Elaine Chao

Secretary of Transportation

  • 2005-2007 The Government Accountability Office reports that the Labor Department inadequately investigated complaints from low- and minimum-wage workers. (source)
  • 2001-2009 Has gold-colored coins minted with her name on them. (source)
  • 2005 In the Sago Mine Disaster wherein 12 workers were killed, the mine had previously received 208 safety citations from the Dept. of Labor, half of which were “serious and substantial.” (source) The mine was owned by Wilbur Ross.
  • 2008 Report by the Labor Dept reveals that 14% of mines in the U.S. went uninspected and mining deaths have more than doubled. (source)
  • 2008 GAO reports that the Labor Dept. misled Congress by submitting understated private contracting expenses. (source) (source)
  • 2011-2015 Makes $1.2 million from Wells Fargo as a board member, in the period which the bank makes millions of fake accounts to bilk customers. (source)
  • 2015 Resigns from the board of Bloomberg Philanthropies because it plans to increase support to Sierra Club’s “Beyond Coal” initiative. (source)


As Secretary of Transportation

  • 9/29/17 Even after being tapped to help the Trump administration's effort to spend $1 trillion on infrastructure, chose to hold on to more than $300,000 of deferred stock awards in a transportation construction company after resigning from its board when she was confirmed to the Cabinet position. (marketplace.org)
  • 5/6/18 Raises ethics concerns after appearing in at least a dozen interviews in the capacity of Secretary of Transportation alongside her father, James Chao, who is the founder and chairman of Foremost Group shipping company. Mr. Chao has given Secretary Chao and her husband Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell at least $5 million in the past 10 years. (Politico)
  • 10/1/18 Is reported that Chao has spent more than 290 hours in meetings labeled "private" during her first 14 months as secretary of transportation. (Hill)