The decline to moral bankruptcy of the GOP


#5786

The Ethics guy did say that most office holders limit their purchases to mutual funds to avoid this problem.


#5787

This. I mean, a guy who manages my 401(K), or even my personal stock portfolio, probably wouldn’t know if I was on the advisory board of some tech startup that might cause the appearance of insider trading if said startup got gobbled up by some larger firm the fund manager had just bought a bunch of shares in to add to my portfolio.

But if I am the Chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee you can be damn sure the people managing my investments know that I am, even if I failed to mention it in casual conversation. Given that they’re supposedly licensed, they should also then know to avoid purchasing stock in defense contractors and other companies that would likely cause an ethics issue when those companies had contracts up for review by my committee.

This was 100% swamp operating as normal.


#5788

Inhofe became the Chair of the Senate Armed Services Committee just a few months ago, after McCain died. I think it’s entirely possible his broker didn’t get the news, or that the transaction was already scheduled before he became chair.


#5789

Government officials should be barred from holding investments. If you get elected to the federal government, you should have to liquidate your holdings.


#5790

I agree.


#5791

They should not just liquidate. In some cases it might even be disastrous to the company if they are big stake holder. Existing holdings should go into a Trust that they and no one associated or related to them has any control over and any sizable trades investigated over some period of time leading up to the election.


#5792

Your think government officials shouldn’t have a retirement plan?


#5793

Yeah, this is pretty much what blind trusts are made for, right? Put it in a place where you can’t have any control over it.


#5794

Blind trusts are a fine idea. But no investments at all is silly.


#5795

Nope.

I mean, you can have money saved up. You just can’t invest it in particular parts of the economy that your actions are going to impact. When you get out of government, you can invest that money however you want.


#5796

100% yes.


#5797

Wait, so government officials have to liquidate all their investments, or just redirect them to avoid conflicts of interest? Because the latter is basically the status quo.


#5798

The latter is what the status quo used to be, in theory.

In practice we see it means fuck all and these guys are in on the grift. It’s just more out in the open than ever. So in no way is ‘redirecting to avoid conflicts of interest’ the actual status quo.


#5799

Yeah, i think they should have to liquidate them. Potentially if you can have a truly blind trust where you have no idea where your money is, that would be fine too, i guess.

But right now, people in government have actual direct investments in various corporations, and benefit from their actions in government, and it’s bull.


#5800

Ridiculous. They should be frozen, so that nothing can be added or deleted.

Requiring complete liquidation would probably prevent a lot of decent people from holding office.


#5801

I think I recall an example or two in local government.

The federal government is different. Failure to avoid financial conflicts of interest can result in federal prison time.


#5802

Well I think we discovered a lot of our checks and balances were just guidelines instead of actual rules. They should be rules, laws, and you put it in a trust where you don’t touch it or deal with, not your family or anyone else connected to you while you’re in office.

We shouldn’t exclude people in office from preparing for the future, but we can certainly do better at ensuring they are not making decisions based on what they’re invested in. In most cases liquidation should not be necessary and is an extreme solution.


#5803

Oh agree it is an extreme solution.

But, honestly, if this keeps up? It might be required. Maybe as a second tier thing. Like a law stating all investments must be in either a blind trust, or mutual funds. If they are not when you take office, then your assets must be liquidated within 30 days. Any assets not liquidated by that are forfeited to the government.

Like make it a three tier thing.

Put in trust
If not, must liquidate
If not liquidate, assets seized.


#5804

What Trump and his family are doing should be illegal. We just don’t want the pendulum to swing too far the other way because of these extremes. It would not be hugely difficult to nullify most the conflicts of interests without liquidations.


#5805

If what keeps up? Can you find three examples at the federal level of government officials profiting from a conflicted investment?

And before you start, Trump doesn’t count because the POTUS is exempt from COI rules.