search
Sections List
American Journal News

House Republican allegedly failed to properly disclose finances and stock trades

Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA) appears to have waited until after his November 2020 reelection to report the trades.

By Josh Israel - July 14, 2021
Share
Rep. Mike Garcia (R-CA)

California Rep. Mike Garcia (R) appears to have allegedly violated federal laws requiring transparency for lawmakers who own and trade stocks.

The 1978 Ethics in Government Act requires members of Congress, as well as House and Senate candidates, to file an annual personal financial disclosure statement, making public the basic details of their income, debts, and holdings.

The 2012 Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge (STOCK) Act also mandates that those serving in Congress disclose the stocks they buy or sell during their time in office.

Garcia, who was elected in a May 2020 special election, appears to have broken both laws in his first year in office.

In June 2020, he filed a financial disclosure “candidate report” noting his multiple homes, his cars, his Bank of America checking accounts, and his other assets.

But while House Ethics Committee guidelines make clear that filers must report “underlying assets in Brokerage Accounts” and in “IRAs, 401(k) Plans, and Other Non-Federal Retirement Accounts,” Garcia listed only that he owned an “Etrade Brokerage account” worth between $100,001 and $250,000 and a “FIdelity 401k” [sic] worth a similar amount.

He did not indicate what stocks or holdings were included in either account, making it impossible to evaluate any potential conflicts of interest.

Garcia listed those two investment accounts the same way in his July 2019 financial disclosure, with no disclosure of their contents.

He revealed some of his stocks later, but only after selling them.

Garcia made thousands of dollars’ worth of stock trades between July and September of 2020, including purchases of American Airlines stock, Direxion Financial Bull 3X fund shares, and Tesla stock, and a sale of Boeing stock.

Despite a clear requirement that these trades be reported within 45 days, none of them were. Instead, Garcia  disclosed the transactions on Nov. 23 — after his narrow Nov. 3 reelection.

A spokesperson for Garcia did not immediately respond to an inquiry for this story.

Garcia’s took over his House seat after his predecessor, first-term Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, resigned in October 2019 amid an ethics investigation over allegations of inappropriate relationships with staffers.

He won that special election after highlighting his “honesty and integrity” and vowing to “get rid of the career politicians in both parties.”

“Washington, DC truly is a swamp filled with career politicians who are more concerned with their next election than making tough decisions,” he wrote on his campaign site.

It is unclear why Garcia chose to be opaque about his holdings and trades.

Beth Rotman, Money in Politics & Ethics program director for Common Cause, told The American Independent Foundation that the law was clear. “If somebody doesn’t disclose within 45 days, that’s a violation,” she said, confirming that the financial disclosure requirement “includes listing specific stocks.”

Cases like these highlight the need for more reform, she argued, as members of Congress are in privileged positions and have access to more information than regular investors.

“Yes, we need more transparency. Yes, the STOCK Act needs to be enforced,” she explained. “But the only real fix for these kinds of problems is to have Congress members put their holdings in blind trusts.”

Other lawmakers have faced significant scrutiny in recent months, specifically during the 2020 election season, over allegations that they inappropriately traded stocks during the pandemic based on inside information, including former Georgia Sens. David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, who ultimately lost to their respective Democratic campaign rivals, Sens. Jon Ossoff and Raphael Warnock.

Both Perdue and Loeffler have said repeatedly that they did nothing wrong and have claimed they were cleared by the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Justice Department, and a Senate ethics panel, though as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution noted in December, those groups typically do not confirm or deny the existence of investigations into such matters “unless there are findings to act upon, which can sometimes take months or years.”

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


AJ News
Get the latest news here first.

Tai News

Newsletter
Read More
AJ News
Latest
Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

Republican Eric Hovde makes inconsistent statements about family history

By Jesse Valentine - February 26, 2024
Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

Republican David McCormick invests millions in website that platforms Holocaust denial

By Jesse Valentine - February 09, 2024
Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

Lawmakers will again take up bills expanding, tightening gun laws

By Annmarie Timmins, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 31, 2024
UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

UAW delivers rousing presidential endorsement for Biden over ‘scab’ Trump

By Ashley Murray, States Newsroom - January 24, 2024
Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

Republicans Sam Brown and Jeff Gunter sling mud in Nevada senate primary

By Jesse Valentine - January 17, 2024
A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

A Young Texas Woman Almost Died Due To The Texas Abortion Bans – Now She’s Battling To Save Other Women

By Bonnie Fuller - January 10, 2024
Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

Health care legislation preview: Maryland advocates want to focus on access, patients in 2024 session

By Danielle J. Brown, Maryland Matters - January 08, 2024
How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

How GOP senate hopefuls try to excuse the  January 6 insurrection

By Jesse Valentine - January 05, 2024
NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

NH lawmakers will be taking up major voting bills this year. Here are some to watch for.

By Ethan DeWitt, New Hampshire Bulletin - January 04, 2024
Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

Republican US Senate candidates want to make Trump’s tax cuts permanent 

By Jesse Valentine - December 22, 2023
Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

Rand Paul went all in on the Kentucky governor’s race. It didn’t work.

By - December 15, 2023
Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

Texas governor and attorney general do little to curb state’s chemical plant crisis

By Jesse Valentine - December 08, 2023
Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

Likely GOP Senate candidate Eric Hovde proposed tax hike for poorer workers and retirees

By Jesse Valentine - December 07, 2023
Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

Whitmer signs specific criminal penalties for assaulting health care workers into law

By Anna Liz Nichols, Michigan Advance - December 06, 2023
105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

105 Republicans voted to expel Santos for things Trump has also done

By Jesse Valentine - December 05, 2023
For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

For Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, another Trump term is another chance to kill Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - December 04, 2023
Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

Florida Sen. Rick Scott backs Donald Trump in revived push to repeal Obamacare

By Jesse Valentine - November 30, 2023
Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

Tate Reeves took donations from power company that hiked customer rates

By Jesse Valentine - November 06, 2023
Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

Daniel Cameron ran on depoliticizing the Kentucky AG’s office. He made it more political.

By Jesse Valentine - November 03, 2023
Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

Republican operatives sound every alarm on current trajectory of 2023 governor’s race

By Adam Ganucheau, Mississippi Today - October 24, 2023
Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

Follow the money: Tim Sheehy takes thousands from drug company lobbyists

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

Judge behind Alabama embryo ruling has ties to Ted Cruz

By Jesse Valentine - February 29, 2024
Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

Telehealth abortions on the rise since Dobbs, new report shows

By Sofia Resnick, States Newsroom - February 28, 2024
Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

Utah lawmakers want to repeal abortion clinic ban hoping it will speed up trigger law case

By Katie McKellar, Utah News Dispatch - February 27, 2024
Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

Republican Bernie Moreno opposes existence of minimum wage

By Jesse Valentine - February 23, 2024