May 22, 2017

Questions Mount About Elizabeth Warren’s Lack of Transparency

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) has long had a take it or leave it relationship with transparency. She wants the world to be transparent yet increasingly, on issues like her mysterious seven figure line of credit, Warren does not apply to same standard to herself. Two stories today about Warren highlight this growing and disturbing trend.

First, last week Warren’s personal financial disclosure showed that she received a $200,000 advance for her latest snoozer of a book. What her financial disclosure didn’t show though was whether she had kept her promise to donate part of the money to food banks in Massachusetts. This afternoon Warren’s Senate office refused to answer the Boston Globe’s questions on the subject:

“A Warren spokeswoman declined to comment on whether the $200,000 reflected in the financial disclosure statement was part of a larger sum or the entire advance. She also did not say whether the senator has started fulfilling her pledge to donate a portion of her earnings on the book to several Massachusetts-based food banks.”

Similarly, Warren has had a capricious relationship with money in politics lately. As Time noted, Warren has been happy to hammer former President Barack Obama’s big money speeches, yet was oddly muted when asked about Hillary Clinton’s new “dark money” group:

“Warren has sometimes had a complicated relationship with those in her own party, particularly when it comes to money. She has strongly criticized the influence of super-PACs and ‘dark money’ groups that do not need to disclose their donors. Last month, she said that she was ‘troubled’ that former President Obama would receive $400,000 for a speech later this year investment firm in New York. But Hillary Clinton’s new political group, ‘Onward Together,’ which is structured so it does not have to reveal its donors, may not face her ire. ‘I have just now seen it, so I don’t know anything yet about the details,’ she told me when I asked her about it — though she had tweeted positively of Clinton’s group days earlier.”

Elizabeth Warren’s hypocrisy is a major reason why her poll numbers back home continue to decline. As these two stories show, the more Warren positions herself for 2020, the worse her prospects become for next year.