CNN doesn’t hold any punches in their latest criticism of Trump administration in a fiery Friday Op-Ed piece.
CNN political commentator Errol Louis unloaded on Trump in a fiery Friday op-ed piece.
Titled: “Trump hires the wedding planner — to oversee NY federal housing program?” Louis blasts Trump for appointing an unqualified individual to head up the federal housing program for New York and New Jersey.
Louis, who also hosts “Inside City Hall,” a nightly political show on NY1, a New York all-news channel, began by calling Trump’s appointee “spectacularly unqualified” for the position:
According to a report in the New York Daily News, Donald Trump has appointed the spectacularly unqualified Lynne Patton to run the Region II office of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which covers New York and New Jersey — thus confirming the Trump administration’s haphazard treatment of the problems facing American cities.
Louis goes on to detail the fact that Patton’s only qualification for the appointed appears to be her long-standing association with the Trump family:
Patton, who has been an event planner and personal aide to members of the Trump family (she planned Eric Trump’s wedding), has no experience in housing or urban development.
[Patton’s] main credential appears to be her years of service to the Trump family. Patton’s online LinkedIn biography describes her job as working for Eric Trump, Donald Trump, Jr. and Ivanka Trump, and “handling all calendar appointments, scheduling, media appearances, travel, expenses, purchases, event coordination, contact/engagements, as well as home & business responsibilities.”
Even worse is the far reaching scope of her duties. As Louis explains:
She will now be tasked with coordinating the flow of billions of federal dollars into New York City, Newark, Trenton and other troubled urban centers. Her portfolio will include the nation’s largest public housing authority, home to more than half a million people, and the country’s largest Section 8 program, which provides subsidies to tens of thousands of low-income renters.
As if all that isn’t bad enough, Louis goes on to detail the fact that there are multiple conflicts of interest associated with her new position.
For instance, as Louis explains: “A recent Forbes investigation revealed that more than $1 million in funds from the Eric Trump Foundation — overseen by Patton — actually ended up in the coffers of the for-profit Trump Organization, which collected inflated fees from the foundation for hosting charitable events at Trump golf courses.”
As Louis points out “There’s also an unrelated conflict issue in how Patton will handle her duty to regulate Spring Creek Towers, a vast, privately-owned complex in Brooklyn with nearly 6,000 apartments that was built with federal help.”
Worse yet, as Louis explains, the conflict of interest reaches Trump himself as “the Trump Organization still owns 4% of Spring Creek Towers, worth an estimated $25 million — and the complex’s ongoing subsidies are regulated by none other than HUD. One wonders what kind of oversight Patton can fairly exercise over the Trump Organization that has employed her for so long.”
Trump ran his campaign on a promise to “drain the swamp” that has engulfed Washington D.C., but Patton’s appointment appears – at best – to be simply draining one swamp to replace it with another. Time will tell.