Friday, February 08, 2013

Obama Chicago crony alert: Pritzker for Commerce Sec'y?

Occupy Chicago
rally in 2011
Barack Obama may appoint another Chicago crony to his inner circle. Penny Pritzker, the national finance chair of Obama's first presidential campaign, is being considered for the vacant Commerce Secretary job. Pritzker, a billionaire, was a member of the White House Jobs Council, which hadn't met for over a year before Obama killed it.

Oh, the unemployment rate is 7.9 percent.

Obama kept Pritzker in the background during the 2012 campaign.

From the Wall Street Journal:
Some union officials, however, would be unhappy to see her become the nominee. One union, Unite Here, has targeted Ms. Pritzker and her family's Hyatt hotel chain, enlisting the Obama Labor Department in an 18-month investigation of alleged worker-safety violations. The federal probe ended with a finding of no major violations.

Last July, a group of labor leaders, including Obama ally and AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka, joined Unite Here at a news conference in Washington, where Unite Here called for a global boycott of Hyatt Hotels.
Other possible stumbling blocks include the failure in 2001 of Hinsdale, Ill.-based Superior Bank that Ms. Pritzker helped run and in which her family held a 50% stake. Unions also have complained about the Pritzker family's past use of trusts and accounts, some of them located in tax havens. Those arrangements could raise fresh questions given Mr. Obama's focus on targeting such strategies.
I saw many anti-Hyatt protesters at Occupy Chicago rallies as well. If Obama does nominate Pritzker--then he's his political acumen isn't as great as it's assumed to be.

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