Pages tagged “Vermont”
Welch Stock Trading Makes Front Page of New York Times.
This month, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate Rep. Peter Welch has received at least three pieces of bad campaign news: critical coverage of his stock trading on the front page of the New York Times, positive national news coverage of GOP darkhorse challenger Gerald Malloy, and a national poll showing Malloy just 6.5% behind him.
Welch’s thumbnail photo appeared with many other members of Congress of both parties in an above-the-fold news story headlined “Stock Trades Reported by Nearly a Fifth of Congress Show Possible Conflicts.” The story named lawmakers owning stock in companies their committees oversee, transactions of these stocks, and lawmakers’ efforts to hide these transactions.
The New York Times story didn’t go into detail about Welch’s eyebrow-raising stock transactions. But other media already had.
According to Capitol Trades, Welch was the only member of the Vermont Congressional delegation to make stock market trades in the previous three years. Almost all of his 55 trades were “sell.” The most recent “buys” occurred in March, 2020, when Welch purchased between $1000 and $15,000 shares of Medtronic, a medical equipment company; PayPal; and Consolidated Edison, an energy company serving New York City and Westchester County.
The Washington Times reported December 28, 2021 that Welch and his wife Margaret Cheney failed to promptly report a September $6,238 sale of Exxon stock. Cheney reportedly had inherited the stock from her mother. Cheney is the former chair of the Vermont Public Service Board, the state’s ‘energy court.’ She also is a former chair of the House Natural Resources and Energy Committee, where she oversaw pro-renewable power energy legislation.
The Exxon trade went unreported for 53 days. The tardy reporting violated a 2012 law co-sponsored by Welch regulating congressional stock sales. The law sets a 30-45 day trade reporting deadline.
On October 28, Welch grilled Exxon’s CEO at a House hearing, including challenging his ‘credibility.’
Those facts were not lost on a non-partisan government watchdog group, Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT).
Recent reporting shows that Rep. Welch failed to disclose that his wife sold $6,238 in ExxonMobil stock on September 17, 2021, by the November 1, 2021, deadline,” FACT reported Dec. 22. “Although Rep. Welch’s spokesperson admitted that he had learned of the trade on October 25, 2021, he grilled ExxonMobil’s CEO in a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on October 28, 2021, and didn’t disclose the transaction until November 9, 2021, eight days after he was required to.
“Rep. Welch has been a member of Congress for nearly 15 years and is well aware of the financial reporting requirements. What makes this case egregious, beyond the violation itself, is that his office acknowledged that he knew of the transaction prior to the reporting deadline and not only missed it, but grilled the ExxonMobil CEO about transparency and credibility just days later. The OCE must fully investigate this violation and apply the requisite penalties,” said Kendra Arnold, Executive Director of FACT.
It also wasn’t the only tardily-reported trade. A sale of Cloetta AB worth $1000 – $15,000, went unreported for 106 days, Capitol Trades reports. Cloetta AB is a Swedish confectionary company.
Welch’s spokesperson told the Washington Times in December he would no longer trade stock. The most recent stock transaction attributed to Welch on Capitol Trades is November 18, 2021 – a month before the December, 2021 promise.
Vermont Daily Chronicle published details of the Trafalgar national poll on September 11. Breitbart published its news story on September 18. The first four paragraphs are republished below:
Vermont’s Republican U.S. Senate nominee Gerald Malloy said that “Vermonters are ready for change” after being “fed up” with the current leadership in the country during an appearance on Breitbart News Saturday.
“I can tell you campaigning in the last seven months [with] boots on the ground… Vermonters are ready for change,” Malloy told Breitbart News Saturday host, Breitbart News’ Washington Bureau Chief Matthew Boyle.
“Vermonters have common sense, and they see, you know, paying at the pump and paying at the grocery store, and they’re fed up with the performance… from their leadership in Congress, and they’re ready for change,” Malloy explained.
He also noted that the campaign is moving in a “very positive” direction after a recent poll from the Trafalgar Group showed that Malloy is only 6.5 percent down from Rep. Peter Welsh (D-VT), a career politician who’s been endorsed by socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Courtesy Vermont Daily Chronicle
Vermonters can Register to Vote Online, at DMV, or at Town/City Clerk’s Office
Vermont Secretary of State Jim Condos this week encouraged Vermonters to register to vote for National Voter Registration Day (NVRD) on September 20th. NVRD is a nonpartisan civic holiday celebrating democracy, held annually in September.
“When you register to vote and cast your ballot, you are strengthening our democracy just by participating,” Condos said. “National Voter Registration Day is an opportunity for us to try and further reach those eligible Vermonters who are not yet registered.”
“No matter how you vote, or how you cast your ballot, we want you to register and vote. We’ve made it easy: you can register online at https://olvr.vermont.gov, automatically at the Department of Motor Vehicles, or by registering directly with your Town or City Clerk.
