As we mentioned here prior to his re-election, Sen. Mitch McConnell is one of the wealthier members of Congress thanks to his wife Elaine Chao's family's shipping company and as Lee Fang reported in The Nation last month, their offshore business deals, which just happen to include smuggling a large amount of cocaine.
After drugs were found aboard the Ping May, a vessel owned by his wife’s family’s company, Colombian authorities are investigating.
Before the Ping May, a rusty cargo vessel, could disembark from the port of Santa Marta en route to the Netherlands in late August, Colombian inspectors boarded the boat and made a discovery. Hidden in the ship’s chain locker, amidst its load of coal bound for Europe, were approximately 40 kilograms, or about ninety pounds, of cocaine. A Colombian Coast Guard official told The Nation that there is an ongoing investigation.
The seizure of the narcotics shipment in the Caribbean port occurred far away from Kentucky, the state in which Senator Mitch McConnell is now facing a career-defining election. But the Republican Senate minority leader has the closest of ties to the owner of the Ping May, the vessel containing the illicit materials: the Foremost Maritime Corporation, a firm founded and owned by McConnell’s in-laws, the Chao family.
Though Foremost has played a pivotal role in McConnell’s life, bestowing the senator with most of his personal wealth and generating thousands in donations to his campaign committees, the drug bust went unnoticed in Kentucky, where every bit of McConnell-related news has generated fodder for the campaign trail. That’s because, like many international shipping companies, Chao’s firm is shrouded from public view, concealing its identity and limiting its legal liability through an array of tax shelters and foreign registrations. Registered through a limited liability company in the Marshall Islands, the Ping May flies the Liberian flag.
Go read the rest if you missed it last month, which would be pretty easy to do given the fact that our corporate media spent about zero time covering this scandal. Who thinks if this was a Democrat running for the United States Senate that this story would have been ignored by the press?
The Young Turks Cenk Uygur discussed McConnell's hypocrisy in the clip above when it comes to his stance on drug offenders which Fang also wrote about in his piece:
Requests for comment to the McConnell team about the Ping May cocaine incident have gone unanswered.
McConnell has positioned himself over the years as a tough on drugs politician. In 1996, McConnell was the sole sponsor of the Enhanced Marijuana Penalties Act, a bill to increase the mandatory minimum sentencing for those caught with certain amounts of marijuana. A press release noted that his bill would make “penalties for selling marijuana comparable to those for selling heroin and cocaine.”
In recent weeks, McConnell has touted his role in calling for more federal money to be used for drug enforcement.
Just be sure you're not drinking anything near your computer when you get to the five minute mark or so with what Uygur said was McConnell's response to the allegations.
(Warning clip is NSFW)