Opinion: Nepotism - The Game The Whole Family Can Play

20 October 2019  
Identifying Swamp members.

Wanted: Well connected sibling, off-spring or other close relative to powerful elected officials. Short work hours/good pay. Name recognition of relative a major plus. No education, training or ethics required. Any trace of integrity is disqualifying.

The above want ad for a “swamp” job, although tongue in cheek, is illustrative of what is happening in the real world, thanks to the corruption which is endemic in our body politic. The most current example is that which surrounds former Vice President Biden and his son Hunter. While VP, Joe was also appointed by the White House as point man to the Ukraine. His job was to encourage that country to increase its natural gas production which he did. Suddenly, VP Biden's son, Hunter gets a job as a board member on the largest natural gas company in the Ukraine earning $50,000 or $80,000 a month,(depending on which report you read), for his five year appointment. No experience or education in the natural gas field, but a ton of name recognition.

Then a few days after he flew for 12 hours on Air Force II with his dad to China, Hunter's newly formed investment firm is awarded $1.5 billion by a Chinese company. Whether the offer and acceptance of these two “jobs” by Hunter are illegal or not, certainly needs further investigation. It certainly has the appearance of impropriety, conflict of interest, and a lack of moral principle. Now that the public knows, this also look like the political suicide of Joe Biden.

If these were the only examples of nepotistic conduct, we could consider ourselves lucky. Unfortunately, they seem to be one of the perks of political office, especially at the federal level. In 2014, shortly after her mother left the Obama Administration as Secretary of State, Chelsea Clinton was hired by NBC to do “feel good” stories. She was paid $600,000 a year to start which was about five or six times what NBC paid their usual neophyte reporters. The Jewish Voice on 5/3/19, reported that in 2018, Chelsea Clinton, was paid $600,000 as a director of two boards for companies IAC and Expedia. The daughter of Bill and Hilary Clinton, Chelsea, received all of this money for attending the board meetings. Expedia met six times in 2018 and IAC also met six times.

Maxine Waters' daughter, Karen, operated a consulting firm called Progressive Connections which sent out slate mailers for candidates that paid her firm large amounts of money. Another firm run by Karen Waters was “L.A. Vote”. From 1996 to 2004 alone, L.A. Vote collected $ 1.7 million from local candidates and of that amount $450,000 went to Progressive Connections for management fees according to the LA Times in 2004. In her defense it seems like Karen Waters at least had to do some work to earn her excessive money.

Nancy Pelosi's husband is Paul Pelosi. He owns and operates a real estate and venture capital investment firm, Financial Leasing Services, based in San Francisco, California. The TV news program 60 Minutes did an expose on Paul and Nancy in 2011. They participated in initial public offerings, (IPO's), while having insider information. According to 60 Minutes, the Pelosis participated in eight of these IPO's. One was the IPO for Visa while at the same time Congress was considering regulations on the credit card companies. This was not illegal at the time, but does anyone without a felony conviction consider it ethical? Although Paul Pelosi's net worth is not known, Nancy's in 2014 was estimated to be between $43 million and $202 million in total assets. I don't know how much of the couple's wealth was made as a result of insider trading, but every little bit helps.

I won't even go into former Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and how he and his family's wealth increased exponentially since he got into state and federal politics. Just because all of the above are family members of Democrats, don't get the idea the Republicans are squeaky clean in this area. It's just that the lowest hanging fruit is the easiest to pick. It doesn't really matter.

The Swamp needs to be cleaned out and the only way to do that is to expose those of either party who use their offices to enrich themselves and/or their family and friends. Once these acts are brought into the sunlight, those that are illegal need to be prosecuted and sent to jail for long prison terms. The rest of these very questionable dealings need to be exposed to the public so they can decide if they are unethical enough to vote the Swamp Creatures who were involved out of office.



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Lynne LaMaster

Lynne LaMaster is the Founder and Editor of the eNewsAZ Network of websites. She asks a lot of questions! In her spare time, she loves photography, cooking and hanging out with her family.