“The November 8 General Election will be here before you know it. Vermont does have same-day voter registration, so if you forget to register before Election Day, you can still show up at the polls, register, and vote, but why wait and risk any complications? Register today, or for NVRD, and save yourself the hassle. Plus, once registered you have a number of early voting options you can consider,” Condos said.
U.S. Senate Debate September 8 @ 6:00=7:30PM
The 2022 Digger Debate Series continues in-person and virtually with the U.S. Senate debate in Manchester sponsored by the Necrason Group.
About this event
Join us at the Southern Vermont Arts Center in Manchester on September 8 at 6 p.m. as candidates vie for Senator Leahy's seat in the U.S. Senate. The debate will also be livestreamed on the VTDigger website.
The debate will feature Republican nominee Gerald Malloy, a businessman and veteran of the U.S. Army, and Democrat Peter Welch, a member of the U.S. House. The two are competing for the seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.
Register now for in-person tickets (only 250 seats available) or to receive the link to the livestream. The doors (and cash bar)will open at 5:30 p.m.
Closed captioning is available on the livestream. If you need accommodations, please contact Kate at [email protected]
In accordance with federal guidelines, masks will be required if local Covid-19 levels are rated "high" by the CDC at the time of the event.
Candidate Questions for 2022
Courtesy of Ethan Allen Institute
Here are sixteen fairly stated and timely questions voters should put to those seeking legislative office this November. Voters deserve to know where office seekers stand. That’s what makes democracy work.
- Should the legislature require the top five percent of Vermont income taxpayers to pay a $30 million income tax surcharge to finance a “Green New Deal”?
- Should the legislature broaden the current 6% sales and use tax on goods to include services (such as haircuts, lawn maintenance, plumbing, legal advice, etc.)?
- Should the legislature make it an annual practice to contribute at least 10% more than the Annual Required Contribution to the two state retirement funds in order to eliminate their more than $5 Billion unfunded liabilities by 2040?
- The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2020 set mandatory carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets for 2025, 2030, and 2050. This is to be accomplished by rules controlling all usage of gasoline, diesel fuel, natural gas, heating oil and propane. These rules would take effect without any vote by elected representatives. Should all such rules be presented to the legislature for approval before taking effect?
- The Global Warming Solutions Act of 2020 authorizes “any person” to bring a lawsuit against the State if the emission reduction rules fail to achieve the adopted targets. Should this “sue the State” provision be repealed?
- Under the Congressional Review Act, a simple majority of both chambers of Congress can pass a resolution of disapproval to kill a rule. Should one fifth of the members of the Vermont House or Senate be allowed to force a record vote on a resolution of disapproval of new state rules that will have large economic impacts?
- Should Vermont join ten other states in a multi-state agreement called the Transportation Climate Initiative (TCI-P), by which Vermont agrees to discourage the use of motor fuel by increasing gasoline and diesel taxes by a steadily increasing 5-17 cents/gallon , using the revenue to subsidize “green” projects such as electric vehicle subsidies, EV charging stations, electric buses, etc.?
- Should the legislature adopt a “Clean Heat Standard” designed to increase the price of home and business heating fuel in order to raise money to finance weatherization, electric heat pumps, and other “green” projects favored by the Public Utility Commission?
- Should the legislature make “carbon neutrality”, either through the use of building materials and processes or the purchase of “carbon offsets”, a requirement for obtaining an Act 250 development permit?
- Should the legislature mandate that residential buildings conform to State-established “green” energy efficiency standards before a title can be transferred?
- Should persons be free to make personal use of drugs like heroin and fentanyl, provided that they accept financial responsibility for medical treatment for overdoses?
- Should the legislature require electric vehicles to contribute the equivalent of a motor fuel tax to the Transportation Fund, as do on-road gasoline and diesel-powered vehicles, to pay for maintenance of State roads and bridges?
- Should the general election ballot offer voters a choice among teams of Governor and Lt. Governor candidates, with the lower state offices filled on a nonpartisan basis by appointment and confirmation? (The One Big Choice Plan).
- Should able-bodied persons who receive state welfare assistance be required to perform 10 hours a week of volunteer service in their communities?
- Should the legislature allow all parents to choose the school or educational program that best fits the needs of their children from among a wide array of providers, with their portion of Education Fund dollars following the child?
- Should the legislature approve a “Community Resilience and Biodiversity Act” (vetoed in 2022) to designate 30% of Vermont as undevelopable “conservation” districts by 2030, and 50% by 2050?
There are of course many other questions that could be posed. But pressing candidates to respond to these will give voters a good measure of the views and abilities of people seeking elective office. Voters deserve to know what they’ll get by giving their votes. That’s what makes democracy work.
By John McClaughry