Elaine Chao Is Filling Up the Swamp

Elaine Chao and friends.Shealah Craighead via ZUMA

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At the Department of Transportation, projects are doled out based on formulas and metrics that treat every state equally. But it turns out that some states are more equal than others. You see, the secretary of transportation, Elaine Chao, is married to Senate Majority Leader Sen. Mitch McConnell, who is running for reelection next year in Kentucky. So she asked her chief of staff to pay special attention to the state’s needs and act as liaison:

Chao’s aide Todd Inman, who stated in an email to McConnell’s Senate office that Chao had personally asked him to serve as an intermediary, helped advise the senator and local Kentucky officials on grants with special significance for McConnell….He also discussed the project by phone with Al Mattingly, the chief executive of Daviess County, which includes Owensboro, who suggested Inman was instrumental in the process.

….“Todd probably smoothed the way, I mean, you know, used his influence,” Mattingly said in a Politico interview….“Well, let’s put it this way: I only have her ear an hour when I go to visit her once a year,” he added of Chao and Inman, a longtime Bluegrass State operative who had worked as McConnell’s advance man. “With a local guy, he has her ear 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You tell me.

“You tell me” indeed. That’s some mighty good swamp draining going on in the Trump cabinet.

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Fact:

In-depth journalism that investigates the powerful takes real money and is so damn important right now.But it doesn’t take a Mother Jones investigation to know that billionaires and corporations will never fund the type of reporting (like they do politicians) we do that exists to help bring about change. Instead, our mission-driven journalism is made possible by people power, and has been for 46 years now since our founding as a non-profit.

In “TITLE TK” Monica Bauerlein writes about the perilous moment we’re in, and why it’s so important that we raise $325,000 by the time November’s midterms are decided so we can be ready to throw everything we have at the big issues facing the nation no matter what happens. Please help MoJo’s people-powered journalism with a donation today.

$400,000 to go!

payment methods

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