Virginia politics, policy and entertainment from the Greater Richmond-Washington Metro Area perspective.

Is Congress About To Outlaw “Get Rich The Mark Warner Way”?

Everyone is abuzz about the “60 Minutes” story on congressional insider trading as well as Peter Schweizer’s new book set to blow the lid off the practice.

Like everyone else, members of Congress are subject to current insider trading laws. However, current insider trading laws do not apply to nonpublic information about current or upcoming congressional activity — that’s because members of Congress aren’t technically obligated to keep that information confidential.

So, for instance, if a lawmaker learns an upcoming bill will grant a company a large government contract, which could boost that company’s stock, he or she is free to buy that stock ahead of the bill’s public introduction. This form of “insider trading” is one of the reasons why there are so many wealthy members of Congress, reported earlier this year.

New legislation being introduced would make such transactions violations of House and Senate rules as well as enabling the Securities and Exchange Commission to prosecute cases of insider trading by members of Congress and congressional staff.

Let’s not forget how Sen. Mark Warner got rich.  It wasn’t through hard work or being a tech visionary.  It was because as a congressional staffer for then-Sen. Chris Dodd (D-Conn.) he had access to information about the emerging wireless industry that the general public did not have, particularly in the area of spectrum licensing.  It will be interesting to see if any journalists finally take a hard look into how Warner amassed his fortune in light of this new movement to crack down on congressional insider trading as he truly is the poster boy for this congressional scandal.

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7 Responses to “Is Congress About To Outlaw “Get Rich The Mark Warner Way”?”

  1. Ken Reynolds

    NOT SO to my knowledge…….didnt he earn the money by being connected to rich people who supported HIS venture?

    And while on the subject, how did CHENEY get so connected to ‘his’ company tht has ripped off the LUS Govt for the past 10 years, and especialy in IRAQ???

    • Riley

      Ken, you really need to stop bringing your lack of knowledge to people’s attention.

      How do you think Mark Warner got people to buy in to his venture? His venture itself was based upon inside information he gained as a congressional staffer. In fact, as I understand it, he was brokering spectrum licenses before it was even legal to do so.

      As for Cheney, he was a former Secretary of Defense with no foreseeable political future when he was hired by Halliburton.

  2. Ken Reynolds

    I never knew all this about Warner and you have been in a position to know this….i pass………Halliburton had a godfather for all the money it made ….and i believe …….stole.

  3. GOPHokie

    Ken, Halliburton got tons of no bid contracts while Clinton was in office too. I am not saying they don’t rip the government off (what government contractor doesn’t?), but Dick Cheney being VP isn’t what started that. Having someone in the White House with Executive experience would be pretty nice right now as opposed to a “Community Organizer”. We really shouldn’t start disallowing CEOs of major companies to not hold elected office.
    Related to that, there are tons of Congresspeople who have spouses or relatives who are lobbyists so there are plenty of examples of this on both sides of the aisle.
    As to Mark Warner, some have speculated the way he made his money is why he didn’t run for President in 2008. I don’t know all the details but it is definitely pretty shady on the surface (although not illegal).

    • Riley

      Why he didn’t run has nothing to do with how he made his money. Don’t forget, this guy had exploratory offices open in Iowa and NH before he inexplicably bailed out. It is something much worse than money and someone obviously went to him with what they had to force him out. Look for a YouTube video called something like “The REAL reason Mark Warner didn’t run for president” and it provides some pretty good hints as to what that was.

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