This morning, the news outlet Sludge reports Iowa Representative Cindy Axne (D) has been buying and selling stocks in companies she is tasked with overseeing as a House Financial Services Committee member.
Sludge describes itself as an “independent, nonprofit news outlet that produces investigative journalism on lobbying and money in politics.”
In a periodic transaction filing discovered by Sludge, Axne reported:
- Purchasing up to
- $45,000 of stock in Global Payments, Inc. A financial technology services company.
- $30,000 of stock in global credit card and finance giant Visa
- 15,000 of stock in Mastercard, the multinational financial services corporation.
- Sold up to
- $45,000 worth of stock in Markel Corporation. A global holding company focused on insurance, reinsurance, and investments.
According to the House Financial Services Committee website, “The Committee oversees all components of the nation’s housing and financial services sectors including banking, insurance, real estate, public and assisted housing, and securities.”
Axne’s bold and unapologetic embrace of buying and selling stocks appears to be in direct conflict with her role of regulating those same companies.
Axne is no stranger to financial disclosure scandals. These insider trading concerns brought forward by Sludge come after a separate financial disclosure issue involving Axne was uncovered in September. In that situation, there were claims that Axne broke Federal law by failing to disclose up to $645,000 in stock trades. Iowa Field Report covered the story:
“Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan political watchdog group, alleged that Iowa Congresswoman Cindy Axne violated the STOCK (Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge ) Act and House ethics rules after purchasing 40 assets and then not disclosing the transaction, as required by law. The assets ranged in value from $43,000 to $645,000.”
Today’s revelations also present concerns that Axne and her husband are taking advantage of privileged information to buy and sell the stocks; in their report, Sludge notes, “The Axnes have not shied away from trading finance industry stocks despite the appearance of potential for insider trading resulting from her Financial Services Committee seat.”
Additionally, The report also highlights the fact Axne has enjoyed generous support from the very industries she oversees.
“So far this cycle, Axne’s campaign has received over $218,000 from individuals employed in the Finance, Insurance, & Real Estate sector, according to OpenSecrets, and $36,000 from PACs in the sector, making it one of her top sources of re-election contributions.”
In a statement to the media after the report was released, the National Republican Congressional Committee Spokesman Mike Berg said,
“It’s clear that Cindy Axne’s stock trading scandal hasn’t stopped her from continuing to aggressively buy and sell stocks in companies she oversees on the House Financial Services Committee. Iowans are going to fire Axne for using her public office to line her own pockets.”
Sludge’s full report can be found here.
The Periodic Transition Report listing Axne’s trades is below.