Bass Provides Documentation To Refute Stock Charges
Friday, Oct. 15, 2010
On 10/14, ex-Rep. Charlie Bass (R) supplied a copy of a certificate that shows he obtained some stock "membership" in New England Wood Pellet on 1/7/07, after he left the House. "Bass said this is the only stock he's ever bought in the company." Bass: "That's the end of the story; there's nothing else to it."
Atty Ann McLane Kuster's (D) spokesperson Colin Van Ostern said Bass' own admission of making mistakes on the form "are not credible," and "taking Bass at his own word, his actions were unethical."
Van Ostern: "Even by Congressman Bass's own questionable account, he used his office to promote his nephew's company, then got rewarded with over $500,000 worth of his company's stock just days after leaving office, in a private deal not available to the public... No matter how loudly Congressman Bass denies it, the fact is that the company's own press clippings in 2006 credited him personally with setting up a one-on-one meeting between the company president and the U.S. Secretary of Energy, specifically to promote the company and urge funding for tax credits to help it."
If Bass wins, a House Ethics Cmte probe "could sort out questions about his purchase" of the stock. The group Common Cause says an ethics inquiry "would resolve the conflict between what Bass disclosed about his personal investments in 2007 and what he's now saying about them on the campaign trail."
Common Cause spokesperson Mary Boyle: "We are not requesting an investigation. In these cases, an inquiry can be of benefit both to the member and the public that is out there scratching their heads trying to make sense of this " (Landrigan, Nashua Telegraph, 10/15).
And It Goes On...
Kuster and Bass faced off in a debate 10/14, where Kuster hit Bass on the wood pellet investigation. Kuster: "The last thing we need is to send a special-interest congressman back to Washington who's been self-dealing... I'll be working for the people of the district ... not some special stock deal."
Bass: "All these allegations are ridiculous. I had no interest in the company until after I was out of Congress."
Kuster said she disapproves of continuing the Bush tax cuts for top income earners. Kuster: "He wants to give tax breaks to millionaires and billionaires. If those tax cuts worked so well, why are we in the mess we're in now?"
Bass replied that "raising taxes is a bad idea" (McKeon, Nashua Telegraph, 10/15).