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November 20, 2008
Penny Pritzker for Commerce Secretary? (Important Update)
It's true that as his Finance Director, Obama probably feels that he owes Penny Pritzker, an early and longtime backer of his, something.But nominating her for Secretary of Commerce seems to be pushing the envelope more than seems prudent. As Lynn Sweet, Chicago reporter and blogger, reported in August of Penny:
Pritzker has spent a good bit of her career fending off criticism about her family and her role in its businesses. U.S. government officials sued the Pritzkers to collect taxes from her grandfather Abram's estate after he died in 1986.
The case centered on hundreds of trust funds Abram had set up in the Caribbean to avoid taxes. In 2001, an Illinois savings and loan that was once headed by Penny collapsed. Some 1,400 depositors are still out about $10 million, says Clinton Krislov, an attorney suing Penny and bank officers on their behalf. That same year, part of her family turned on her when seven brothers and cousins alleged in court documents that she'd enriched herself at their expense.
Update from Clarice Feldman:
Pritzker has taken herself out of the running.
Now if the other putative Obama nominees would only follow suit.
Thomas Lifson adds:
She didn't want the scrutiny. Now she has the ego boost and status symbol, without the hassle of annpoying questions under oath.