the financial industry. OneWest was purchased last year by the financial firm CIT, which is partially overseen by Treasury. It has been named a “systemically important” financial institution — often informally called “too big to fail” — worthy of additional scrutiny because of the risk it poses to the economy in a crisis. Mnuchin is on CIT’s board of directors and owns $100 million in company stock, according to compensation research firm Equilar.”  [Washington Post, 11/17/16]

MNUCHIN HAS A RADICAL ANTI-TAX, ANTI-REGULATION AGENDA

Mnuchin Said His Top Priority Would Be Repealing The Dodd-Frank Regulations.  In November 2016 Politico wrote, “Steven Mnuchin, a long-time Goldman Sachs banker tapped by Trump to lead the Treasury, told CNBC’s ‘Squawk Box’ Wednesday morning that going after the law will be one of his top priorities.  ‘The number one problem with Dodd-Frank is it’s way too complicated and it cuts back lending, so we want to strip back parts of Dodd-Frank that prevent banks from lending and that will be the number one priority on the regulatory side,’ Mnuchin said. ‘The number one priority is going to be make sure that banks lend.’”  And, “Dodd-Frank, passed in the wake of the financial crisis and aimed at preventing some of the practices the precipitated it, has long been a target for Republicans, who say the strict regulations on financial institutions have limited the flow of capital.”  [Politico, 11/30/16]

Mnuchin Called For Repeal Of Some Banking Regulations Passed After The Great Recession.  In November 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “But the tougher requirements, called for by 2010’s financial reform law known as Dodd Frank, could be weakened during the Trump administration. On Wednesday, Mnuchin, called for a partial repeal of extensive banking industry regulations put in place after the Great Recession.”  [Washington Post, 11/30/16]

Mnuchin Suggested That Slashing Corporate Taxes Would Cost The Government Nothing Because It Would Double Economic Growth.  In November 2016 CNBC reported, “Steven Mnuchin made his comments on ‘Squawk Box,’ as his selection was being announced. He said he believes the U.S. economy can grow at a sustained rate of 3 percent to 4 percent.”  And, “Mnuchin said tax reform is going to be a major driver of that growth, and added that the Trump administration is going to bring a lot of money back into the U.S. by cutting the corporate rate to 15 percent.”  [CNBC, 11/30/16]

Mnuchin Made Grand Proclamations About The Effect Of Corporate Tax Cuts.  In November 2016 CNBC reported, “’By cutting corporate taxes, we're going to create huge economic growth and we'll have huge personal income,’ Mnuchin told ‘Squawk Box,’ confirming he has been tapped for Treasury secretary.  Reducing the corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 15 percent will be a major goal for the Trump administration, the former Wall Street executive said.  Mnuchin said he was confident the new administration would be able to expand gross domestic product growth from the current 3.2 percent.”  [CNBC, 11/30/16]
Mnuchin Ominously Promised “The Largest Tax Change Since Reagan.”  In November 2016 CNBC reported, “’Our most important priority is sustained economic growth, and I think we can absolutely get to sustained 3 to 4 percent GDP, and that is absolutely critical for the country,’ Mnuchin said. ‘To get there, our number one priority is tax reform. This will be the largest tax change since [President Ronald] Reagan.’”  [CNBC, 11/30/16]

PERRY IS INEXPERIENCED & DOESN’T UNDERSTAND THE DEPARTMENT

Perry Wanted To Eliminate The Department Of Energy, But Couldn’t Remember What It Was Called.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “In choosing him to be secretary of energy, the president-elect is elevating him to a cabinet post that Mr. Perry once said he wanted to eliminate, a proposal that led to one of the most famous gaffes in recent presidential politics.  ‘Oops,’ Mr. Perry said in 2011 as he racked his brain during a nationally televised Republican primary debate, trying to remember the three departments he wanted to dismantle. He mentioned the Commerce and Education Departments but could not recall the third: the Energy Department.”  [New York Times, 12/13/16]

