Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp.” But any good surveyor will tell you, when you drain a swamp, the first thing you do is to expose all of the really nasty, slimy shit that was hiding at the bottom. And now, his OMB director, Mick Mulvaney is the latest denizen to slither up out of the muck.
The Daily Beast is reporting that Mulvaney used campaign funds to pay back interest and principal on loans, some personal, that he took out in previous campaigns for state office. He generated the loans, some of which were personal loans he made to his own campaign, to cover interest payments on runs for state office in South Carolina that he lost before being elected to the US House in 2010.
Here’s the breakdown. He borrowed money from banks to finance his unsuccessful campaigns for state Senate. Then, to cover the interest on those loans, he started loaning his campaign personal funds, as well as taking out other bank loans to cover the shortfall in donations. This is something that anybody can relate to. Think of it like going to a payday lender to get money, so you can pay the interest on your credit card before they shut down your account. As The Daily Beast reported, the funny thing is that Trump named Mulvaney to head the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which is designed to help keep lenders from pulling people into these interest traps. Personally, I like a little irony on top of my English muffins in the morning.
So, what Mulvaney did was to take leftover campaign donation booty from his 2016 reelection campaign, and use it to pay off the bank notes on his previous campaigns, including the loans that he had made to himself. I am by no means a campaign finance lawyer, but to me it seems that paying off debt with donations for a campaign that the one that the donations were made to, seems a bit dodgy.
This sad, sordid saga does tend to shine a light on a couple of sticky wickets, especially for
Republicans running in safely gerrymandered districts. Mulvaney used leftover campaign contributions, some from corporate and lobbying interests to his House campaign to pay off his failed Senate runs. This obviously shows that Mulvaney took in at least $32,000 more in donations than he needed to run his reelection campaign. The problem is that none of his four bids for the US House were even close. He won the first two by 10+ points, and the last two by 20+ points. Mulvaney raised far more cash than he needed for his campaigns. And as everybody knows, when a politician has oodles of unspent campaign cash laying around, their first thought is “How can I siphon off a little bit of this for myself?” Half of the $32,000 he repaid on those loans was to himself, loans he made more than seven years ago. Shit, I’d be happy if I could just get back the $50 I lent to my brother 10 years ago, much less $17,000!
The second sticky wicket is the source of those funds in the first place. Remember, Mulvaney is the one who told a banking group that his secretary doesn’t even hit the door buzzer for lobbyists who haven’t feathered his nest. Yet The Daily Beast has also reported that Mulvaney has been spotted cavorting in his west wing office with corporate and lobbyist donors to his previous campaigns. Since “Mick the Dick” is no longer in the House, this gives the possible interpretation that the OMB director is now actively working as a lobbyist to his friends in the House for corporate interests and lobbyists that ponied up for his campaigns.Thanks God Trump drained all of that stinking brackish water, and refilled the hole with sparkling Perrier, huh?
I’ve never been an actual politician, my soul may be Black Irish, but at least I still have one. But I did own a house for more than 20 years, and I have a handy landscaping hint for El Presidente Pendejo. When you go to drain a swamp, most people find it works better if you use a suction pump, and not a freakin’ fire hose! Dumbass.