Ben Carson‘s failure as the secretary of Department of Housing and Urban Development is in full bloom. HUD is under two investigations — one for his family’s involvement at HUD and the other for lavish spending on office renovations (nearly $200,000). However, there is another angle: his 64-year-old wife Candy Carson.
Candy Carson has been reportedly way too involved with HUD since her husband became the secretary. CNN.com reports she pushed for her son to meet with at least one Cabinet-level official. Apparently, the powers that be listened, with CNN reporting, “In May 2017, Sheila Greenwood, Carson’s chief of staff, reached out to another HUD staffer regarding a meeting between Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao and Carson Jr., a meeting suggested by Candy Carson. Greenwood gave the HUD staffer the email address of Chao’s chief of staff, saying that the person ‘would be able to connect BJ and the Secretary should you choose to pursue.'”
In addition, the NYT claimed in late 2017, just after HUD announced plans to slash funding for the homeless, elderly and poor, Candy Carson insisted on a lavish office redecoration. “A top agency staff member filed a whistle-blower complaint charging Mr. Carson’s wife, Candy Carson, with pressuring department officials to find money for the expensive redecoration of his offices, even if it meant circumventing the law.” Helen Foster, the staff member who filed the complaint, was allegedly told by acting secretary Craig Clemmensen to “find money” because “$5000 will not even buy a decent chair.”
Candy Carson also appears to be a master at schmoozing with the public — much better than her husband. TIME.com reported that Ben Carson, Jr. was involved in organizing a listening tour in Baltimore last year, even though there were warnings from department lawyers that it could violate federal ethics rules and, “In the course of reporting a magazine story on Carson for TIME, I shadowed him that day in Baltimore last June. Ben Jr. and his wife were there, along with Candy — as Carson studiously inquired about lead remediation on home tours, Candy chatted with the residents, cooed over their children, complimented house plants (‘I like your ficus!’) and generally engaged in the political schmoozing that never seemed to come as naturally to her husband.” Political schmoozing? Candy appears to be more involved in government work than Melania Trump.
Considering the investigations, there is some serious questionable behavior from Carson’s wife and son. Who knows if either of them have political aspirations, but from giving orders at HUD to insisting on her son meeting with one Cabinet-level official to “political schmoozing,” maybe Candy Carson wants to be the next Sarah Palin. Clearly this is pure speculation, but these types of questions arise when your family is too involved in your work and you are possibly violating federal ethics rules.
Welp, this is the Trump administration and nepotism is real. Ivanka Trump has an office in the West Wing!