The GOP Is Attempting To Recast Perry As A Scientist, Just Like The Last 3 Secretaries, Who All Had Doctorates.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Now the former Texas governor’s allies have to make the case that Perry has the smarts and experience to lead a sprawling, engineering- and science-laden department that oversees the security of the U.S. nuclear arsenal.  Their strategy: Rebrand Perry as a serious policymaker who led a state where energy is huge business — contrary to the sniping and ridicule pouring in from Democrats, who are likely to note that the past three energy secretaries had doctorates in physics or engineering.”  [Politico, 12/26/16]

It’s Unclear What Perry Would Do As Secretary Other Than Attempt To Close The Department.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “One major question, though, is what Perry intends to do at DOE. And he may be charting a collision course with Congress if he acts on his past talk of bulldozing large sections of the department.  Perry vowed during his 2012 presidential campaign that he would scrap the agency, dovetailing with recent suggestions from The Heritage Foundation that large portions of it be eliminated.”  [Politico, 12/26/16]

Perry Had A Bizarre Understanding Of What Carbon Dioxide Is.  In June 2014 the Dallas Morning News wrote, “The governor was adamant that carbon dioxide is not, in fact, a pollutant. Curbing the use of coal will ‘strangle our economy,’ he asserted.  ‘Calling CO2 a pollutant is doing a disservice the country, and I believe a disservice to the world,’ he said.”  [Dallas Morning News, 06/19/14]

PERRY HAS SERIOUS ETHICAL ISSUES, SOME RELATED TO ENERGY COMPANIES

Perry Deregulated The Energy Industry In Texas In The Aftermath Of The Enron Scandal.  In December 2016 Politico wrote, “Perry took over the governorship in late 2000, after Bush’s White House win, when Texas was in the midst of overhauling its electricity system to create a deregulated market. For months, California’s electricity crisis amid the Enron scandal had spooked several states about following a similar path. But Perry stuck to the plan. ‘Perry definitely provided the muscle to get the market open at a time when the winds were blowing pretty hard,’ said Wood, who was soon jetting off to become Federal Energy Regulatory Commission chairman in the summer of 2001. And Perry stuck with the plan after price spikes in 2005 following hurricanes Katrina and Rita.”  [Politico, 12/26/16]

Perry Sat On The Board Of The Company Building Dakota Access Pipeline As Of December 2016.  In December 2016 CNBC reported, “Donald Trump's pick for Energy secretary, Rick Perry, sits on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the company whose Dakota Access Pipeline has been fiercely opposed by Native American tribes and their allies.”  And, “Perry joined the board of Energy Transfer Partners in February 2015 after serving as Texas governor for 14 years. Energy Transfer Partners said it selected him ‘because of his vast experience as an executive in the highest office of state government’ and his familiarity with ‘finance and budget planning processes throughout his career.’”  [CNBC, 12/13/16]

Energy Transfer Partners Largely Funded Perry’s Most Recent Presidential Campaign.  In December 2016 CNBC reported, “Dallas-based Energy Transfer's top executive and other employees also contributed millions of dollars to support the former Texas governor's short-lived 2015 bid for the White House.”  And, “Energy Transfer Partners Chairman and CEO Kelcy Warren donated $5 million to Opportunity and Freedom, a political action committee that backed Perry's candidacy, according to a Federal Election Commission filing. The PAC reimbursed Warren for $3.99 million of that amount in September 2015, shortly after Perry dropped out of the race, records show.  For the 2016 election, Energy Transfer Partners employees donated a total of $1,518,500 to Perry's campaign and outside groups supporting him, according to a list compiled by Open Secrets.”  [CNBC, 12/13/16]

Perry Served On The Boards Of Multiple Energy Companies Linked To A Texas Billionaire.  In December 2016 the Associated Press reported, “Perry led Texas for more than 14 years, but mere weeks after he left office he began serving on the corporate boards of two energy firms linked to Texas billionaire and GOP mega-donor Kelcy Warren. One company, Energy Transfer Partners, is attempting to build the Dakota Access Pipeline, a $3.8 billion project carrying oil from North Dakota to Illinois that has sparked protests garnering national attention. The other, Sunoco Logistics Partners, recently announced plans to acquire Energy Transfer Partners in a $21.3 billion deal.”  [Associated Press, 12/14/16]

