We all know from James Comey’s testimony how much Trump values loyalty, and for one long-time attache to the Trump family, her commitment paid off. Wedding planner, campaign liaison, event organizer, and celebrity wrangler Lynne Patton has a plum new post as the head of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Region II. She’ll be directing billions of dollars to various New York and New Jersey housing projects, despite her hefty resume including zero public policy, housing, or government experience.
In fact, Patton not only lacks experience relevant to her new position, she doesn’t even have the law degree she claims she earned from Quinnipiac University School of Law in Connecticut. She also tried to claim she matriculated at Yale University, which her current employers at HUD couldn’t confirm. She definitely has plenty of experience in event planning, however, and has worked with the Trumps since 2009 on a number of events, including golf tournaments, charity soirees, and Eric Trump’s 2014 wedding. She also worked for the past six years as VP of the Eric Trump foundation, which is currently under investigation for its financial ties to the Trump Org.
Patton is the second Trump administration appointee to the housing sector whose credentials don’t quite align with the field itself. Patton has been working as a liaison to HUD this spring along with Trump’s pick for HUD Secretary, former neurosurgeon Ben Carson. Carson and Patton do have a few things in common, however, besides their incongruous resumes. Both share similar views on poverty as the plight of the unmotivated, held back not by systemic racial and economic barriers but by bad attitudes.
Carson once infamously described slaves as “immigrants” dreaming of a better life for their children. He also recently made waves when he suggested that poverty is to “a large extent is also a state of mind,” and that “real poverty” is a “defeatist attitude.” As HUD Secretary, Carson also explained his view that homeless services could be so “comfortable” that those relying on the shelter system could become dependent on it rather than striving for other options. “I think we do those people a great disservice when we simply maintain them,” he said of homeless persons without physical or mental disabilities.
Patton echoed his sentiments when she defended the controversial remarks on Twitter: “Let’s be clear: You can make life too comfortable for anyone – rich or poor – and when you do, it’s a disservice.”
She has also hinted on Twitter at what approach she’ll take on poverty and housing. One month before her new position begins, she tweeted an article on high-income renters who were taking advantage of subsidized housing. “Renters who abuse the system will be found, evicted & prosecuted. One down, hundreds more to go!” she said, adding the hashtag #changeiscoming.
(Via New York Daily News)