Politics

Pelosi’s Big Tesla Stock Buy Raises Ethics Questions

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A watchdog group called out House Speaker Nancy Pelosi for a very profitable Tesla stock deal shortly before the Biden administration released plans to make the federal automobile fleet electric.

Last month, Paul Pelosi, a wealthy venture capitalist and husband of the California Democrat, bought up to $1 million of Tesla stock when the price was roughly $640.34 a share. The price had shot up to $838 a share by Thursday on the NASDAQ exchange.

Tesla stock has been a darling of Wall Street for years, and the company stands to reap huge profits if the federal government moves to an all-electric fleet.

The federal government has more than 645,000 cars in the fleet.

“It’s corrupt and unacceptable for members of Congress, particularly the speaker, to trade stocks in companies affected by their votes in Congress,” said John Pudner, the executive director of TakeBack.org, a conservative political reform organization focused on pay-to-play corruption.

“Elected leaders from all political parties should live up to a standard of ethics that ordinary Americans see as vital to the country,” Mr. Pudner said Thursday.

A recent financial disclosure report by Mrs. Pelosi showed the couple had made 25 stock market maneuvers, known as call options, which will allow Mrs. Pelosi to buy Tesla shared at $500 a share up to March 2022. The amount of the investment was as much as $1 million.

The timing of the moves proved fortuitous.

A Pelosi spokesman said her husband, not the speaker, made the Tesla bets and the speaker’s political relationships were irrelevant.

Grumbling about politicians profiting on insider information has dogged figures in both parties over the years.

In 2020, several Republican and Democratic senators were accused of reaping stock market gains after early briefings for Congress on the upcoming shock COVID-19 would deliver to the nation’s economy.

While the Senate’s Ethics Committee cleared its members of wrongdoing in the trades, the allegations haunted former Georgia Republican Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler who both lost runoff elections earlier this month, tipping the balance… (Read more)

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