John Spezia: Swamp needs to be drained |

John Spezia: Swamp needs to be drained

During our last presidential election, you may have heard the phrase, “drain the swamp.” The Cabinet and other important positions were filled by the following list of nominees. After reading a bit of their history, one might come to the conclusion that the swamp is not drained but overflowing with the same old corporate creatures that were supposed to be gone. In other words, corporate America first.

Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his career as the head of Exxon Mobil and made big oil deals with Russia.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has corporate connections with Lockheed Martin and the finance, insurance and real estate industries.

Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross is a billionaire whose firm has profited from buying distressed companies and cutting workers benefits. He has corporate connections with WL Ross & Co., which acquires majority stake in distressed companies through purchases and/or buyouts and was fined $2.3 million for overcharging fees to investors.

Defense Secretary James Mattis has served on the board of General Dynamics, a multinational military contractor.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has corporate connections with Amway and Windquest, a private equity firm, and her husband is an heir to the Amway fortune, which makes her a billionaire.

Energy Secretary Rick Perry has corporate connections with Energy Transfer and Waste Control Specialists, a treatment, storage and disposal company dealing in radioactive, hazardous and mixed wastes. This corporation donated millions of dollars to Perry.

Former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has corporate connections with Devon Energy, fossil fuel companies and as Oklahoma attorney general challenged the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in court for decades. His replacement is a former coal executive.

Health Secretary Alex Azar has corporate connections with Eli Lilly pharmaceutical firm.

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson has corporate connections to Costco, Kellogg companies and purchased a $31,000 desk for his office at taxpayers expense.

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao has corporate connections with Foremost Group, News Corporation and served on the board of directors of Wells Fargo during the cross-selling scandal.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has corporate connections with CIT Bank Group, One West, the investment banking industry and economy-wrecking and foreclosure-inducing Wall Street, and he helped run Goldman Sachs, which was accused of deceitful foreclosure practices.

Mick Mulvaney, who is office of management and budget director and interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, has corporate connections with Koch Industries, World Acceptance, Paulson & Co. and believes that the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has overreached in its protection of consumer rights.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has corporate connections with Koch Industries.

Gary Cohn, head of the National Economic Council, is a former Goldman Sachs executive and led them as they profited from the housing market collapse by misleading their own clients.

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke has corporate connections with Oasis Petroleum. Zinke does not acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is the dominant cause of climate change. Zinke recommended that Trump shrink a number of national monuments so they could be opened to oil, gas and mineral exploration.

Let your voice be heard by joining the “Stand For Our Land” rally at 5:30 p.m. Aug. 10 on the Routt County Courthouse lawn.

And do not forget many of the Cabinet nominees who were turned away by both parties because of their questionable character and experience. For a long, inclusive list, visit

What can you do? Call Rep. Scott Tipton, who supported most of these nominees, at 202-225-4761. Keep a copy of this article, and when these swamp creatures’ biased actions are in conflict with what is best for your community, let them know it’s the American people first, not corporations.

John Spezia

Steamboat Springs

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