Insider 15 November 2011Posted by marisacat in 2012 Re Election, DC Politics, Inconvenient Voice of the Voter, Occupy Wall Street, San Francisco, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Mumbai, India: Lead clown Biju poses before a show at the Rambo circus [Vivek Prakash/Reuters]
I managed to sleep thru 60 Minutes, I had planned to catch it to see just how badly La Nan did when queried about her conflict of interest investments… but moiv happened to pop me this:
Washington, D.C. is a town that runs on inside information – but should our elected officials be able to use that information to pad their own pockets? As Steve Kroft reports, members of Congress and their aides have regular access to powerful political intelligence, and many have made well-timed stock market trades in the very industries they regulate. For now, the practice is perfectly legal, but some say it’s time for the law to change.
The following is a script of “Insiders” which aired on Nov. 13, 2011. Steve Kroft is correspondent, Ira Rosen and Gabrielle Schonder, producers.
The next national election is now less than a year away and congressmen and senators are expending much of their time and their energy raising the millions of dollars in campaign funds they’ll need just to hold onto a job that pays $174,000 a year.
Few of them are doing it for the salary and all of them will say they are doing it to serve the public. But there are other benefits: Power, prestige, and the opportunity to become a Washington insider with access to information and connections that no one else has, in an environment of privilege where rules that govern the rest of the country, don’t always apply to them.
Questioning Pelosi: Steve Kroft heads to D.C.
When Nancy Pelosi, John Boehner, and other lawmakers wouldn’t answer Steve Kroft’s questions, he headed to Washington to get some answers about their stock trades.
Most former congressmen and senators manage to leave Washington – if they ever leave Washington – with more money in their pockets than they had when they arrived, and as you are about to see, the biggest challenge is often avoiding temptation.
Peter Schweizer: This is a venture opportunity. This is an opportunity to leverage your position in public service and use that position to enrich yourself, your friends, and your family.
Peter Schweizer is a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. A year ago he began working on a book about soft corruption in Washington with a team of eight student researchers, who reviewed financial disclosure records. It became a jumping off point for our own story, and we have independently verified the material we’ve used.
Schweizer says he wanted to know why some congressmen and senators managed to accumulate significant wealth beyond their salaries, and proved particularly adept at buying and selling stocks. . . . . . .
I find it all especially hilarious, aside from enraging, as the description of the Pelosi family that is in fact used and does fit what they do for cash flow:
Investor Class Family.
They also profiled Gregg, Hastert, Boehner, Bachus and others – all dirty as hell as I see it… so, they spread the joy.
The former Speaker did about as well (badly, that is) as she ever does:
And former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband have participated in at least eight IPOs. One of those came in 2008, from Visa, just as a troublesome piece of legislation that would have hurt credit card companies, began making its way through the House. Undisturbed by a potential conflict of interest the Pelosis purchased 5,000 shares of Visa at the initial price of $44 dollars. Two days later it was trading at $64. The credit card legislation never made it to the floor of the House.
Congresswoman Pelosi also declined our request for an interview, but agreed to call on us if we attended a news conference.
Kroft: Madam Leader, I wanted to ask you why you and your husband back in March of 2008 accepted and participated in a very large IPO deal from Visa at a time there was major legislation affecting the credit card companies making its way through the– through the House.
Nancy Pelosi: But–
Kroft: And did you consider that to be a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: The– y– I– I don’t know what your point is of your question. Is there some point that you want to make with that?
Kroft: Well, I– I– I guess what I’m asking is do you think it’s all right for a speaker to accept a very preferential, favorable stock deal?
Pelosi: Well, we didn’t.
Kroft: You participated in the IPO. And at the time you were speaker of the House. You don’t think it was a conflict of interest or had the appearance–
Pelosi: No, it was not–
Kroft: –of a conflict of interest?
Pelosi: –it doesn’t– it only has appearance if you decide that you’re going to have– elaborate on a false premise. But it– it– it’s not true and that’s that.
Kroft: I don’t understand what part’s not true.
Pelosi: Yes sir. That– that I would act upon an investment.
Congresswoman Pelosi pointed out that the tough credit card legislation eventually passed, but it was two years later and was initiated in the Senate.
Pelosi: I will hold my record in terms of fighting the credit card companies as speaker of the House or as a member of Congress up against anyone.
The NYPC has moved in on Zuccotti Park, thanks to diane, these comments of hers drawing on the NYT time line and other links (carried forward from previous thread):
3:16 a.m. Occupiers linking arms around riot police
3:15 a.m. NYPD destroying personal items. Occupiers prevented from leaving with their possessions.
3:13 a.m. NYPD deploying sound cannon
3:08 a.m. heard on livestream: “they’re bringing in the hoses.”
3:05 a.m. NYPD cutting down trees in Liberty Square
2:55 a.m. NYC council-member Ydanis Rodríguez arrested and bleeding from head.
2:44 a.m. Defiant occupiers barricaded Liberty Square kitchen
2:44 a.m. NYPD destroys OWS Library. 5,000 donated books in dumpster
2:42 a.m. Brooklyn Bridge confirmed closed
2:38 a.m. 400-500 marching north to Foley Square
2:32 a.m. All subways but R shut down
Eviction of Occupy Wall Street at Liberty Square Underway
Liberty Square (Zuccotti Park), home of Occupy Wall Street for the past two months and birthplace of the 99% movement that has spread across the country and around the world, is presently being evicted by a large police force.
EVERYONE should get to the park immediately for eviction defense! Subway stations and bridges are closed. Please either take a cab or use Canal St. subway station (which is currently open.) . . . . .