Perry Was Accused Of Using The Governor’s Office For “Crony Capitalism.”  In December 2016 the Associated Press reported, “Perry oversaw two state funds meant to encourage job-creating investment in Texas or to lure top employers to the state. But critics accused him of "crony capitalism" after outside auditors condemned both for rewarding firms Perry had business or political ties to — some of which got funding with little transparency or scant evidence they'd actually create jobs.”  [Associated Press, 12/14/16]

Perry Allegedly Mandated HPV Vaccines To Reward A Campaign Donors.  In December 2016 the Associated Press reported, “In 2007, a Perry executive order mandated HPV vaccines for sixth-grade girls statewide, sparking such outcry that the governor was overruled by Texas' Republican-controlled Legislature. Perry said his move was to prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted disease that causes cervical cancer — but the vaccine maker, Merck, was a past Perry donor and employed one of his former aides as a lobbyist.”  [Associated Press, 12/14/16]

Perry Allowed A Dump Owned By A Campaign Donor To Accept Radioactive Waste.  In December 2016 the Associated Press reported, “A remote West Texas waste dump site began in 2013 accepting low-level radioactive waste from Texas and other states. The 1,380-acre facility belongs to Waste Control Specialists, then owned by Harold Simmons, a billionaire who was a top donor to Perry and Republicans nationwide but who has since died.  The company has applied to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission to begin taking higher level nuclear waste in West Texas as a stopgap measure since a plan for a permanent repository at Nevada's Yucca Mountain hasn't been federally approved. The Energy Department sets policy for nuclear materials' storage and handling, meaning Perry may make major decisions in an area he's already very familiar with.”  [Associated Press, 12/14/16]

Perry Was Indicted For Abuse Of His Office And Coercion In 2014.  In December 2016 the Associated Press reported, “Two years ago, Perry was indicted by a grand jury in Austin on coercion and abuse of power charges stemming from his publicly threatening — then executing — a veto of funding for state public corruption prosecutors. The move came after the investigative unit's Democratic director rebuffed Perry's calls to resign following her drunken driving conviction.  Perry dismissed the case as politically motivated, and the coercion charge was tossed on appeal before Texas' highest criminal court voided the abuse of power charge in February. Still, Perry said it hurt his second White House run in 2015, which lasted barely three months.”  [Associated Press, 12/14/16]

Perry Received Over $100K In Campaign Donations From A Company The State Paid To Relocate Jobs To Texas.  In August 2011 the New York Times wrote, “Two years ago, John McHale, an entrepreneur from Austin, Tex., who has given millions of dollars to Democratic candidates and causes, did something very unusual for him: he wrote a $50,000 check to a Republican candidate, Rick Perry, then seeking a third full term as governor of Texas. In September 2010, he did it again, catapulting himself into the top ranks of Mr. Perry’s donors.”  And, “In May 2010 an economic development fund administered by the governor’s office handed $3 million to G-Con, a pharmaceutical start-up that Mr. McHale helped get off the ground. At least two other executives with connections to the firm had also given Mr. Perry tens of thousands of dollars.”  [New York Times, 08/20/11]

Perry Has Awarded State Grants And Other Funds To Hundreds Of Campaign Donors.  In August 2011 the New York Times wrote, “Over three terms in office, Mr. Perry’s administration has doled out grants, tax breaks, contracts and appointments to hundreds of his most generous supporters and their businesses.”  [New York Times, 08/20/11]

Perry Had Raised Over $17 Million In Campaign Cash From Over 900 Of His Appointees By August 2011.  In August 2011 the New York Times wrote, “And Mr. Perry has been much more aggressive than any past governor in soliciting money from them. According to a study last year by Texans for Public Justice, a watchdog organization, Mr. Perry has raised at least $17 million from more than 900 appointees or their spouses, roughly one dollar out of every five that he has raised as governor.”  [New York Times, 08/20/11]

PERRY REJECTS THE SCIENTIFIC CONSENSUS ON CLIMATE CHANGE

Perry Called The Scientific Consensus On Climate Change A “Phony Mess.”  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “In his 2010 book, ‘Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America From Washington,’ Mr. Perry called the established science of human-caused climate change a ‘contrived, phony mess.’ His views align with those of Mr. Trump, who has called climate change a hoax perpetuated by the Chinese.”  [New York Times, 12/13/16]

