One of President Trump’s leading candidates to lead the Federal Trade Commission has become the victim of a baseless and troubling mudslinging attack by companies scared of his no-nonsense, drain-the-swamp reputation.
Utah Attorney General Sean Reyes is considered a likely nominee to chair the FTC, the agency tasked with protecting consumers from anticompetitive business practices.
The typically five-member FTC currently has only two commissioners, so Trump is under pressure to fill the vacancies quickly by capable candidates. And it’s difficult to imagine anyone who would be more qualified for the post than Reyes.
Reyes is considered one of the brightest young stars in American politics. He earned his law degree with honors from UC Berkeley after graduating summa cum laude from Brigham Young. For 14 years, Reyes practiced law at Utah’s largest law firm. In 2014, he ran for Utah Attorney General, winning by a landslide and becoming the state’s first non-white candidate to win statewide office in Utah.
After taking office, Reyes went to work cleaning up the Beehive State’s scandal-plagued AG’s office. His two most recent predecessors, John Swallows and Mark Shurtleff, were arrested on charges of bribery and corruption. Reyes won bi-partisan praise for rebuilding trust and faith in the state’s top law enforcement office.
It’s little wonder that Trump, who abhors politics as usual, has Reyes on his short list of potential FTC chairmen.
But several companies that fear the type of scrutiny that would come with having the principled Utah AG in charge of the FTC are pouring big bucks into a shady lobbying campaign to keep him from the position.
Google, which has long been accused of monopolistic business practices, is leading the charge against Reyes. The search engine giant fears that Reyes may reopen an antitrust investigation that takes a hard look at claims that Google inappropriately uses others companies' intellectual property.
Now bogus and oddly timed news articles have begun to spring up attacking Reyes for invented transgressions such as accepting perfectly legal and reasonable campaign contributions. Anti-Reyes lobbying efforts have even stooped so low that he has been criticized for freeing children from the horrors of sex slavery.
Last month, a peculiar story leaked criticizing Reyes for being involved with an anti-human trafficking nonprofit that allegedly spent a small portion of money raised in Utah on preventing human trafficking outside of the state. Sadly, Reyes was condemned for being a key part of a raid that rescued scores of minors from a sex trafficking ring in Haiti.
It’s disgusting that companies that don’t want to be forced to operate under the watchful eye of a Sean Reyes-led FTC have resorted to dirty pool in a shameful attempt to prevent his nomination. Fake news and bogus personal attacks should never keep a qualified candidate from serving the people of the United States.
President Trump should ignore these pathetic attempts to besmirch the reputation of Attorney General Reyes and nominate him to become the new chairman of the Federal Trade Commission.
Drew Johnson is a Senior Scholar at the Taxpayers Protection Alliance and National Director of Protect Internet Freedom. To read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
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