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
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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.