Back on March 17th, Tim Walz, D-MN01 introduced H.R. 1178 - the "Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge" (STOCK) Act. Through November 4th, it only had 9 co-sponsors. Then last Sunday night, "60 Minutes" ran a story: "Congress: Trading stock on inside information?"
Now there are 28 co-sponsors - including two republicans - but neither is Erik Paulsen, R=TargetCorp. Well, to be fair, it isn't his Tea Party pal Michele Bachmann, either.
No, the two lonely GOPers signing on with the 26 Democrats in the House are Rep Schilling, IL-17 and Rep Herrera Beutler, WA-03 - both after the story broke.
OK, Bachmann has an excuse - well, a couple of 'em: she's never written a bill that's actually become law, and since presumably God told her to run for Prez, she's never in D.C. anyway.
Paulsen? no excuse - because when push comes to shove, he'll always take the corporate line on every issue. Walz' Bill takes dead-aim at profiteering by the financial industry trading on insider information; part of an industry Jon Collins at MN Indy took a look at back in July: "Minnesota lawmakers who voted against consumer agency are flush with banking cash". The sub? "Paulsen leads delegation in industry contributions, $74,400 since 2009".
After watching the "60 Minutes" story, Brian Barnes - who is seeking the DFL endorsement to unseat Paulsen said this:
“Moments ago I finished watching a shocking report on 60 Minutes about members of Congress using insider information they gain from their office to line their own pockets—oftentimes at the expense of the American people.
“This reprehensible practice—which would land business people in jail—should be banned immediately. Therefore, I am asking Rep. Erik Paulsen to join with me in condemning the members of both parties who have engaged this insider trading they themselves made legal. I am also calling on the congressman to sponsor legislation to make this disgusting conduct what it should be—criminal.”
To recap - since the story broke, two GOPer House Members have shown the courage to co-sponsor Walz' bill, neither of them are Paulsen.
Don't expect Paulsen to sign on any time soon; bucking the GOP's Boardroom Base just simply isn't in Erik Paulsen's nature.
Taking care of the GOP's Boardroom Base is.
Fri Nov 18, 2011 at 5:55 AM PT: (As of yesterday (November 17th), there are now 65 -- 65! -- Co-Sponsors on Tim Walz' Bill; none of 'em are named "Paulsen." While Paulsen couldn't take the time to sign on to Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge - he DID take the time to prove, once again, that GOPers Believe In States Rights (except when they don't).