Perry Suggested That The Tiny Minority Of Scientists That Question Climate Change Were Being Persecuted Like Galileo.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “The former governor has repeatedly questioned scientific findings that human activity is helping drive climate change. In 2011 during a presidential debate, he compared the minority of scientists who challenged this assumption to 17th-century astronomer Galileo, who was persecuted by the Catholic Church after suggesting that the Earth revolved around the Sun, rather than the reverse.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]

Perry Said We Were Risking Economic Security By Science That Is “Not Settled.”  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’The science is not settled on this. The idea that we would put Americans’ economy at jeopardy based on scientific theory that’s not settled yet to me is just nonsense,’ Perry said at the time. ‘Just because you have a group of scientists who stood up and said here is the fact. Galileo got outvoted for a spell.’”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]

Perry Said Al Gore Was “A False Prophet Of A Secular Carbon Cult” For His Environmentalism.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “’Al Gore is a prophet all right, a false prophet of a secular carbon cult, and now even moderate Democrats aren’t buying it,’ he added, referring to the former vice president and environmentalist. Gore met with Trump recently to discuss climate change.”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]

Perry Suggested That Data Pointing To Climate Change Was Faked By Scientists.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Later, during the 2012 presidential campaign, Perry said, ‘There are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.’”  [Washington Post, 12/14/16]

Perry Said Scientists Faked Climate Data To Receive Research Money.  In August 2011 CBS News reported, “Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry said Wednesday morning that he does not believe in global warming science and suggested it is grounded in scientists manipulating data for financial gain.  The Texas governor was appearing at a New Hampshire breakfast event with business leaders Wednesday morning when he said ‘there are a substantial number of scientists who have manipulated data so that they will have dollars rolling into their projects.’”  [CBS News, 08/17/11]

Perry Made A Completely Baseless Claim That Scientists Are Beginning To Reject Theories Of Climate Change.  In August 2011 CBS News reported, “Perry said scientists are coming forward almost daily to question ‘the original idea that man-made global warming is what is causing the climate to change.’ He said the climate is changing but that it has been changing ‘ever since the earth was formed.’”  [CBS News, 08/17/11]

Perry Said Efforts To Fight Climate Change Were Wasting Billions On A Scientific Theory.  In August 2011 CBS News reported, “Perry added that ‘the issue of global warming has been politicized,’ and argued that America should not spend billions of dollars addressing ‘a scientific theory that has not been proven, and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.’”  [CBS News, 08/17/11]

Perry Had A Bizarre Understanding Of What Carbon Dioxide Is.  In June 2014 the Dallas Morning News wrote, “The governor was adamant that carbon dioxide is not, in fact, a pollutant. Curbing the use of coal will ‘strangle our economy,’ he asserted.  ‘Calling CO2 a pollutant is doing a disservice the country, and I believe a disservice to the world,’ he said.”  [Dallas Morning News, 06/19/14]

MULVANEY OWED $15,000 IN BACK TAXES FOR A DOMESTIC EMPLOYEE

New York Times Headline: Trump Budget Nominee Did Not Pay Taxes For Employee.  [New York Times, 01/18/17]

Mulvaney Owed $15,000 In Back Payroll Taxes For A Household Employee.  In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “President-elect Donald J. Trump’s choice for White House budget director failed to pay more than $15,000 in payroll taxes for a household employee, he admitted in a statement to the Senate Budget Committee, the sort of tax compliance issue that has derailed cabinet nominees in the past.”  [New York Times, 01/18/17]

Mulvaney Disclosed A Failure To Pay FICA Taxes On A Household Employee From 2000-2004.   In January 2017 the New York Times wrote, “In a questionnaire provided to the committee, Representative Mick Mulvaney, a conservative from South Carolina and vocal proponent of fiscal restraint noted, ‘I have come to learn during the confirmation review process that I failed to pay FICA and federal and state unemployment taxes on a household employee for the years 2000-2004.’”  [New York Times, 01/18/17]

