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“…Lyndon Johnson, while he served in the House and the Senate, told people to purchase advertising on his Austin ratio station, KBTC, in order to get his attention. LBJ also frequently used his power at the Federal Communication Commission to obtain licenses for his radio and television stations and to block competitors from invading his markets in Texas. His company, needless to say, prospered. An initial investment of $17,500 grew into a media empire worth millions. – Perter Schweizer, Throw Them All Out, Pages XXI-XXII
Continuing with my current agenda this morning, I came across a name…someone I was unfamiliar with…in the first chapter of Throw Them All Out. So I looked him up.
From Schweizer’s book, the story begins in early 2009 as the road to Obamacare begins. Just for fun, I will withhold his name until the end:
One of the more creative and cynical plays on health care reform came from Congressman [X] of [State]. [X] is a young politician who had just taken his congressional seat in January 2009. But he was clearly seen as a rising star, with an appointment to the powerful House Rules Committee. He also sits on the House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee and the Education and Labor Committee’s Subcommittee on Healthy Families and Communities. [X] is wealthy. He grew up amid privilege, and his family became enormously rich after founding and later selling [website/business].
Throughout 2009, [X] was a tireless advocate for Obamacare… …As a member of the House Education and Labor Committee, he was involved in shepherding through one of the three pieces of legislation that would become the final bill. As a member of the powerful Rules Committee, he helped shape the parameters and procedures to secure passage of the bill in the House.
[Sidenote: Mostly lost to history now, that “passage” probably marks the beginning of the end of this little experiment. But that is for another time.]
None of this gave him pause when it came to investing in health care companies as he helped determine the fate of Obamacare. While [X] was praising the benefits of health care overhaul, he was buying millions of dollars’ worth of a private company called BrideHealth International. … One of the things that BridgeHealth offers is medical tourism: providing less expensive medical procedures in counties such China, Mexico, … In other words, [X] was betting that there could be more, not less, medical tourism after the passage of health care reform. Companies in the medical tourism industry generally agreed, and favored Obamacare. They did not believe the bill would actually contain costs…
[Sidenote: No thinking person actually believed it would contain costs…or “bend the cost curve down.” The “nonpartisan” CBO, acting as the most willing of whores for the Obama administration, was in on the con and provided all the right
lies…er, I mean, models and projections. Schmucks believed it. But I digress.]
In all, [X] put between $7 million and $35 million into the company as the health care bill wended its way through Capitol Hill. When investment timing was crucial, [X]’s purchases often coincided with the work of his committees. …[X]’s office, not surprisingly, insists that his investments had no influence on his vote. … But people do not make multimillion-dollar investments in a vacuum. And [X] was well positioned to know the details of the massive bill as well as what amendments would or wouldn’t be considered.
As we all know, diversity is important in investing too:
Then there is the matter of his biotech investments. The health care reform bill that emerged from [X]’s committees was also enormously beneficial for biotech companies. […lots of words about “discovery credits” and “drug exclusivity”...]
Congressman [X] favored the discovery credit and longer exclusivity provisions. And he made three large purchases of an exchange-traded fund when his committees pushed through the bill. He bought between $750,000 and $1.5 million in [a conveniently selected fund] just weeks after the committee proposed to extent the exclusivity period.
That investment provided a 25% return in six months. Not bad. (Exit question: Which is more useless, the House Ethics Committee or tits on a boar hog?)
Now the kicker:
How much money did [X] make? We will probably never know. Curiously, having made these aggressive transaction throughout 2009, in January 2010 he suddenly converted his assets to a “qualified blind trust.” As we will see later, these blind trusts are not really blind, and they don’t prevent a politician from providing political intelligence to those who manage the accounts. In [X]’s case, the person handling his trust was a longtime friend and large campaign contributor… By creating the blind trust [X] no longer had to disclose his stock transactions or profits.
Well, more than a decade has passed since these events. Maybe a little “Where are they now?” is in order. The missing name in the passages above is Jared Polis and, if my internet search this morning is accurate, it turns out he is currently the sitting Governor of Colorado.
I won’t pick on Colorado here…this phenomenon is clearly not limited to just them. In fact, over the last decade, our betters in the Ruling Class have decided it is not even worth the time and effort to hide the game from us anymore. We can now see it just about everywhere…they flaunt it, right in our faces. Pelosi, Reid, Kerry…and “we” largely don’t even care. We just continue to reward the corruption.
A country populated by schmucks is wholly unsuited to maintain the liberty passed to it by better generations.
Into the abyss…
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P.S. RIP Mr. CodevillaPublished in