The STOCK Act, which forbids government officials from profiting from non-public information, originally required comprehensive disclosure; but the law was gutted, and now it takes months for financial disclosures to be released.Continue reading
White House releases 2010 financial disclosures for staffers
Last week we requested personal financial disclosures for a few senior White House staffers. These documents list the assets officials own--property, stocks and mutual funds. The documents can be requested on the White House website by clicking here..
In addition to assets, these disclosures also tell you who gave these high profile staffers gifts or paid for their travel. For instance, on page 16 of Rahm Emanuel’s disclosure, we can see that he received tickets to the Bruce Springsteen concert last summer. We previously reported that 18 members of Congress benefited from fundraisers held at the concert (for details ...
Dodd’s Dealings Illustrate Holes in Financial Disclosure
Via InstaPundit comes this commentary from the Hartford Courant by Kevin Rennie, an attorney who writes a weekly column for the paper, on Sen. Chris Dodd's real estate deals. The Senate Ethics Committee is already looking at his mortgage with Countrywide Financial (more details here); Rennie writes that other Dodd properties might be worth looking into:
It was reported here two weeks ago that Downe's real estate development partner, William "Bucky" Kessinger of Kansas City, Mo., purchased a 1,700-square-foot home in Ireland with Dodd in 1994 for $160,000. Downe's name appeared on the transfer document ...Continue reading
Ethics Panel to Clear Rangel?
House Ways and Means Chairman Charles B. Rangel predicted, on C-SPAN's Newsmakers program that aired Sunday, Feb. 1, 2009, that his multitude of ethics woes would soon disappear. "I think that next Tuesday you will see a break in this and as soon as the Ethics Committee organizes they ought to be able to dismiss this," National Journal's CongressDaily quoted the Rangel as saying.
If so, it's hard to imagine that the Select Committee on Ethics will have devoted anything more than a cursory glance at the various issues raised. Consider just one aspect, for which documents ...Continue reading
Not 21st Century Style Disclosure
As Kenneth Vogel of Politico notes this morning: Anyone seeking copies of the financial disclosure reports recently filed by members... View ArticleContinue reading
Does Congress think Detroit is a good investment?
It appears that <a href="http://apnews.myway.com/article/20081117/D94GUIK80.html">the auto bailout</a> is stalled for now, as congressional leadership and the Bush administration have come to loggerheads over providing $25 to $50 billion in loans to General Motors, Ford Motor Company, and Chrysler.
I found it interesting that, as of December 2007 (the most recent date for which disclosures are available), just 27 of the 535 members of Congress owned stock in at least one of the big three automakers, according to <a href="http://www.opensecrets.org">Open Secrets</a>. They disclosed holdings worth ...Continue reading
OpenSecrets.org updates Financial Disclosure database
Want to know what members of Congress disclosed owning stock in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, American International Group or Bear Stearns on their most recent financial disclosure reports?
Want to see who reported owing money to Countrywide Financial? (Try here and here.)
OpenSecrets.org has provided the latest digitized data on financial disclosure forms filed by members of Congress, searchable by member, by company name or by keyword. Find out what assets, liabilities and transactions were popular on Capitol Hill.
The most recent disclosures covered data as of the end of 2007; in June 2009 we'll get a look ...Continue reading
Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Stevens Trial?
The Washington Post reports that defense attorneys for Sen. Ted Stevens, R-Alaska, have accused prosecutors of withholding potentially exculpatory information. It appears that the judge hearing the case agrees:
U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan said the powerful 40-year senator "would not be getting a fair trial if it were up to the government." He halted trial testimony so lawyers could prepare for a 4:30 p.m. hearing on motions to end the case or impose sanctions on the government.
The indictment against Stevens seemed weak -- arguing that Stevens had failed to disclose information about his residence on ...Continue reading
Financial Bailout: Are congressional leaders invested in the crisis?
Members of Congress continue to debate the bailout package that may well affect the bottom line of every taxpayer in the country, as well as those of big banks, brokerages, and other financial firms. While they hear from numerous experts, including distressed Wall Street titans, on the dangers facing their firms, what sort of exposure do members themselves have if those firms fail?
In their most recent financial disclosure forms, the chairmen and ranking members of the key House and Senate committees considering the $700 billion bailout of the financial sector disclosed investments in firms with interests in the outcome ...Continue reading
Lack of residential disclosure a problem for another member of Congress
Another reason why we need members of Congress to disclose information on their residences:
Rep. Robert Wexler is renting a home in his congressional district to quell criticism that his main residence is in the Washington suburbs.
Wexler said in a statement Tuesday that he knew some constituents were concerned after he said last week he hadn't had a South Florida home in 11 years. Wexler, his wife and three children have a home in Potomac, Md. Wexler uses his in-laws' house in a Florida retirement community to meet residency requirements.
Not quite as dramatic as the Stevens case ...Continue reading