Prior to Tuesday’s Senate confirmation of Penny Pritzker as Secretary of Commerce, Politico asked “On Pritzker, where is the outrage?” Given bipartisan opposition from the public, along with Pritzker’s crony business history, it’s a good question.
Media outlets both liberal and conservative and ranging from Daily Kos, the New York Times, the Washington Times, Breitbart News, and others have covered Pritzker’s failure in the sub-prime lending business at the helm of her families Superior Bank of Illinois. Her tax-dodging offshore investments, the loud opposition from big labor to her nomination over her position on the board of her family’s Hyatt Hotel chain, and even under-reporting as much as $80 million of income from her offshore investments on a disclosure form, required as part of her nomination process, have also all been points of contention to her nomination.
During her confirmation hearing, however, Republicans and Democrats alike bent over backwards to ensure she sailed through the process unscathed. With abundant reports of all the reasons why Pritzker might not be the right person for the job, only Senator John Thune made a mild mention of the families, including veterans and senior citizens, who are still out more than $10 million of their life savings due to Superior Bank’s failure under her leadership.
After president Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, which made broad use of us-versus-them, anti-fat cat rhetoric, where was the outrage over his choice for commerce secretary from his fellow Democrats? Pritzker, who bundled millions of dollars for the president, would have been hard to beat in the category of “special-interest fat cat.”
Politico, who also published an op-ed subsequent to her nomination in May titled “Penny Pritzker Is the Right Choice for Commerce,” seems a little late to the party in waiting until the day of the Senate’s vote to confirm Pritzker to address these issues.