Politics affect personal finances, and sometimes the personal finances of politicians affect politics. That was the case for years, as the left demanded to see President Trump’s tax returns. And now, voters and political pundits are both wondering how the allegations of “insider trading” and the personal finances of the two GOP candidates might affect the upcoming Georgia runoff election.
Democrats are betting big that Sen. David Perdue’s (R-Ga.) controversial record of trading stocks throughout the coronavirus pandemic is going to hurt him in the Georgia runoff election scheduled for Jan. 5.
Are the claims true or false?
The Perdue campaign says the charges are “totally false”. They claim he has been “exonerated’ by the Department of Justice, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Senate Ethics Committee. But, The Hill reports that Perdue’s claims earlier this year that his personal finances were handled by an “outside adviser” were undercut by new reporting that he sold off a large stake in Cardlytics, a company for which he previously sat on the board, after receiving an email from the company’s CEO referring to “upcoming changes.”
Perdue’s stock trades have also received new scrutiny. The New York Times reported that he made 2,596 trades — in stocks, bonds, and funds — during his first term. This includes stock in FireEye, a federal contractor that offers services to combat cybersecurity threats.
Who else is facing accusations?
Perdue is not alone in these kinds of accusations. His fellow GOP candidate, Sen. Kelly Loeffler – also involved in the runoff – has faced similar charges. The broader Democratic message is to paint Perdue and Loeffler – two of the richest members of Congress – as people out of touch with the common worker, and who received financial gains at a time the economy was tanking and millions of Americans were losing their jobs.
Perdue and Loeffler are both on the ballot in the January 5 runoff election. Democrats must defeat them to win the Senate majority. The big question heading into next month’s runoff is whether attacks on their personal finances, which Democrats highlighted before Nov. 3 as well, will significantly influence the race.
Republicans feel that in an electorate so split, the financial attacks will have little impact. Democratic strategists, however, think that hitting Perdue’s stock trades could have more traction in the runoff because with President Trump no longer on the ballot, there are fewer political stories competing for attention.
What do you think, will the personal finances of the GOP candidates have any impact on the Georgia Senate runoffs? Please reply using the comments below.