The brazen corruption and unrepentant conflicts of interest that are running rampant in the Trump administration aren’t limited to Trump and his family, Scott Pruitt and Ryan Zinke. We need to start talking about Wilbur Ross too.
Wilbur Ross promised to divest when he was appointed Commerce Secretary. The need for this promise is obvious. The Commerce Secretary has tremendous power over U.S. trade, with the ability to shift priorities and advantage certain business sectors through the policies he embraces and advances. He leads negotiations, giving him a critical role in deciding whether particular companies will benefit or suffer from government policy. And as this article details, we now know that Ross didn’t really divest from many of the businesses that will be impacted by his decisions as Commerce Secretary. He simply shifted his interests to his kids. Now they own Ross’s interests in the shipping businesses whose fortunes are tied to ongoing trade with Russia and China, the notoriously unlawful Bank of Cyprus, and a car parts giant whose fortunes will rise or fall with Ross’s negotiations surrounding the automotive industry. Ross will decide how much his children win or lose through his negotiations, and be in a position to warn them in advance if one of his decisions may impact their fortunes. And as this Forbes article discusses, he’s already made decisions that benefit the companies his children now hold.
Tom McClintock ignores this unrepentant corruption and the glaring conflicts of interest, refusing to do his job in our checks-and-balances system of government. This is one of the many reasons we oppose Tom McClintock. California’s Fourth District, and this country, deserve better.