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Friday
Feb102012

Head of House Financial Services Under Investigation for Insider Trading

Bachus [dot] House [dot] gov(WASHINGTON) -- Just hours after the House passed a bill to stop lawmakers from profiting from inside knowledge that can make them rich through stock buys, The Washington Post reports Friday that Republican Spencer Bachus of Alabama is now being investigated by the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE).

According to the Post, the OCE, an independent body that can make recommendations to the House Ethics Committee, is questioning trades Bachus listed on his annual financial disclose form.

Specifically, the agency wants to know more about Bachus' trades that were linked to announcements made by the government and industries under his oversight as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

There has been no recent instance of any member of Congress getting nailed for insider trading, although a CBS 60 Minutes piece from last November cast aspersions on Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Bachus, who all denied they profited from inside knowledge.

The Post reports that Bachus' investments were not stock purchases but options so that the lawmaker could buy or sell certain stocks in the future.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Nov172011

Perry Chides Obama, Talks Super Committee and Stock Trade Probe

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images(JACKSON, Miss.) -- Texas Gov. Rick Perry said that as president, he would not honor the budget cuts that would go into effect should the super committee fail to reach its deficit reduction goal, and he reprimanded President Obama for his trip abroad as the super committee attempts to reach an agreement before its Nov. 23 deadline.

“Not at all,” Perry said when asked if he would uphold the cuts. “As a matter of fact, the super committee is a great example of just the lack of leadership that we have in Washington. The president, AWOL as far as I’m concerned. As a matter of fact instead of being in Hawaii, or Asia, or whether he thinks he is on this particular trip, he ought to be here, working on this budget issue. We know what the problem is, we got a spending problem in Washington, D,C., and we’ve got to be sitting down and working out the details of this, and I think abrogating the responsibility of the presidency to a super committee of Congress was bad leadership to begin with.”

Perry, who is on a fundraising swing through Mississippi, held the media availability session to address his request to debate Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., next Monday, a proposition she declined Thursday morning.

“When you have routine insider corruption on Capitol Hill, when you have liberal opposition to freeing the economy in this country, when you have total disrespect for family values, that’s the reason Nancy Pelosi is running away from having a debate with me,” Perry said.

Since she would not agree to debate the Texas governor, Perry called on Pelosi to turn over any information pertaining to her involvement in potential insider trading to the SEC.

In 1998, the SEC opened an investigation into possible insider trading on the part of Perry, an investigation which was later terminated.

According to the Huffington Post, Perry purchased 2,800 shares of stock in Kinetics Concepts, Inc., a company owned by top Perry donor James Leininger, in late January 1996. Perry sold his stock for a profit of $38,000 one month later. In an interview with the Dallas Morning News, Perry admitted he spoke with Leininger on the same day he made his stock purchase, but denied the topic of stocks came up in their conversation.

Ray Sullivan, communications director for Perry, said the investigation was a result of attacks from his Democratic opponent in the lieutenant governor’s race and a Democratic congressman who requested the investigation be conducted. Sullivan noted “the allegations were not based on the use of government information, as Congress is accused of doing.” The SEC later terminated the investigation and did not pursue any enforcement action against the governor, according to a letter provided to ABC News.

Perry’s holdings were put into a blind trust in 1998, and since then he has had no involvement in his stock portfolio.

While in Mississippi, Perry was accompanied by Henry Barbour, a Perry supporter and fundraiser and nephew of former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who said the Texas governor still has the fundraising muscle to remain viable in the race.

“He has definitely has sufficient resources to run a very strong race,” Barbour said. “He is in Mississippi today, and we raised good money.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio