BAILOUT SECRETS

Legislators with investments in Big Three automakers
By Ed Brayton 12/9/08 7:21 AM
FoxBusiness looks at data from Open Secrets that reveals that many legislators working on an auto bailout package have investments, some of them for a significant amount of money, in one or more of the Big Three automakers. The largest investment by far: Rep. John Dingell of Michigan.

Dingell reported on his most recent disclosure statements that his investment in General Motors has a value between $650,003 and $1,350,000 (legislators only have to report ranges, not specific amounts). His wife Debbie is the executive director for public affairs for GM.

No one else in Congress comes close to being that heavily invested in any of the three major American auto companies. Twelve members of Congress have investments in GM, nine Republicans and three Democrats, but only Dingell holds more than $30,000 worth.

Fifteen legislators have investments in Ford — eleven Republicans and four Democrats — but none report more than $50,000 in holdings. Only Michigan Republican Thad McCotter holds an investment in Chrysler, valued between $1,001 and $15,000.

Legislators are not required to abstain from voting on issues that impact companies they have a financial stake in, though as the article notes, any bankruptcy judge handling a bankruptcy for any of those companies would be required not to have any such stake in them. It will be interesting to see how these legislators vote on any bailout bill that comes up in Congress over the next few days. . . . . . . . . . . .conflict of interest??

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