Republican Sen. Martha McSally of Arizona is not well-liked. She was gifted her position in the Senate after John McCain passed away and has subsequently tried to rely on her status as a veteran to gain her the electoral support she will need to actually get elected to the seat she now holds. The Phoenix New Times has a report that shows lo and behold! Sen. McSally might be kinda full of hot air.
Back in February 2019, Sen. McSally scored tons of political points by calling out the awful practices of landlords contracted by the U.S. to house veterans and their families in affordable housing. And then on Dec. 3, she revved her theatrical engines and called them out again at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, saying “Are any of them not acting like slumlords at this point? Are any of them doing a good job?”
If I didn’t know any better I might think Sen. McSally was something of a socialist!* But as the New Times reports, Sen. McSally’s microphone-enabled moral outrage bookends at least a few thousand dollars given to her campaign by one of those “slumlords.”
It turns out the Hunt Corporation, which owns the Hunt Military Communities business and has been highlighted as one of the woefully inadequate military housing developers and landlords, has been able to find time to donate to Sen. McSally campaign over the past couple of years. They’ve even continued supporting her campaign after she called them “slumlords.”
McSally received $2,800, the max individual donation, from Woody Hunt, senior chairman of the board of Directors of Hunt Companies, in May 2019. That’s well after she called the state of military housing “unacceptable” in February. And well after she first labeled the responsible contractors as “slumlords” in March.
What’s so bad about Hunt?
Hunt Companies was among the contractors investigated by Reuters. The news organization cited internal Air Force memos showing that Hunt knew its homes were mold-prone as early as 2008, but did little to address the problem. Thirteen military families are suing Hunt over mold infestations at homes at Mississippi’s Keesler Air Force base. Reuters spoke to one of the plaintiffs, an Air Force technical sergeant and mother of three, who said mold has been a problem in her family’s home since 2011.
The issue is a longstanding one, going back more than a decade, of veterans and their families reporting unsafe and unhealthy conditions going untreated in their residences. Issues like mold and lack of transparency and accountability have plagued privatized military housing for years. This, coupled with our government’s weak oversight of the privatized industry, is the result of our corporately corrupted government and has brought us to where we are today.
Here’s McSally touting her heavy-hitting support for veterans and their families.
Yesterday, I called out the slumlords who operate some of our military housing. Today, I was glad to meet family members who agreed—and came to today's House hearing wearing #NotTheSlumlords shirts. Honored to fight for these ladies & the families of all service members. pic.twitter.com/kVVW5i8UTT
— Martha McSally (@SenMcSallyAZ) December 5, 2019
“Called out slumlords.” It’s funny, I hadn’t realized she had called out the president for his decades-long slum-lording over tenants in New York City.
* Read “If I didn’t know any better” as “If I didn’t know anything at all about anything ever.”
This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.