TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY CHAO: MAKING THE SWAMP DEEPER
CHAO SAYS IT HERSELF: SHE TRIES NOT TO COME TO KENTUCKY EMPTY-HANDED
Chao has used her position as Secretary of Transportation to benefit Kentucky while her husband, Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, prepares for a tough re-election. Under her leadership, Department of Transportation spending in Kentucky increased by more than $11 million, more than a 400 percent increase from the final year of the Obama Administration. She said it herself – she tries not to come to Kentucky empty-handed.
Chao favors her family when it comes to Transportation projects, raising ethical flags. Chao’s DOT put a major maritime office in landlocked Paducah, KY – a small town of about 25,000 residents. And she isn’t shy about her favoritism toward Kentucky – she brags about bringing home the bacon. Chao even promoted her father and his shipping company under the DOT and U.S. flags, raising concerns.
Chao spent almost $100,000 in taxpayer money on private jets. Perhaps coincidentally, Chao stopped her use of private jets just a month before Secretary Tom Price resigned after facing criticism for chartering private flights on the taxpayer’s dime.
Tell Secretary Chao to stop putting Kentucky and personal politics above us
READ THE HEADLINES:
Politico: Emails reveal coordination between Chao, McConnell offices
TPM: Chao Met With KY Politicians, Officials At Least 10 Times After McConnell Requests
Daily Beast: Emails Expose Coordination Between Mitch McConnell and His Wife, Elaine Chao
Politico: Records: Chao government flights cost $94K
The Hill: Chao’s appearances with father raise ethical concerns: report
SplinterNews: Classic Grifts Are Alive and Well in D.C.
Our research has found:
- The value of contracts going to Kentucky contractors jumped more than 421 percent during Chao’s first year as Secretary of Transportation compared with the year before Chao took over.
- By 2018, the value of contracts paid to Kentucky based contractors had jumped twelve times, a 1,262 percent increase compared to the final year before Chao took over.
- In 2018, the Department of Transportation spent nearly $14 million on projects located in Kentucky. This is an over $11 million increase from the final year of the Obama Administration, and more than $3 million more than any other point in the last decade.
- The number of Kentucky based contractors jumped more than 185 percent during her first year as Secretary of Transportation compared with the prior year.
- By 2018, the number of Kentucky based contractors more than doubled compared with the year before Chao took over.
- The number of contracts performed in Kentucky jumped 220-percent, from 2016 to 2017, and from 2016 to 2018, 353-percent.