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Penny Pritzker’s Financial Disclosure Off $80 Million

Obama and Penny Pritzker

President Obama’s nomination of Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary was already problematic. Pritkzer is the epitome of the 1% – obscenely rich off of inherited wealth, hostile to workers, and someone who has advanced in politics by giving people money. She was a major campaign contributor and fundraiser for Obama which clearly played a role in her being nominated for Commerce Secretary and would have likely lead to her having been nominated sooner for a post if not for her involvement in a protracted labor dispute.

And also like many of the plutocrats in America Pritzker has a lot of tax abnormalities involving offshore accounts. But now Prtizker is under fire for providing a false financial disclosure statement which she has since amended.

Chicago billionaire Penny Pritzker inadvertently understated a portion of her income by at least $80 million in a disclosure form required for her nomination to be U.S. Commerce secretary and has amended the document.

Forms released online last night by the Office of Government Ethics show that Pritzker earned additional income for consulting work on hundreds of trusts, including family trusts, beyond what she disclosed last week. The omission, discovered by Pritzker’s financial advisers, was due to a clerical error, said Susan Anderson, the nominee’s spokeswoman

Not surprisingly Pritzker makes a nice chunk of change “consulting” with other 1%ers.

Documents released last week show Pritzker received $32.2 million for a decade’s worth of consulting on the restructuring of domestic trusts. The filings released yesterday show she earned at least $80 million for that work, according to Bloomberg’s compilation of the data. The revised total is in addition to the amount reported last week, according to Anderson.

Pritzker, whose family founded Hyatt Hotels Corp, is scheduled to testify on her nomination before the Senate Commerce Committee tomorrow. She disclosed last week that she earned $54 million in consulting fees last year for a similar restructuring of trusts based in the Bahamas, also over 10 years. The Bahamas’ income wasn’t changed in the amended disclosure document.

Just what we need in a Commerce Secretary, someone who knows how to help companies offshore their profits to avoid tax liabilities.

Pritzker is being strongly opposed by unions for her actions on the board of directors of her inherited business, Hyatt Hotels. Workers claim the company had unsafe labor practices and are upset by a lack of wages. The Hyatt Hotel union has protested her nomination as organized labor more generally sees this pick as anti-union.

The amended disclosure was offered just in time for Pritkzer’s nomination hearing today before the Senate, 11:00am ET live on C-SPAN 3.

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Dan Wright

Dan Wright

Daniel Wright is a longtime blogger and currently writes for Shadowproof. He lives in New Jersey, by choice.