LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Congressional corruption running amok during pandemic


While we were distracted by the COVID-19, congressional corruption ran amok

Understandably, we have strict laws regulating stock transactions that strictly prohibit using "insider information" to reap profits. Additionally, Congress passed the 2012 Stock Act that specifically details that members of Congress cannot use non-public information obtained in the course of their position to trade stocks! On the surface, one would assume that is airtight, right? Think again!

The Campaign Legal Center, a 501(C)3 organization based in Arlington,Virginia, is hard at work exposing these culprits for their misdeeds. 

From Feb. 8 through April 8, 12 senators conducted 12 stock buys, while 37 congressmen had a combined 1,358 transactions!  Included in these totals were Sen. Richard Burr, (R-NC), Sen. Kelly Leoffiers, (R-GA) and Sen. Dianne Finestein, D-CA).* Burr chairs the Senate Intelligence Committee and sits on the Health Committee. Kelly Leoffiers' spouse is the CEO of the New York Stock exchange. Burr's sell-off totaled $1.6 million, while Finestein lists her transactions as at least $1.5 million.  

All three have denied any wrongdoing. All members of both houses were privy to the most sensitive information possible in a closed door briefing by health and national security officials prior to their stock activity! 

What are we the common people to do?  

Obviously, we rely on Congress to pass laws to prevent such behavior yet, we are seeing that very branch of our government thumbing their noses at the system! We hold even celebrities to be accountable to "insider trading" laws! You may recall TV celebrity Martha Stewart having served federal prison time for violations in years past. 

I submit to you we the people cannot let this slide by … we must hold these people accountable!

* Source: NY Times; April 28, 2020; Politico; Alice Ollstein; April 30, 2020

James W. Anderson