Democrats With Past Conflicts of Interest Question Betsy DeVos on Conflicts of Interest

President-elect Donald Trump calls out to the media as he and Betsy DeVos pose for photographs at Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse in Bedminster, N.J., Saturday, Nov. 19, 2016. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

As we get near this week’s confirmation hearings, Democrats are ramping up their efforts to derail many of Trump’s nominees. I’ve written before on the attempts to publicly disqualify Betsy DeVos because of her views on education, but now Democrats are looking to publicly disqualify her for ethical reasons.

The screams of “conflicts of interest” are particularly the loudest from Senator Patty Murray, which is hilarious, given her own potential conflict of interest ethics.

Murray is a frequent recipient of donations from teachers unions – the same unions who also froth at the mouth over the nomination of DeVos as Secretary of Education. Since 1998, Murray has received about $44,000 in donations from the American Federation of Teachers. Since 1996, she’s received around $45,000 from the National Education Association.

Those unions in particular, but virtually all teachers unions, support Democrats financially. If you look at the donations other Democrats criticizing DeVos, you might find that the loudest voices have also received the most money.

Murray was also called out by Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington in 2011. Why? She was the chief fundraiser for Democrats while also serving on the Joint Committee on Deficit Reduction.

CREW particularly noted the problem with Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) serving as the chair of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee — where she is specifically charged with fundraising — while also serving on the super committee.  “Americans need to have confidence that the solutions offered by the super committee represent the best interest of all Americans, not just committee members’ biggest donors,” said CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan.  “While this is an issue for all super committee members, it is more pronounced for Sen. Murray, who is also the chief fundraiser for Senate Democrats.”

The lesson here is that if you’re calling out someone on their conflicts of interest for purely partisan reasons, you had better have a squeaky clean history to back up your holier-than-thou claims. The other lesson is, of course, at if all the right people are pissed about the DeVos nomination, then it must have been the right nomination to make.