A few weeks ago, I predicted that Penny Priztker would fail to be confirmed by the Senate. After all, she was such a weak candidate in 2009 that she withdrew her first nomination as Secretary of Commerce. But with Sen. Mark Kirk’s last-minute announcement of support for Pritzker, her confirmation is now almost a certain bet.
It looks like the fix was in from the beginning. Kirk isn’t just voting for Pritzker; he’s introducing her to the Senate Commerce Committee. Kirk’s stated reasoning for backing her–that she “is willing to take on special interests” is a complete joke. Pritzker is the definition of a “special interest.”
The billionaire heiress not only led a bank–which was purchased partly with federal tax credits to ruin through subprime mortgages, but was later allowed to repay the federal government without interest, leaving less cash to compensate depositors.
She went on to become the national chair of President Barack Obama’s 2008 campaign, helping to raise hundreds of millions of dollars for him. Her nomination is little more than brazen Chicago cronyism.
Kirk is right about many issues, especially on fiscal reform and national defense. But he is 100% wrong on Pritzker. He claims her nomination “will be beneficial to all of Illinois.” Maybe to some.
This post has been updated.