May 16, 2016

New HUD Policy Raises Question If Julián Castro Is Letting Politics Affect Government Policy

It’s been obvious for a while now that HUD Secretary Julián Castro wants to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate. Yet Castro’s audition process has not gone smoothly. Making matters worse for Castro’s prospects, liberal groups launched a “preemptive strike… aimed at disqualifying him from consideration to be Hillary Clinton’s running mate” in April.

The coalition’s aim to “discredit” Castro as a progressive is especially pertinent for Clinton because her primary against socialist Bernie Sanders has caused many progressives to grow distrustful of the former Secretary of State.

And just this morning, Politico reported that Castro is attempting to mollify those angry progressives, and is opening the HUD Secretary up to questions over whether he’s potentially abusing his power as a Cabinet Secretary to do it:

“Targeted by progressive activists hoping to kill his chances of being Hillary Clinton’s running mate, Julián Castro is set this week to announce changes to a hot-button Housing and Urban Development program to sell bad mortgages on its books. The changes, which HUD officials will brief stakeholders and activists on during a conference call on Monday, could be made public as early as Tuesday — depending on when department lawyers give the green light to publishing them in the Federal Register.”

As Politico reports, Castro’s move is aimed at defusing the major issue progressives have with him:

“Castro’s actions could potentially defuse an issue that activists have been using to question his progressive credentials — and he’ll be doing it at the moment the running mate search has begun to get serious at Clinton campaign headquarters.”

Even more suspiciously, HUD’s announcement comes just before progressive activists were planning “a full offensive” against Castro:

“With the backdrop of a Democratic Party recalibrated by Bernie Sanders’ surprisingly strong candidacy, activists were preparing a full offensive against Castro this week, looking to leverage his political ambitions against him to extract major concessions.”

One of Hillary Clinton’s biggest liabilities is the feeling among the American people that she has used government service to personally benefit herself. While Castro might be happy that he’s solved this problem, a Clinton-Castro ticket would now carry even more serious liabilities now.