Georgia Senate Democratic candidate Jon Ossoff has a few words for anyone wondering about where he got all of his money and the finances of his film production company. That’s none of your business. This beacon of transparency who would like to replace Republican David Perdue in the upper chamber has faced questions recently about payments made to Insight TWI, his movie company, from Asian interests with ties to the Chinese Communist Party. After initially fessing up to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution about one payment that somehow failed to show up on his initial campaign finance filing, reporters sought more information. But Ossoff has apparently tired of discussing the subject, telling the Washington Post this week that Insight TWI’s finances are “confidential.” (Free Beacon)
Even after a number of controversial payments to Jon Ossoff’s foreign film company surfaced in September—including one from a Chinese-backed media giant—the Georgia Democrat refused to release additional financial documents from the company.
In a recent interview with the Washington Post, Ossoff declined the outlet’s request to “release further financial information” relating to his company, noting that “the particulars of our annual finances are confidential.” The refusal comes months after Ossoff quietly disclosed receiving at least $5,000 from PCCW, a Hong Kong-based media corporation owned in part by the Chinese Communist Party.
Ossoff’s withholding of financial information could undermine his ability to fend off attacks from his Republican opponent. Senator David Perdue has criticized Ossoff for accepting funds from a “communist Chinese news agency” and called on him to explain “where his money comes from” in an October debate.
I distinctly remember being told that politicians concealing the details of their business finances was A Bad Thing. Haven’t we heard that about President Trump from the moment he announced he was running for the GOP nomination until the present day?
There are clearly some cases where corporate finances can be considered proprietary information, particularly if the owners are private figures. But Ossoff doesn’t have to worry about offending anyone else when it comes to the film company’s dealings. He’s the majority owner and CEO of Insight TWI. He obtained that position by purchasing the company in 2013 and investing “an unspecified amount” of money into it.
Adding to the mystery is the fact that he got the money to do this via a generous family inheritance. How much did he inherit? Reporters have asked about that also, but Ossoff has declined to offer any specifics.
Most candidates are fairly clear about their financial dealings when disclosure is required. In Ossoff’s case, as CEO, he could readily turn over the company’s financial statements for examination (particularly if he’s been taking money from the CCP) if he wished to do so. It’s also hard to understand what would make him so secretive about his inheritance. There’s nothing wrong with inheriting money from your parents or other relatives… unless you’ve been playing fast and loose with your taxes, of course.
For the record, I haven’t seen any indication that Ossoff has broken the law regarding either his personal taxes or his company’s business dealings. But the fact that he doesn’t want to discuss it with his potential constituents doesn’t exactly fill us with brimming levels of confidence in terms of transparency, either. There are a dozen days left until the Georgia runoff elections. Choose wisely.