On Tuesday, the Senate confirmed Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker as Commerce Secretary in a baffling 97-1 sweep.
Why was she so easily confirmed?
Read on…and we'd love to hear your comments below.
Pritzker is a longtime friend of President Obama and steered his record-setting fundraising committee in 2008.
The Hyatt Hotel heiress and businesswoman is one of the wealthiest members of a presidential cabinet in history. She's part of the Washington elite, who live by their own rules, and taxpayers end up paying for their mistakes.
These 4 examples of our new Commerce Secretary's bad track record speak for themselves:
#1: Understated income by $80 million
This week, Pritzker acknowledged she understated her income by at least $80 million in the disclosure form required for her nomination.
The Office of Government Ethics released forms online showing the omission.
Pritzker's secretary stated the $80 million omission was a "clerical error."
#2: Perpetrator of the predatory loan racket that caused our economic collapse
President Obama addressed a Reading, Pa. crowd while campaigning back in 2008:
"Part of the reason we got a current mortgage crisis has to do with the fact that people got suckered into loans they could not pay. There were a lot of predatory loans that were given out, a lot of teaser rates. Banks and financial institutions making these loans were making money hand over fist."
I guess Obama doesn't have a problem with the people who did the suckering…
Penny Pritzker and her family co-owned Superior Bank FSB in Chicago. She pushed it to expand into subprime mortgages, which it did.
In 1999, regulators discovered that the Superior Bank was not properly accounting for exposures to bad loans.
This resulted in capital deficiency and caused the bank's ultimate failure in 2001, wiping out shareholders' money. It then received a FDIC bailout.
Superior Bank's predatory subprime lending ended up being the model used by perpetrators that contributed to the housing crash and financial crisis of 2008.
#3: Takes full advantage of tax loopholes
Obama has said time and time again that every single American, no matter how rich, should pay their "fair share" of taxes.
Well that's interesting, because his new billionaire Commerce Secretary and her family are infamous tax avoiders.
"One of the primary ways the Pritzker family uses offshore trusts to avoid taxes is by having income from their businesses funneled into offshore trusts. Those trusts then pay debt service to a bank, owned by the family trust, that loans that money right back to the business. The upshot is that all the taxable profits disappear and the family wealth accumulates unabated."
Regarding Pritzker herself, CTJ states that while her involvement with her family's tax avoidance legacy is unclear, it is clear Pritzker actively uses tax avoidance strategies in her personal and private life, including helping Hyatt avoid property taxes.
Now, I will clarify that Pritzker's actions here are legal – she is simply taking advantage of our broken U.S. tax code; that being said, it speaks to her character, especially in light of these other infractions.
No, the real issue here is blatant hypocrisy – Obama expects the citizens of this country to live by a different set of rules than he and his cronies.
#4: Employs abusive labor practices
The Pritzker family's Hyatt Corp. has been entangled with Unite Here, a hospitality workers union, in an ugly contract dispute.
Unite Here accuses Hyatt of subjecting workers to "abuse and mistreatment," sexism, retaliatory firing, and "crushing workloads."
The AFL-CIO, the largest labor union in the country, joined in with Unite Here in 2012. The move granted the accusations significant credibility and visibility.
Now, let me restate that Pritzker got through the Senate in a sweeping 97-1 vote. Republicans put up no fight.
Conservatives have shown ZERO interest in scapegoating Pritzker's business practices, extreme wealth, or questionable infractions.
Penny Pritzker isn’t the only bad actor Obama put in the White House. Check out who else is abusing power in Washington…