This week, Sen. Warren, who recently pressed Department of Health and Human Services nominee Tom Price about what she considers possible financial improprieties, is under fire regarding a $1.3 million line of credit from the Bank of America on her Cambridge home. For two years in a row, the sanctimonious Warren failed to list it on the financial disclosure form all senators complete each year.
Warren’s staff claims that she is not required by law to report it. This may well be true. A loophole seems to permit her non-disclosure
But Warren’s reliance on the loophole strikes a discordant note, given her tough, ethics-centered questioning of President Trump’s Cabinet nominees and her statement in a Washington Post op-ed that “it is critical that each nominee follows basic ethics rules to ensure that they will act for the benefit of all the American people.” Warren argued that financial disclosures are needed to “reveal potentially damaging information that may undermine fitness to serve” and that nominees with “complex financial histories” need to be “forthcoming and transparent.”
Isn’t transparency by U.S. Senators also necessary to ensure that they will act for the benefit of all American people? If not, why not?
Unfortunately, as Colin Reed of American Rising writing in the Boston Herald, observes, “transparency has never been a hallmark of the former Harvard Law School professor.” Indeed, “throughout her political career, she has been dogged by lingering questions about a number of controversies, including her employment status at Harvard, her work as a corporate lawyer and her real estate holdings in Oklahoma.”
Warren also has a history of lack of transparency when it comes to her fancy home. William Jacobson reminds us that when she ran for the Senate in 2012, Warren had a ground rule for reporters allowed into her home — the inside of the house was deemed “off the record” and could not be reported on. Clearly, as Jacobson says, Warren felt she needed to conceal the disconnect between what must be something of a palace and her political persona as a populist who demonizes the rich.
Warren’s recent problems aren’t confined to reports about her line of credit and to buyers’ remorse from those who supported her in 2012 believing that she would reach across the aisle. (Warren claimed she was ready “to work with anyone, and I really do mean that — Democrat, Republican, independent, Libertarian, contrarian, vegetarian, I don’t care”). Even some on the left — the faction with which she almost exclusively has worked with — are disillusioned.
Days after the WBUR poll [the one with the weak approval numbers], Warren. . .tried to score some bipartisan points by announcing her support for Dr. Ben Carson to become the next housing and urban development secretary.
Her supporters were having none of it, and the backlash was swift and unsparing. A headline from the reliably pro-Warren Daily Kos blared, “ ‘The Resistance’ crumbles: Warren Approves Carson.” Hours later, Warren was forced to post a defensive 488-word Facebook explanation attempting to calm her enraged supporters.
It’s even possible that some on the left might be put off by Warren’s failure to disclose her $1.3 million line of credit. Let’s not hold our breath, though.
Hypocrisy and lack of candor are at the core of the Elizabeth Warren story. Many Massachusetts voters seem to be catching on.