Mulvaney Still Had An Unpaid Tax Bill For Penalties And Interest As Of January 2017.  In January 2017 CNN reported, “The South Carolina Republican, in the questionnaire provided to CNN, wrote: ‘Upon discovery of that shortfall, I paid the federal taxes.’ The relevant penalties and interest ‘are not yet determined,’ he added.”  [CNN, 01/19/17]

MULVANEY ALSO HAD OTHER TAX & ETHICS PROBLEMS

Mulvaney’s Companies Repeatedly Paid Property Taxes Late From 2005 to 2009.  In May 2010 the Rock Hill Herald reported, “Meanwhile, Republican challenger Mick Mulvaney's development company made late tax payments on four different properties between 2005 and 2009, according to York County tax records.”   [Rock Hill Herald, 05/28/10]

Mulvaney Paid Taxes Late Every Year From 2005 to 2009 On Multiple Properties.  In May 2010 the Rock Hill Herald reported, “Mulvaney has no unpaid tax bills in his home county of Lancaster, records showed. In York County, Mulvaney's company paid $20 delinquent fees in 2005, 2007, 2008 and 2009 on lots in the McKendry and Dominion Bridge subdivisions, according to county tax records. The lots were owned by Mulvaney Properties.”   [Rock Hill Herald, 05/28/10]

Mulvaney Suggested That Unpaid Business Taxes Was Not Something People Cared About.  In May 2010 the Rock Hill Herald reported, “Mulvaney did not want to elaborate on his company's payments and said he looks forward to talking about things people care about.”  [Rock Hill Herald, 05/28/10]

Mulvaney Got A Local Government To Front $30 Million For His Development, Then Immediately Sold At A Huge Profit. In October 2010 the Rock Hill Herald reported, “Mulvaney lobbied Lancaster County Council members to approve $30 million in bonds to pay for public improvements such as roads and water lines - an approach commonly used on large-scale projects, including the nearby Sun City retirement community.  After the bonds were approved, Mulvaney sold the property to Lawson's Bend, a homebuilding outfit that failed to make good on the original plans.”   [Rock Hill Herald, 10/08/10]

A Council Member That Approved The Bond Said Mulvaney Lied About His Involvement. In October 2010 the Rock Hill Herald reported, “Mulvaney told Lancaster County officials that he would stay involved personally in the project, said former Councilman Alston DeVenny, a Democrat who later ran against Mulvaney for the state House.  ‘What we found out is, he basically pulled these things together and then got somebody else to develop it,’ DeVenny said. ‘When he was making the pitch (to the council), he was saying, ‘I'm going to do this.'’”   [Rock Hill Herald, 10/08/10]

Mulvaney, Like Trump, Intended To Keep His Business While Having Family Run It.  In January 2017 the Charleston Post and Courier wrote, “In the accompanying letter to the Office of Government Ethics, Mulvaney commits to resigning from his position at his real estate investment holding company, and as a managing member of the firm MP/Collins Road LLC., but plans to retain his financial stake in the businesses while his wife takes over daily operations.”  [Charleston Post and Courier, 01/19/17]

MULVANEY DOESN’T BELIEVE WE NEED TO HAVE A BUDGET OR PAY OUR DEBTS

New York Times: Mulvaney Embraced The Term “Shutdown Caucus” During Debt Ceiling Talks.  In December 2016 the New York Times wrote, “An early backer of Mr. Trump’s during the campaign, Mr. Mulvaney has taken a hard line on spending during President Obama’s term, vowing not to raise the nation’s debt limit and embracing the term “Shutdown Caucus” because of his willingness to shut the government down instead.”  [New York Times, 12/16/16]

Washington Post: Mulvaney Played “A Key Role” In The 2011 Budget Showdown.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Mulvaney quickly staked out ground as one of Congress’s most outspoken fiscal hawks — playing a key role in the 2011 showdown between President Obama and House Republicans that ended in the passage of strict budget caps.”  [Washington Post, 12/17/16]

Washington Post Column: Mulvaney Questioned Whether It Was Necessary To Pay The National Debt.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Since taking office in January 2011, he has voted against (ultimately successful) legislation to raise this ceiling four times. He also publicly questioned whether failing to raise the ceiling would be such a bad thing, and whether it would necessitate defaulting on our debt.”  [Washington Post, 12/20/16]

