Rick Perry is clearly pulling out all the stops as a candidate who needs to engineer a “re-surge” in the primary process. In a recent editorial at Redstate, Perry is calling for an immediate and significant halt to any insider trading by members of Congress.. including throwing them in jail.
It’s not enough members of Congress make $174,000 a year, some are trading on inside information to use their public service to enrich themselves.
The Tribune is right, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department should be using every available tool to put a stop to this. But they are not. So, Congress needs to pass the STOCK Act as a matter of urgency, to do even more to ensure that this kind of thing is stopped dead in its tracks.
In addition to calling for tough measures to outlaw insider trading by Members of Congress, I’ve called for making Congress part-time, like the Texas legislature, cutting congressional pay in half, and amending FOIA to apply to Congress and the White House.
Perry is exercising a lot more courage in endorsing the STOCK Act than might even appear at first glance. In his editorial, he calls out Nancy Pelosi, and with good reason. But he’s not going to make any friends on his own side of the aisle with this position. (Paging John Boehner… John Boehner to the White Courtesy Phone.)
CBS said Boehner bought health insurance stocks during the health care debate, which increased in value after Republicans succeeded in killing a proposal to allow the government to offer a health insurance plan to compete with private companies.
In a statement, Bachus’ office said the representative never trades financial services stocks or trades on private information. Boehner said at a news conference that he has not made decisions on his stock portfolio for years.
Further, the STOCK Act is a product of Scott Brown. Yes… I know. He was a Tea Party favorite during his initial election effort, but he’s not exactly a model for the base these days and this particular web would be drawing in members from both sides of the partisan divide. All in all, a good move by Perry, though. If you want to be viewed as a real Washington outsider, take on issues which tip the apple cart over. But he shouldn’t look for any quick endorsements from members of Congress who have been cashing in on Wall Street.