Chao Met With Paducah Officials, Flaunting Kentucky Favoritism That Benefits McConnell

This week, Chao met with Paducah officials about federal funding and bragged about her favoritism for the small town

WASHINGTON — On Thursday, Transportation Secretary Chao personally welcomed a delegation to DC from Paducah, KY seeking a competitive DOT grant, continuing a pattern of Chao showing favor to her husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Chao even took the opportunity to brag about what her Department has done for Paducah. Chao’s meeting with the delegation comes after a series of reports show Chao’s favoritism toward her husband’s political targets and her bias toward her husband’s home state. 

“Chao isn’t even trying to hide her favoritism toward Kentucky projects, inevitably helping her husband’s political capital and reelection chances,” said Lizzy Price, Director of Restore Public Trust. “Chao has a clear track record of favoring Paducah and other Kentucky towns. While other cities would no doubt love to speak with Secretary Chao about their own projects, she is using her position to lift up Kentucky, helping her husband’s reelection chances. 

“The corruption charges against her should be fully investigated by the Transportation Inspector General and scrutinized thoroughly through a Congressional investigation.”

Chao has used her position to award millions of grant dollars to Kentucky contractors and projects, touting her work to bring federal dollars back to Kentucky, stating she will “try not to come” to Kentucky “empty-handed.” Chao’s office created a path through a special liaison at DOT for McConnell’s Kentucky interest projects. She even guided major DOT projects to Paducah, Kentucky in an effort to boost the political career of her husband (raising questions about Hatch Act violations) and turning the small town of Paducah into her own personal swamp.

Background:

Chao Personally Welcomed A Delegation With The Paducah Area Chamber Of Commerce, Who Were In DC To Secure Federal Support For Local Projects. “A delegation with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce is in Washington, D.C., this week on its annual visit to get federal support for local projects. Those projects include money for Paducah riverfront and riverport improvements. At the DOT on Thursday, local leaders emphasized their request for support. The chamber delegation arrived to the department of transportation today with a big ask: Roughly $15 million for improvements to the Paducah riverfront and money for a container transfer yard at the riverport. It’s all wrapped together into what’s called a B.U.I.L.D. grant. Chao surprised the group and welcomed the west Kentucky contingent.” [WPSD, 9/12/19] (VIDEO)

Chao Met With The Paducah Delegation One-On-One In DC, Saying She Loved The Paducah Area And Touting Grants Made To Kentucky. “A delegation with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce is in Washington, D.C., this week on its annual visit to get federal support for local projects. […] Chao surprised the group and welcomed the west Kentucky contingent. Later, one on one, she said the grant application process is competitive, and, she loves the entire Paducah riverfront area. ‘But there are real infrastructure needs as well, so, we’ve been very responsive,’ Chao said. ‘We’ve given shipyard grants. We have additional small shipyard improvement grants that are coming along, and so we want to work with communities that are nestled right next to ports or have ports.’ But other cities are looking for the same funding support. That’s why it goes a long way to shake hands and meet face to face with the people making the decisions.” [WPSD, 9/12/19] (VIDEO)

Press Release

Elaine Chao

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