CNN: Mulvaney Appointment Means “Another Debt Ceiling Debate Is Headed This Way.”  In December 2016 the CNN reported, “Another debt ceiling debate is headed this way: President Trump will almost certainly have to appeal to Congress in March for more room under the debt ceiling to keep borrowing and pay all the debts the U.S. has already promised.  In the past, Mulvaney has voted "no" against raising the debt ceiling. He voted "no" in 2011 when the stalling in Congress spooked the bond market and ended up costing the government more money by raising borrowing costs.  It could be a major sticking point in 2017. Markets get very jittery when Congress does not act to lift the ceiling. It could even trigger a default. Experts say the easiest compromise may be for Mulvaney to push to raise the ceiling in March, but only if there's a plan passed as well to control spending.”  [CNN, 12/20/16]

Charlotte Observer: Mulvaney Cast A Vote To Enable 16-Day Government Shutdown.  In January 2016 the Charlotte Observer wrote, “Elected in 2010 on a wave of tea party support, he cast a vote the next year that enabled a 16-day government shutdown. He fought efforts to raise the debt ceiling and supports a balanced budget amendment.”  [Charlotte Observer, 01/13/17]

Mulvaney Described His Approach To Negotiating The Budget With GOP Leaders As “Playing Chicken.”  In October 2015 the New York Times reported, “He recalled Representative Kevin McCarthy of California, the majority leader, once telling him in the midst of a fight over raising the debt ceiling, ‘We don’t want to play chicken on this issue.’  Mr. Mulvaney said he had replied: ‘Put this issue aside, I’ll play chicken with you every time. You think I am crazy, and I know you are not.’”  [New York Times, 10/07/15]

MULVANEY HAS WEIRD TRUST ISSUES WITH THE U.S. DOLLAR

Bloomberg: Mulvaney Invested Heavily In Gold As A Hedge Against A Collapsing Dollar.  In December 2016 Bloomberg reported, “President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for budget chief, Mick Mulvaney, has been an active investor in gold and gold-mining stocks, often seen as a hedge against collapsing currency.”  And, “He held between $50,000 and $100,000 in precious metals as of the end of 2015, filings show.”  [Bloomberg, 12/29/16]

Bloomberg: Mulvaney Accused The Treasury Of “Debasing” The Value Of The Dollar.  In December 2016 Bloomberg reported, “The South Carolina Republican congressman has accused the Federal Reserve of debasing the value of the greenback and has praised bitcoin, an alternative currency.”  [Bloomberg, 12/29/16]

Mulvaney Held Between $250K And $850K In Gold And Silver Mining Stocks  In 2010.  In December 2016 Bloomberg reported, “Mulvaney’s investments in mining companies date to at least 2010, the year he was elected to the House of Representatives as part of the Republican Tea Party wave. A filing detailing his holdings at the end of that year shows he and family members owned stocks and funds of gold- and silver-mining companies -- including Eldorado Gold Corp., Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. and Pan American Silver Corp. -- with a total value of between $252,000 and $855,000.”  [Bloomberg, 12/29/16]

Bloomberg: Mulvaney Addressed Group That Espouses Conspiracy Theories About U.S. Currency.  In December 2016 Bloomberg reported, “Shortly after he sold mining stocks in June, Mulvaney spoke at a dinner in South Carolina held by a chapter of the John Birch Society, a group that has pushed conspiracy theories and says the only form of money permitted by the Constitution is gold and silver coin. According to an article in Mother Jones, the congressman told attendees that the Fed’s actions have ‘effectively devalued the dollar’ and harmed economic growth.”  [Bloomberg, 12/29/16]

Mulvaney Said Crypto-Currency Bitcoin Was The Only Currency That Couldn’t Be Manipulated By The Fed.  In December 2016 Business Insider wrote, “In the same speech, Mulvaney also praised bitcoin, saying the cryptocurrency could not be "manipulated" by the government.”  [Business Insider, 12/29/16]

