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Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Carson and Unsuccessful Cabinet Nominations

The Senate lists rejected and withdrawn Cabinet nominations.  At the bottom of this page are the seven that have failed during the past 30 years, and I add the reasons for the failure.  All involved questions of about ethics or personal misconduct.  (Kerik later went to prison on other charges.)

In this light, the greatest danger to Ben Carson's nomination as HUD secretary is not his total lack of experience, but his dubious friendships and business connections.

In January 2015, National Review's Jim Geraghty raised questions about his ties to Mannaatech,a nutritional supplement company.

In November 2015, Michael Biesecker and Eileen Sullivan reported at AP:
Ben Carson has called for harsh criminal penalties for health care fraud, but the Republican presidential candidate and his wife also have kept millions invested with a close friend who admitted defrauding insurance companies, according to an Associated Press review.

Pittsburgh dentist Alfonso A. Costa pleaded guilty to a felony count of health care fraud after an FBI probe into his oral surgery practice found he had charged for procedures he never performed, according to court records.

Though the crime carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in federal prison, Costa was sentenced to house arrest and probation after Carson helped petition a federal judge on behalf of the man he described as "one my closest, if not my very closest friend."
In February of this year, David A. Graham reported at The Atlantic:
For months, reporters and political operatives (including me) have been pointing out that Ben Carson’s campaign bears many of the hallmarks of a political scam operation. Now Carson seems to agree. On CNN on Tuesday, Carson discussed his year-end staff shake-up:

“We had people who didn't really seem to understand finances," a laughing Carson told CNN's Poppy Harlow on "CNN Newsroom," adding, "or maybe they did—maybe they were doing it on purpose."
It’s a remarkable statement—especially because he’s so blithe about it.
Carson has taken in incredible amounts of money during the race. His campaign has raised more than any other Republican presidential rival, though they’ve raised more when super PACs are included. But he’s also spent more than any of them, so that despite his prolific fundraising, he has barely $4 million in cash on hand.
Name: John G. Tower
Nominated by: George Bush
Nomination Position: Defense
Date Nominated: January 20, 1989
Date Rejected: March 9, 1989 Vote: 47-53
Reasons: drinking, conduct toward women, financial conflicts 

Name: Zoe E. Baird
Nominated by: William J. Clinton
Nomination Position: Attorney General
Date Nominated: January 21, 1993
Date Withdrawn: January 26, 1993
Reason:  Undocumented household employee
Name: Anthony Lake
Nominated by: William J. Clinton
Nomination Position: Director, CIA
Date Nominated: January 9, 1997
Date Withdrawn: April 18, 1997
Reasons: policy disputes, financial issues
Name: Hershel W. Gober
Nominated by: William J. Clinton
Nomination Position: Veterans Affairs
Date Nominated: July 31, 1997
Date Withdrawn: October 27, 1997
Reason: sexual misconduct allegations
Name: Linda Chavez
Nominated by: George W. Bush
Nomination Position: Labor
Date Nominated: January 3, 2001
Date Withdrawn: January 9, 2001
Reason: undocumented household employee
Name: Bernard Kerik
Nominated by: George W. Bush
Nomination Position: Homeland Security
Date Nominated: December 2, 2004
Date Withdrawn: December 10, 2004
Reason:  undocumented household employee
Name: Tom Daschle
Nominated by: Barack Obama
Nomination Position: Secretary of Health & Human Services
Date Nominated: December 11, 2008
Date Withdrawn: February 9, 2009
Reason: tax issues