House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her husband Paul Pelosi aren’t the only ones facing heightened scrutiny over Nvidia stock shares. Rep. Elaine Luria, a particularly vulnerable Democrat representing Virginia’s 2nd Congressional District, has come under fire for owning up to $25 million in Nvidia stocks.
What’s even more damning to Luria is that she has voted in favor of boosting the chips industry, including last Thursday when she voted in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act, which is aimed at boosting the domestic chip manufacturing industry. It’s billed as a way to compete with China, though it will also add an estimated $48 billion to the deficit over five years and by $79 billion through 2031.
State Sen. Jen Kiggans, who is running against Rep. Luria in November, issued a press release on Thursday calling on the congresswoman to sell her stocks, and claiming a failure to do so affects her putting constituents’ needs first.
“Elaine Luria’s vote to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for an industry in which she owns up to $25 million in stocks would be unethical, self-serving, and the latest example of how she will put her bottom line ahead of her constituents’ well-being,” Kiggans said in a statement. “Instead of reforming Washington like she promised on the campaign trail, Elaine has spent her time in Washington playing political games, voting with Nancy Pelosi over 95% of the time, and flip-flopping on everything from accepting corporate PAC donations to raising the minimum wage. If Elaine is serious about reforming Washington, she should lead by example and immediately sell her stocks in the Nvidia Corporation after her vote.”
Kiggans spoke further about other issues affecting the district. “Elaine Luria has used her power to enrich herself by tens of millions of dollars since taking office. But while she has been busy raking in millions, Virginians have been battling an economic recession, 40-year high inflation, and crippling supply-chain and labor shortages. November 8th can’t come soon enough,” she added.
Also mentioned in Kiggans’ press release are poorly-chosen remarks from the congresswoman in an interview from February with Punchbowl News about banning members from trading, something which has had bipartisan support.
From Punchbowl’s morning newsletter on February 10, 2022:
Max [Cohen]: “I saw Speaker Pelosi is publicly, is going to back a ban on stock trading among members. I was curious what your thoughts were on this?”
Luria: “So my thoughts on it, you know, I think this whole concept is bulls**t. Because I think that, why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently bad or corrupt? We already have the STOCK Act that requires people to report stock trades. Why would you assume – I mean, the people that you’re electing to represent you, it makes no sense that you’re going to automatically assume that they’re going to use their position for some nefarious means or to benefit themselves. So I’m very strongly opposed to any legislation like that.”
[Rep. Cindy] Axne and Luria have also both filed stock transactions during the last two years, according to financial disclosure records filed with the House Clerk’s office. Here’s Axne’s most recent full financial disclosure report and here is Luria’s.
Luria has a heavy position in publicly traded stocks. Luria and her husband, Robert Blondin, own between $1 million-$5 million in Facebook stock, $1 million-$5 million in NVIDIA stock and $500,000-$1 million in Netflix stock. Financial disclosure reports only provide a range of asset values.
Last year alone, Luria and her husband traded hundreds of thousands of dollars of stocks. On March 31, they sold between $250,000-$500,000 in Alibaba stock. The couple purchased $250,000- $500,000 of Uber stock the same day as they sold the Alibaba position.
Also in March of 2021, Luria’s husband bought between $1,000-$15,000 of both QuantumScape and Tesla stock.
In a midday newsletter from that same day, Punchbowl included comments from an anonymous former staffer with whom Luria’s comments did not sit well with. As the person told Punchbowl:
“Rep. Luria knows a lot about the Navy, the ‘swing-district’ nature of Southeast Virginia and so much more. She’s absolutely brilliant. Watch her in committee hearings sometime. Her political judgment on the other hand? Not particularly sound, as she made clear with these tone-deaf, goofy comments. Half the people in her military-heavy district are already angry about inflation and some would storm the Capitol again for Trump. Now this unforced error pours gasoline on an inferno. You can already hear the Virginia GOP laughing their way to a pickup seat. If the ads weren’t already made, she gave them some killer material. Someone in her office needs to show her some stories about Richard Burr, Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue, but it’s probably too late.”
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) has also been going after Luria calling her out for her stocks and voting records.
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