Washington Post: Mulvany Faced Scrutiny For Speaking To Fringe Conspiracy Group John Birch Society.  In December 2016 the Washington Post wrote, “Less than 30 days from Trump’s inauguration, for example, his designee to lead the Office of Management and Budget, Rep. Mick Mulvaney (R-S.C.), is being scrutinized for his choice in July to speak to a chapter of the John Birch Society, a far-right group known for its paranoia about the Federal Reserve and the possibility of world government. The group was once estranged from mainstream conservatism because of its conspiratorial views, but that did not stop Mulvaney from praising and encouraging its work, according to Mother Jones, citing audio of the speech.”  [Washington Post, 12/22/16]

MCMAHON HAS NUMEROUS POTENTIAL CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

Connecticut Post Headline: “Like Trump, Mcmahon Draws Scrutiny Over Potential Conflicts.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Connecticut Post: Like Trump, McMahon Is “An Example Of The Murky Boundaries Between Entertainment Mogul And Public Servant.” In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “Donald Trump doesn’t have to look far for an example of the murky boundaries between entertainment mogul and public servant: Linda McMahon, his pick to lead the Small Business Administration.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Connecticut Post: Like Trump, McMahon Is “An Example Of The Murky Boundaries Between Entertainment Mogul And Public Servant.” In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “Donald Trump doesn’t have to look far for an example of the murky boundaries between entertainment mogul and public servant: Linda McMahon, his pick to lead the Small Business Administration.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

McMahon Supported A Lower Corporate Tax Rate That Could Benefit Her Business.  In December 2016 CNBC reported, “In her campaigns, McMahon supported a lower corporate tax rate and a reduction in regulations. Trump has proposed chopping the corporate tax rate to 15 percent from 35 percent and drastically rolling back regulations.”  [CNBC, 12/07/16]

Connecticut Post: McMahon Hasn’t Said If She Well Divest Her Interest In Her Wrestling Company In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “The wrestling matriarch has substantially unwound herself from her stock holdings in WWE, the Stamford-based company she and husband Vince McMahon grew into a global brand. But McMahon hasn’t said whether she will divest her remaining WWE stock or put her investments into a blind trust, as she pledged to do when she ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010 and 2012.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Linda McMahon Personally Owned $84 Million In WWE Stock In December 2016.  In December 2016 Forbes wrote, “The couple cofounded WWE, which now has a market capitalization of $1.5 billion, more than three decades ago. According to WWE's most recent annual report, Linda McMahon personally owns $84 million in WWE stock. She served as CEO from 1997 until 2009, when she stepped down to pursue public office.”  [Forbes, 12/07/16]

Connecticut Post: McMahon’s Position In The Administration Could Be Used To Ease Congressional Scrutiny Of Her Company.  In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “Some of the couple’s detractors wondered whether Linda McMahon’s newfound clout in Trump’s administration could insulate the WWE from congressional prying over a myriad of issues such as concussions, steroid use and net neutrality, the free access of products and content by all online users.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

MCMAHON HAS A HISTORY OF QUESTIONABLE BUSINESS PRACTICES

Connecticut Post: McMahon’s Position In The Administration Could Be Used To Ease Congressional Scrutiny Of Her Company.  In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “Some of the couple’s detractors wondered whether Linda McMahon’s newfound clout in Trump’s administration could insulate the WWE from congressional prying over a myriad of issues such as concussions, steroid use and net neutrality, the free access of products and content by all online users.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Connecticut Post: McMahon Aggressively Pushed Out Small Business Competitors. In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “Others characterized McMahon as a paradoxical figure to lead the SBA, saying that she and Vince built the WWE from a small business while flexing their muscle with mom-and-pop competitors. They pointed out that the World Wrestling Federation, the precursor to the WWE, often snapped up television slots and venues to make it difficult for regional wrestling outfits to compete.  ‘They pretty much steamrolled them,’ said Dave Meltzer, the California-based editor of the Wrestling Observer. “It is a pretty ironic that Linda McMahon is in charge of small business.’”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Linda McMahon Was Alleged To Have Illegally Used The Image Of A Wrestler Who Died In A “Stunt.”  In June 2010 CBS News reported, “The widow of a World Wrestling Entertainment performer who died in a televised 1999 stunt filed a federal lawsuit Tuesday against the Connecticut-based company and its leaders, including Republican U.S. Senate candidate Linda McMahon.  Martha Hart said she learned three months ago that McMahon, who stepped down as WWE chief executive in the fall to run for Senate, and her husband, Vince, the current chairman, for years have used the image of her late husband, Owen Hart, in at least 37 videos and other materials without her knowledge and permission, and despite her objections to his likeness being associated with the pro-wrestling company.”  [CBS News, 06/22/10]

