House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is knee-deep in allegations that she used her influence to personally enrich herself and her family since becoming speaker of the House in 2007. Scribe reported last week that Pelosi stands to benefit financially from major energy legislation called the NAT GAS Act.
Pelosi, who once promised to lead “the most honest, most open, most ethical Congress in history,” has engaged in some ethically questionable decisions since making that pledge. The latest revelation: Pelosi promoted as an economic “expert” suited to guide congressional policy a man with significant financial ties to her husband and son.
Pelosi invited investment banker William Hambrecht to Capitol Hill four times to be part of her economic policy forums. She did not disclose the fact that Hambrecht and her husband were partners in numerous business ventures. Hambrecht is also Pelosi’s son’s boss.
Roll Call unearthed the details in a Monday report:
According to her personal financial disclosure form for 2010, Pelosi’s husband, Paul, had holdings in more than a half-dozen companies tied to Hambrecht’s investment banking firm WR Hambrecht + Co.
The best-known Hambrecht/Pelosi partnership is the struggling United Football League.
An October 2009 Washington Post story reported that Paul Pelosi had purchased a team in Hambrecht’s nascent league for $12 million. The article was published four days before Hambrecht participated in another of Pelosi’s economic forums. After that four-hour meeting, Pelosi introduced Hambrecht and several other “leading economists” at a news conference, saying, “They’re going to tell you some of their forecasts that they told us about — some of the options that we may have in investments, in tax policy, in budgetary overview, on how we create jobs in the most fiscally sound way,” according to a CQ transcript…
The Pelosis’ son, Paul Pelosi Jr., worked at Hambrecht’s company as an investment banker from July 2009 to September 2011, but a source familiar with his employment said, “He did not work on any investments that his family had through the company.”
The two families have been friends for many years, and the Hambrechts have donated more than $2 million to Democratic campaigns and causes, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Pelosi’s actions did not violate the law or House ethics rules. In fact, these sorts of conflicts have occurred frequently in recent years, according to reports on “congressional insider trading.” Scribe recently interviewed author Peter Schweizer, who investigated many of the lawmakers, on both sides of the aisle, engaging in these ethically questionable but perfectly legal activities.
According to Roll Call, the STOCK Act, pending legislation that seeks to address this apparent oversight in House ethics rules, would not address the Pelosi-Hambrecht relationship or similar practices.
The article also reveals that Pelosi is personally opposed to the NAT GAS Act, even though it was part of Democrats’ “Make it in America” initiative listed on her congressional website. The legislation would subsidize vehicles powered by natural gas and the refueling infrastructure needed to make those vehicles feasible.