Washington lawmakers get the goldmine; the people get the shaft

Congressional candidate Ken Fortenberry today called on U.S. Rep. Patrick McHenry to quit protecting his corrupt colleagues and immediately cosponsor legislation that would prohibit insider trading of securities by members and employees of Congress.

“It’s time for Mr. McHenry to end his silence on this important issue and to start doing the right thing for the people he represents,” said Fortenberry, the congressman’s Republican opponent in next May’s primary. “The politicians in Washington continue to get the gold mine while the people get the shaft.

“The corruption in Washington is an outrage to everyone, but instead of standing up and speaking out against it, my opponent continues to condone the despicable and unethical behavior of people who somehow think they are above the law,” Fortenberry continued. “No wonder the approval rating of Congress is at an all-time low.”

Fortenberry said that he supports H.R. 1148 - the STOCK (Stop Insider Trading on Congressional Knowledge) Act, legislation that would prohibit lawmakers and employees of Congress from buying and selling securities based on nonpublic information they obtain because of their status.

McHenry, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, is not supporting the legislation and has remained silent on the issue.

Insider trading by lawmakers attracted national attention and outrage with the recent publication of a new book, “Throw Them All Out” by Peter Schweitzer and featured on the CBS News program “60 Minutes.” The book outlined unethical activity by members of Congress, and pointed out at that Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Alabama, made more than 40 stock trades in his personal account in the months before the U.S. economy collapsed in 2008. Bachus is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee and received “insider” information about the failing state of the U.S. economy.

“After he received a private briefing on the impending collapse of the economy and the U.S. financial system from the Federal Reserve and Treasury officials, Rep. Bachus bought and sold securities that nearly doubled his money,” said Fortenberry.

“Rep. Bachus should resign today, and Mr. McHenry should show him the door – right after McHenry signs on as cosponsor of the STOCK Act,” said Fortenberry.