Politifact: Linda McMahon Tipped Off WWE Physician About Steroid Investigation.  In October 2010 Politifact wrote, “In the final week of the race -- which pits Republican McMahon against Democrat Richard Blumenthal -- the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee has begun airing an attack ad that attempts to body-slam McMahon for tipping off a ringside physician about a federal investigation into the illegal distribution of steroids to some of the WWE's wrestlers.”  And, “The ad accuses McMahon of tipping off a ringside physician about a federal investigation into distributing steroids to their wrestlers. How else could one interpret Linda McMahon's direction in the 1989 memo ‘to also clue him (Zahorian) in on any action that the Justice Department is thinking of taking.’  It's also true that a government indictment later alleged that, after getting a call from a Titan employee tipping him off to the investigation, Zahorian tried to hide evidence at his attorney's office.”  [Politifact, 10/27/10]

The Hill: McMahon’s WWE Was Investigated By Congress For “Its Ties To Steroids.”  In December 2009 The Hill wrote, “The WWE isn’t far removed from a congressional investigation into its ties to steroids, and the sport has been marked in recent years by the deaths of a number of its most well-known superstars.”  [The Hill, 12/07/09]

A Congressional Committee Said McMahon And WWE Didn’t Sufficiently Deal With The Steroid Problem.  In December 2009 The Hill wrote, “After the death of Eddie Guerrero in 2005 and the sensational murder-suicide of Chris Benoit in 2007, Rep. Henry Waxman’s (D-Calif.) Oversight and Government Reform Committee began investigating. Waxman sent a letter to the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) early this year calling drug use in professional wrestling ‘pervasive’ and noting that, when the WWE reinstituted testing in 2006, 40 percent of wrestlers tested positive.  Waxman said wrestling companies have not dealt with the problem sufficiently.”  [The Hill, 12/07/09]

Former Employees Said Linda McMahon Had “Blood On Her Hands” In Steroid Problem.  In December 2009 The Hill wrote, “Former wrestlers have also been out front, including, in recent weeks, legends like Bruno Sammartino and Billy Graham.  ‘She may look like a Sunday school teacher,’ Graham told The Hartford Courant. ‘Linda McMahon's hands are as bloody as her husband’s, because she is aware of every move in the ring.’”  [The Hill, 12/07/09]

MCMAHON HAS LONG PERSONAL TIES TO TRUMP

Connecticut Post: Trump And The McMahons Have Long Personal Ties. In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “The McMahons and Trump runs deep, with joint television promotions and a stream of charitable and political contributions since they first met at a Rolling Stones concert.  In 2007, WWE paid Trump $1 million to appear with Vince McMahon, during WrestleMania 23, with Trump putting McMahon in a chokehold and shaving McMahon’s head in the ‘Battle of the Billionaires.’”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

Connecticut Post: The McMahons Were The Biggest Donors To The Donald Trump Foundation. In December 2016 the Connecticut Post wrote, “The alliance was further cultivated by Vince McMahon’s $5 million contribution to Trump’s foundation, making the wrestling impresario its top donor. Linda McMahon gave $7.5 million to a pro-Trump super PAC during the presidential campaign.”  [Connecticut Post, 12/25/16]

McMahon Donated $7 Million To Trump Campaign Operations.  In December 2016 CNN reported, “She's donated $6 million in August and September to Rebuilding America Now, a super PAC that supported Trump's presidential bid. And she gave an additional $1 million in October to another super PAC backing Trump.”  [CNN, 12/09/16]

McMahon Said That She And Trump Were Very Loyal To One Another.  In December 2016 Forbes wrote, “In an interview with the AP in September, Linda McMahon said of Trump: "Once you're his friend, he is loyal to the end. He's an incredibly loyal, loyal friend." That loyalty has paid off for McMahon, who joins a growing list of Trump administration picks with billionaire connections.”  [Forbes, 12/07/16]