A recent confirmation hearing for Trump's nominee to head the EPA's chemical regulatory program seemed to focus less on questions of intelligence and more on questions of the heart. According to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., at least, the nominee is deficient in that last category.
"I always care about surrounding myself with people who have a good mind but also a good heart. And there's no question you have a good mind," Carper told the nominee. "I think what we're hearing from the senators on our side is a question about your heart."
Carper questions the character of nominee Michael Dourson because he previously did consulting work for chemical companies -- big corporations that would come under his regulation if confirmed. But what started out as a normal line of questioning quickly became an embarrassing poetry reading.
"I don't mind people saying to me ‘you're dumb,'" Carper told Dourson. "I don't like it. But what really hurts me is when they question my heart and there are really serious questions about your heart." And then the senior senator from Delaware proceeded to quote at length from "poetess," Maya Angelou.
But for a man supposedly worried about a regulator giving preferential treatment to business, Carper certainly owns a lot of stock and accepts a lot of cash from corporations under his committee's jurisdiction.
Carper owns more than half-a-million dollars in energy stock and accepted more than $30,000 in campaign contributions during this cycle alone from oil and gas companies, as the Washington Free Beacon first reported. He invests in corporations such as Duke Energy, Halliburton, and Marathon Petroleum. He also cashed campaign checks from companies including Duke Energy (yes the same one), British Petroleum, and the Exelon Corporation.
So while questions of the heart should probably remain between the scientist and his God, Carper would do well to remember that questions about campaign contributions and stock investments are a matter of public record.
Philip Wegmann is a commentary writer for the Washington Examiner.