At least 9 members of Congress admit financial disclosure violations in most recent filings
Rep. Troy Nehls, a Republican representing Fort Bend County in Texas, is under FEC scrutiny for improperly spending campaign money on personal expenses for staff, accepting contributions that exceed the federal limit, reporting inconsistent figures, and failure to report information on an intermediary of campaign contributions.
- Before winning his election in 2020, Nehls was the sheriff of Fort Bend County. During his tenure as the chief law enforcement officer, Nehls used his platform to attack racial justice protestors online and oversaw the extensive profiling of Latinx drivers.
The FEC fined Sen. Rand Paul’s 2016 presidential campaign committee $21,000 for mishandling campaign funds. According to documents reviewed by the Courier-Journal, Paul’s committee did not refund $165,749 or redesignate them for use in a different election within 60 days of losing the Republican nomination, as required by law.
STOCK Act violations
The STOCK Act requires that members of Congress submit a periodic transaction report for most transactions involving stocks or other securities. These legally must be filed within 30 days of receiving notice of a covered transaction and no later than 45 days after the transaction. Violations are punishable by a fine from the House or Senate Ethics Committee. However, in many instances, the fine is too low to motivate a change of behavior.
Sen. Tommy Tuberville (R-AL) violated financial disclosure laws by failing to disclose nearly 130 separate stock trades, worth between $894,000 and $3.5 million, within the legal time limit. The trades (PDF) included $15,001-50,000 worth of options in Chinese e-commerce company Alibaba – a conspicuous choice considering Tuberville’s harsh criticism of China. Adding to the appearance of impropriety, Tuberville also invested in a defense contractor during the time that he served on the Senate Armed Services Committee. He claims he was unaware that the transactions occurred and submitted a report as soon as he learned of them.
Rep. Pat Fallon (R-TX) failed to disclose 93 stock trades worth between $7.8 million to $17.53 million within the legal time limit. Most concerning, he bought between $300,000 and $750,000 worth of stock in Boeing, a company he oversees as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. Fallon claims he was unaware of reporting requirements.
- Fallon also sold as much as $250,000 of Microsoft stock two weeks before the Pentagon canceled a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the company. The sale is questionable because Fallon serves on the House Armed Services Committee’s subcommittee that is in charge of overseeing the Pentagon’s technology spending, including the Microsoft deal. The freshman representative has denied any prior knowledge of the cancelation.
Utah Republican Rep. Blake Moore failed to properly disclose 70 stock trades worth between $70,000 and $1.1 million. The trades include the purchase of up to $60,000 of Raytheon stock, a company he oversees as a member of the House Armed Services Committee. According to the Campaign Legal Center (PDF) – which filed a complaint against Moore, Fallon, and Tuberville – Moore blamed the late disclosure on his financial advisor.
Rep. August Pfluger, a Republican representing Texas’ 11th district, filed a late disclosure report for stock trades from earlier this year. The 12 trades, consisting of IRA holdings, total between $12,000 and $180,000 (PDF).
Rep. David Joyce (R-OH) reported 15 mutual fund trades worth between $130,00 and $500,000 more than a year late. The trades, made throughout 2020, weren’t disclosed until last week (PDF).
Massachusetts Democrat Rep. Lori Trahan just reported a stock trade made last year worth between $1,001 and $15,000. She reported selling stock in Stella Connect, a customer service company (PDF).
Rep. Kathy Castor (D-FL) filed two late financial reports detailing trades made outside the 30 day legal limit. In the first, filed July 27, Castor reported (PDF) acquiring between $3,000 and $45,000 of Berkshire Hathaway stock last summer. Two days later, Cator filed another report for two more Berkshire purchases between $2,000 and $30,000 made in June (PDF), though she was just a week over the time limit.
Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-IL) disclosed three stock sales more than a year late, worth between $45,000 and $150,000. The trades, part of an IRA, include a sale of Amazon stock and two separate sales of Mastercard (PDF).
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) disclosed four separate stock purchases almost a year late. Last October, she bought between $4,000 and $60,000 worth of stock in Westell Technologies, a telecommunications company (PDF).