Kavanaugh and his friends enjoy baseball

“According to financial disclosures, Kavanaugh had between $60,000 and $200,000 in debt, spread across three credit cards and a loan. (Federal rules require individuals to disclose ranges of debts, rather than specific figures, so the actual numbers are unknown.) As The Washington Post first reported, the White House has an explanation for the debts: Kavanaugh spent big on tickets to see the Washington Nationals, a team he’s known to back.”

“Raj Shah, a White House spokesman leading the communications push for Kavanaugh’s nomination, said that Kavanaugh had purchased Nats season tickets and playoff seats for himself and a handful of friends. Each credit card had between $15,000 and $50,000 of debt, as did the personal loan. By the time of his 2017 disclosure, the debts were gone, and Shah said that Kavanaugh’s only current debt is a home mortgage.”

Please, if you can, explain away this.

It’s not actually that hard to explain. The good Nats season tickets run 20 grand. So he and four buddies want to get season tickets. He puts his own on a personal loan so that it has a lower interest rate to pay off. He puts his buddies tickets on rewards credit cards so they all get seats close together or so that he can take advantage of a government discount or something similar (I get a discount on season tickets to a local sporting team and I have friends who ask me to buy theirs as an example.) Disclosure time comes due and he doesn’t consider them long-term debts, but the disclosure asks ‘As of January 1’ He legally puts down all of the amounts on his credit cards which is 80k plus his own 20k. His buddies give him the money, so their 80k disappears and he has 20k left that he’s paying for his seats. I’m not saying that that is what happened, but it is a completely legitimate thing that could have happened.

The real crime this brings to mind though is his judgement. Who the heck wants Nats season tickets? He probably needs a mental checkup to see if he’s fit for the bench. :slight_smile:

Sounds a lot more like a serious gambling addiction. Or maybe cocaine.

What, no hookers?


What it sounds like is he likes the American Pasttime, bought season tickets for it for his friends, then they paid him back. Thus negating his “debt”. I buy stuff I like on credit cards and then pay it off. A lot of other people do too. Does this disqualify me for my job? I don’t like baseball enough to spend it on that, but this is hardly nefarious. Go through the guys decisions that he made on the job, and stop reaching.

What a jerk! You’re going to tell me he likes apple pie next? How low can he stoop? Don’t tell me he loves his mom, too!

Oh, yeah, must be this. I mean, no one would spend that much on baseball tickets, right? :rolleyes:

-Himself and a “handful of friends” = 6 tickets
-His debt was at the very top of the $60k-$200k range

Quick Math:
$200,000 / 81 home games (excludes any playoff games) / 6 tickets each = ~$411 per ticket

Prime field level seats at National Park, designated as “PCA” tickets, cost $410 per game at single ticket pricing levels.

Entirely plausible, no story here.

This story reminds me of when a newspaper went digging for Robert Bork’s video rental history, presumably hoping it would include pornography, which it didn’t, but they published the list anyway, as though for some strange reason they thought it was a story.

As I recall, he liked Busby Berkely musicals.

Carmen Miranda

(The answer will shock you!)

Still a bit hard to swallow. This is a guy who doesn’t seem to be any more affluent than I am, and taking on >$60K of debt for a group of friends, even for a few days, let alone for months or years - well, it ain’t happening. And if I were persuaded to do it, my wife would veto the notion. And good for her.

I could certainly afford to do something like that, and it’s the sort of thing I’d cheerfully do on a much smaller scale (e.g. tickets for a weekend series), but there’s no way I’d front that much money for friends, and certainly not for many months before getting repaid.

I think the whole thing is bullshit, and something completely different is going on here.

Well, he makes almost a quarter million a year. He can afford season tickets if he wants.

But keep digging by all means. Have Richard Steele find some incontinent Russian hookers or something.


Yeah, there’s an awful lot of smoke here. It’s no guarantee of a fire, but it sure doesn’t pass the smell test.

He’s a sitting Federal judge, not a corporate bigwig. Perhaps I can see a corporate bigwig buying a full season package and frequently giving the tickets away to his CEO buddies. I’d have a serious problem with a judge doing the exact same thing.

Buying multiple season tickets for wealthy friends on his credit cards? That doesn’t pass the smell test at all and certainly not carrying a balance on the cards. This just doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that’s done.

Is he buying a lot of tickets and hoping to profit by reselling them? Well, maybe but that just doesn’t seem like the rational actions of a judge. I’m sure there are some people who are willing to pay top dollar for Nats seats, but there are excellent seats available for just about every Nats game. Plus, there’s always a risk that you’ll have the crap weather like a lot of the country had for the first 6 weeks or so of the season when you can’t give tickets away.

So, yes, I’d like an explanation.

This isn’t about him having a season ticket package and you know that. No one would care if he just had season tickets to the Nats. We do care about the reasons why a highly educated judge would take on substantial credit card debt to buy baseball tickets, carry a balance, and then, ‘Poof!’ it’s gone.

Well, he was a founder of The Spectator magazine, so I guess that would make sense. Except that he died in 1729.

The only problem is that “we” isn’t anyone who makes a difference in the confirmation process. I’m all for the Democrats putting up a legit fight. If this is part of the fight, they might was well give up now.

A debt of any kind going poof is definitely something that should be investigated. This is a sitting judge, and any attempts at bribery need to be investigated.

And there is no limit to what can be brought up, so the idea that something shouldn’t be brought up or investigated because it’s too small is silly.

Every little thing should be checked and double checked. For every judge. Vet that sucker until no doubt remains.

It’s something to look at, but do we even actually know that all the reported debt went “poof”? I think all he’d have to do to wipe the debts off of his financial disclosure is pay each one down below the reportable amount, which I think could even be done by merely shifting some of it onto another account.