Monday, July 04, 2011

Wayne Powell hammers Eric Cantor for questionable investment

Chesterfield attorney Wayne Powell is running for the Democratic nomination to challenge Eric Cantor for Virginia's 7th Congressional District. Today, Powell released a statement criticizing Cantor for investing in a fund that stands to gain considerably in value if the debt ceiling negotiations fail--you know, the negotiations that Cantor sabotaged by walking out on them:

This July 4th, 2011 weekend I heard the commentary from a Brit, Tony Blair, about what makes America and Americans unique as a country and a people. The gist of his comment at one point was that an essential American characteristic is that although we applaud individualism, we value ourselves second to our nation, and what is best for this ideal we call America. During this time of economic and international turmoil, we continue to think about the less fortunate among us, and the safety of our sons and daughters in uniform around the globe, those who best represent the “land of the free, and the home of the brave” abroad. Of course I consider my own family at this time of year, especially my son who just visited us and left for his next assignment in the 101st Airborne Division at Fort Campbell, Ky. His next assignment might be Afghanistan.and as always, I think about this political journey I am taking. In a real sense, given the life that I have and the life that I want to have in the future, I am investing in America by seeking the Democratic nomination to run for Congress next year. This is not my campaign, it is yours.

But my opponent, in contrast, has a different investment in mind during this challenging period in our history. With the looming possible default of the national debt in August, Cantor has walked out on the talks because taxes were mentioned. So the question is, “was this a principled position, or was some other motivation at play?” Both sides of the aisle agree that if default occurs, it will have a profound impact on our economy. In this context I found a James Madison quote: “All men having power ought to be distrusted to a certain degree…” When I read this quote, my thoughts turned to the recent news involving Cantor, whose conduct and statements are the opposite of those of a statesman…

Last week I read an article by Jonathan Easley citing Cantor’s investment in ProShares Trust Ultrashort 20+ Year Treasury EFT. Reportedly, the fund is expected to “spike” in value if the US debt is undesirable, in this case, if the US defaults on its debts on August 2, 2011. Mr. Easley calls the situation a “glaring conflict of interest.” This puts a different light on Cantor’s dramatic departure from the debt ceiling negotiations. The walk out during the bipartisan budget talks in late June took place a little over a month before the debt limit will be reached. But the recent disclosure of Cantor’s investment sheds a different light on his motivation.

Cantor’s conduct is not directed to what is good for the nation or the people he was elected to represent, but what is good for him. To Cantor, the intricacies of economics, the national debt, discretionary spending, and taxes pale in comparison to the real motivation that starts his engine in the morning. It’s greed.

Cantor is consistent in at least one area of his life, his unfettered, self-absorbed selfishness. He always lives up to the quote he used next to his high school yearbook photo: “I want what I want when I want it.” Jeff Schapiro included this quote in his Richmond Times Dispatch article a while ago. I agree with Jeff Schapiro, whether it’s ambition to be the speaker of the House, or to benefit from his country’s default, “it is all about Eric.”

As I seek to be your candidate for the Democratic nomination next year, I believe that character does count. Cantor’s response to queries about his investment which would benefit from default is, as expected, none. The congressional financial disclosure form is long, detailed, and leaves no stone unturned. Presumably Cantor filled his out last year, so he knows what it contains. If he doesn’t, then he shouldn’t be involved with complicated budget negotiations. One MSNBC commentator contacted Cantor’s office last week and was told that Cantor has many types of investments. The spokesperson wouldn’t confirm or deny that Cantor still had the ProShares Trust account. Cantor may be too busy in August to assist in negotiating spending cuts or increasing the debt limit if he is hoping to count his profits after his country defaults on its debts for the first time in history.

But, as in all things which reveal Cantor’s true character and his values, he is unlikely to make any public statements about his bet on America’s failure. He will simply deflect the media and public criticism. This is also the same way he treats his political opponents. Time will tell whether this strategy will work next year. As the quintessential Republican icon said, “You can run, but you can’t hide.” Every time Cantor doesn’t speak, his true character speaks louder . . .
The simple inescapable fact here is that Eric Cantor stands to gain financially if the United States fails, and he has been working actively to make certain the United States fails.


Craig said...

Finally a voice for truth!

Craig said...

Finally a voice from the wilderness speaks the TRUTH!

Craig said...

It is about time someone speaks the TRUTH!

CA dreamin said...

Baseball kicked Pete Rose out of baseball for betting on his team to win.....People get thrown in jail for throwing a game and helping the bookies... I wonder how many of Eric's buddies are going to make millions, not pay their fair taxes on such winnings that appear to be heading their way with Eric walking out on budget negotiations.

21a8067c-b23d-11e0-acd0-000bcdcb471e said...

I like your attitude, Mr. Powell.

Eileen S.