November 30, 2016

Even the Transportation Secretary to be is a big conflict of interest

Alternet - President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Elaine Chao as his transportation secretary. Chao served as secretary of labor, from 2001 to 2009, under President George W. Bush. She's also the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

The appointment of Chao to this position is striking for at least one major reason: her family owns a major international shipping company. Chao's father, Dr. James Chao, is the chairman of The Foremost Group which he founded in 1964. Elaine Chao's sister Angela, is currently the deputy chairman of the company. Chao's father began donating to McConnell in the eighties. In 2008 he gave Chao and McConnell between $5 million and $25 million, giving a huge boost to McConnell's personal worth.

The firm..leaves a faint online trace. Foremost’s website is blank. Records and court documents obtained by The Nation show that the ownership of the company’s vessels—with names such as Ping May, Soya May, Fu May and Grain May—is obscured through a byzantine structure of tax entities.

A 2014 report from the Louisville Courant revealed that Chao registers his ships in Liberia to avoid paying taxes in the United States.

One of the agencies under control of the Transportation Department is the United States Maritime Administration.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If only you were this vigilant exposing these kind of conflicts across the aisle. Dianne Feinstein and her husband Richard Blum immediately pop into mind. What of the conflicts that relationship presents with Blum's company's interest in purchase of government properties, investments in defense industry, etc.?
Our government is rife with corruption and the Democrats have no moral edge over the Republicans. It is insane to continue with this pretense of Trump being so much worse. Trump's biggest offense is his failure to mask who he is, unlike that political chameleon, Clinton.
Sam, think about actually offering something 'progressive' in your Progressive Review beyond the Democratic polemics.
How about journalism for a refreshing change?