We are now seeing just why Republicans have been so worried about having ethics watchdogs hanging over their heads. Now, I am fully aware that there are some Democrats who follow the same lack of ethics in office, but it is the Republicans who are trying to do away with the ethics groups in government.
Rep. Chavetz and the incoming administration’s Cabinet Picks are showing why getting rid of ethics watchdogs are so important. They don’t have any ethics and they are damned proud of that fact.
First we have Chaffetz who has been screaming at the top of his lunges that OGE Director Shaub “blew off a meeting with him” in December. Problem, emails that were released yesterday through the Freedom of Information Act, proves beyond a reasonable doubt, that it was in fact Chavetz who blew off the meeting.
Those emails were not just from the OGE, but from Chaffetz’ office as well. In the last one, Chaffetz own person told Shaub that Mr. Chaffetz was backlogged and was trying to “get home” which is why he missed the meeting.
This unethical, lying buffoon is the chairman of the House Oversight Committee to top it all off. Instead of threatening to close the OGE because Chaffetz didn’t like Shaub’s comments about Trump’s non-divestment from his businesses, they should look at shutting down the Oversight Committee. Or, at the very least replace this liar from his chair on the committee.
Then we have the case of Wilbur Ross who is the nominee to head up the Commerce Department. He came out and said that last month he fired a household employee because that person couldn’t produce a valid driver’s license and Social Security Card. He claims that he did produce what appeared to be the same documents when he hired him.
He is saying that he “unknowingly” hired an undocumented immigrant. Of course, if he had used E-Verify, he would have discovered the discrepancy when he hired the person in the first place. When other nominees had similar problems, Republicans said at the time that ignorance was no excuse and they pulled their names from nomination. Not so for Ross. He is being given a pass.
There is the nomination to head up the Budget Office, Mick Mulvaney who did not pay employer taxes for his employees for years. The final bill was over $15,000. Again, when other nominees were found out doing the exact same thing, they were disqualified. Republicans don’t think this is a big deal for Mulvaney.
Then, of course, is Tom Price. He is the nominee to head up Health and Human Services. His problems come from stocks. Seems Mr. Price purchased stocks just before he introduced legislation that would help that company’s stock prices rise.
You can quibble about how much money was involved in that one deal or the many other stock purchases he made. The real question comes in when you look at what he was and what extra jobs he had.
When this first came out a few days ago, the Trump team put out a statement that read:
Dr. Price’s Morgan Stanley financial advisor designed his portfolio and directed all trades in the account. Pursuant to the arrangement with Morgan Stanley, the financial advisor, and not Dr. Price, has the discretion to decide which securities to buy and sell in his account.
Here we go again with another lie. During his testimony, Price admitted that Morgan Stanley’s financial advisor was told by him to purchase the stock and did not do so on their own. The company in question makes hip replacement parts. Exactly six days after purchasing the stock, Price introduced legislation that would eliminate regulations on that particular industry. Can you say “conflict of interest?”
It turns out that Price has a lot of medical company stocks. At first glance, the idea of a doctor purchasing medical equipment stock may not seem all that horrible. But, this is also a man who served on a committee that was responsible to regulate the health care industry. Additionally, even if he wasn’t on that committee, he would have to vote on legislation affecting his stock.
Senator Murray questioned Price on whether he thought it was appropriate for members of Congress to be trading stocks that could benefit from legislation under consideration, adding that the 21st Century Cures Act had numerous provisions that would benefit Innate Immunotherapeutics, the company Price purchased his stocks in after Rep. Collins told him about the company. Collins was a board member of the company at the time.
“Do you believe it is appropriate for a senior member of Congress actively involved in policy making in the health sector to repeatedly personally invest in a drug company that could benefit from those actions?” Murray asked. “Yes or no?”
“That’s not what happened,” Price said. Sorry doctor, that is exactly what happened. Why didn’t you divest your health industry stocks to avoid any possible conflicts of interest? Because you wanted to be able to influence your stock’s worth with laws and lack of regulations that you personally introduced. In other words, you are a crook.
As I said, ethics hold no meaning for these people. They are even proud of the fact they have no ethics. So much so that they want to kill all of the ethical watchdogs in Washington that could call them out for their actions.
The amount of money involved is neither here or there. The simple fact that a sitting member of congress is willing to take advantage of their position for any personal gain is repugnant at best, and criminal at worst.
These aren’t the only people nominated by Trump with potential ethical problems. Don’t forget Mr. Mnunchin who ran a bank known as the “foreclosure machine”. He once foreclosed on a home for an elderly lady over 24 cents. And, Trump wants him to be the Treasury secretary.
Trump has promised to “drain the swamp”. If this is his idea of draining the swamp, please stop. After screaming about the evils of Goldman Sachs, he has placed six Goldman Sachs executives into his administration.
He has offered up the most unethical cabinet nominees in a very long time if not history. There is the real possibility that we are going to see a whole host of “Teapot Dome” scandals follow his administration if these people are confirmed. And, with Republican repugnance to ethics on full display, they most surely will get confirmed.
By the time Trump takes his oath of office tomorrow, he won’t be able to walk down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House without wading boots. The swamp is overflowing right into the heart of our capital.
This is what happens when “businessmen” are selected to run the country. The only thing they are interested in is running more money into their own pockets. Take for example the Facebook ad that says Trump wants to invite you to the inauguration for “free”.
It is a scam to raise money. If you click on the RSVP button, you don’t get an RSVP response, you are taken to a page where you can buy a Commerative Inauguration License Plate for $30. If you want to go to the inauguration, you can go for free anyway.
Raising money for the inauguration is fine as long as you are up front about it and not trying to scam the people. This is an open and blatant scam to raise money, but we don’t know where exactly that money is headed. Another con from the conman!
Money in politics is very bad as we can see. But, it isn’t just the money in contributions to campaigns, it is the money these scoundrels make everyday right under our noses because of their “secrecy” protections.
But don’t worry, Trump has promised us more “military parades” so you don’t have to think about their lack of ethics. You can be proud of the military parades just like they are in Russia and other authoritarian countries around the world.