Monday, November 08, 2010

Dent Chief of Staff Trades Stocks

This can get a little dicey. Congressional representatives and their staff can trade stocks (buy and sell), even though in industries related to their committee assignments. There are no restrictions on this. The Wall Street Journal has been running some articles on this topic. On Saturday, "Congress has active investors," by Tom McGinty, Jason Zweig, and Brody Mullins went into some detail on this. The only Pennsylvania example mentioned was this:

Some congressional staffers actively traded lesser-known stocks. Consider George McElwee, chief of staff to Rep. Charlie Dent, (R., Pa.), who sits on the House Ethics Committee and the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, which oversees pipelines.

In 2008, Mr. McElwee reported trades in several small energy companies, including Pyramid Oil, which was bought and sold 14 times in his account during the year, and Rex Energy, which was traded 31 times in 2008. His profits or losses couldn't be determined from the disclosure filings. In 2009, Mr. McElwee didn't report any stock trades.

Neither Mr. McElwee nor Mr. Dent's office responded to requests for comment.

While there may not be rules against doing this, it does kind of look bad.

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