Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao Calendars February 2017 – March 2018

Detailed calendars for Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao covering the period from February 2017 to March 2018. These records include meetings with representatives of different corporate and industry interests, as well as meetings with union leaders and parties from Kentucky.

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In these documents:

Feb. 1, 2017: On Secretary Elaine Chao’s first official day in office, she met with FedEx representatives, including Chairman and CEO Fred Smith, President Dave Bronczek, and Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Gina Adams.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the FedEx Corporation PAC gave a total of $25,000 over the 2016 and 2018 election cycles to political action committees supporting Chao’s husband, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. Calendar entries obtained by American Oversight indicate that Chao met with FedEx representatives at least two more times from March to July 2017. 

Feb. 2, 2017: Chao took a phone call from Chris Speer, president and CEO of the American Trucking Association (ATA). According to the Federal Election Commission (FEC), in 2017 and 2018, the ATA donated to McConnell’s 2020 reelection efforts. 

Feb. 7, 2017: Chao met with then-Executive Chairman of BNSF Railways Matt Rose, who announced his retirement in October 2018. According to the FEC, BNSF Railways donated a total of $20,000 to McConnell PACs in 2016 and 2018

Feb. 10, 2017: Chao had a phone call with Mark Fields, the CEO of Ford Motor Company. FEC records show that the Ford Motor Company PAC contributed to McConnell’s associated PACs during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles. 

Feb. 13, 2017: Chao met with Todd Hauptli, president and CEO of the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), a professional organization representing the interests of airport executives and companies. 

Feb. 21, 2017: Chao met with then-Boeing Company President, Chairman, and CEO Dennis Muilenburg. According to the FEC, the aerospace and manufacturing company has contributed a total of $15,000 in 2016 and 2018 to McConnell PACs. Chao met with Boeing again at the 2017 Paris Air Show. 

Feb. 22, 2017: Chao had lunch with Takeshi Niinami, CEO of Suntory, a Japanese brewery company. This lunch was followed by two separate meetings with President and CEO of Airlines for America (A4A) Nicholas Calio and The Fiorentino Group President Marty Fiorentino.

A4A contributed a total of $10,000 to McConnell’ PACs in 2016 and 2018. Chao met with A4A executives two more times between March and September 2017.  

Feb. 24, 2017: Chao met with Ed Bastian, the CEO of Delta Airlines. Delta contributed a total of $18,500 to McConnell PACs in 2016 and 2018, according to the FEC.

March 1, 2017: Chao attended a morning meeting with American Airlines CEO Doug Parker. That afternoon, she met with JetBlue CEO Robin Hayes and later had a separate meeting with Southwest Airlines CEO Gary Kelly.

All three airline companies have made PAC contributions to Mitch McConnell during the 2016 and 2018 election cycles. According to the FEC, American Airlines gave a total of $20,000, JetBlue $7,500, and Southwest Airlines $8,000.

March 2, 2017: The Board of Directors of A4A had another meeting with Chao. 

March 3, 2017: Chao had a phone call withKenneth Duberstein, the chairman of the Duberstein Group, a lobbying firm known for representing Comcast

March 6, 2017: Chao met with Sean McGarvey, president of the North American Building Trades Unions, a union for construction workers.

March 8, 2017: Chao met with Lance Fritz, the CEO of the Union Pacific Railroad. Later that afternoon, she met with Mitch Bainwol, chief government relations officer for Ford Media Center, a media outlet associated with Ford Motor Company. 

March 9, 2017: Chao attended the American Enterprise Institute World Forum. AEI is a conservative think tank focused on economic and social welfare policy. 

March 10, 2017 Paul Rinaldi, president of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association (NATCA), had a meeting with Chao. 

March 14, 2017: Chao had a phone call with Grover Norquist, founder and president of Americans for Tax Reform, a conservative anti-tax advocacy group. This was followed by a meeting with the Hopkinsville-Christian County Kentucky Chamber. Chao also met with Doug Peterson, president and CEO of S&P Global, that afternoon. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, S&P Global gave McConnell $5,000 in campaign contributions in 2018.

March 17, 2017: Chao met with Ed Wytkind, president of AFL-CIO Transportation Trades Department (TTD), a coalition of 33 transportation worker unions. 

March 20, 2017: Ryan Quarles, Kentucky commissioner of agriculture, had a “Drop by” appointment with Chao. Later that afternoon, Chao talked with Kentucky Judge Terry Martin from Hart County, then met with the Paducah Area Development District (PADD) from Kentucky. 

March 21, 2017: Chao met with CEOs of the Waterways Council, Inc., a corporation that advocates for waterway infrastructure and maintenance in the interest of businesses. According to the Center for Responsive Politics, the Waterways Council donated to McConnell in 2018. 

March 23, 2017: Chao had a meeting with Benoît Potier, CEO of multinational gas company Air Liquide. This was followed by a meeting with Boardwalk Pipeline Partners, an energy company based in Texas. 

April 18, 2017: Chao attended an Americans for Tax Reform “Policy Dinner.” 

April 19, 2017: Chao met again with both FedEx’s Dave Bronczek and JetBlue’s Robin Hayes.

April 25, 2017: Kentucky Secretary of Transportation Greg Thomas and Chao had a meeting.

April 27, 2017: Chao attended a “Kentucky Delegation Coffee.”

June 1, 2017: Chao had a phone call with Ken Duberstein. Later that afternoon, Chao had a call with Marion Blakely, president of Rolls-Royce North America. According to the FEC, Rolls-Royce contributed $2,500 to McConnell PACs in 2018. 

June 19, 2017: Chao attended the 2017 Paris Air Show all day, had a working lunch with Rolls-Royce representatives, anda meeting with Boeing executives

June 20, 2017: On the second day of the Paris Air Show, Chao had dinner with Boeing executives.

July 17, 2017: Chao had dinner with representatives from UPS and FedEx.

July 24, 2017: The American Gas Association, a coalition of more than 200 energy companies representing the interest of the natural gas industry, met with Chao.

August 7, 2017: Chao met with Safra Catz, CEO of the computer technology company Oracle, after a meeting at Oracle headquarters. Later, she met with Walmart executive Dan Bryant. According to the FEC, Oracle contributed $10,000 to McConnell PACs in 2018. 

August 8, 2017: Chao had lunch with Peter Thiel, which was followed by a meeting with “Thiel Capital/Udacity.”

August 30, 2017: Chao met with Delta CEO Ed Bastian, American Airlines CEO Doug Parker, and United Airlines CEO Oscar Munos. 

Aug. 31, 2017: Phone call with Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest Airlines

Sept. 7, 2017: Met with the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce, a Kentucky business advocacy organization. 

Sept. 25, 2017: Meeting with Nick Calio, executive of A4A. 

Jan. 17, 2018: Meeting with BNSF Executive Chairman Matt Rose. 

Jan. 30, 2018: Phone call with United Airlines CEO Oscar Munoz. 

Jan. 31, 2018: Phone call with Delta Airlines CEO Ed Bastian. 

March 19, 2018: Another meeting with Judge Terry Martin of Hart County, Kentucky.