Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) support for a bill banning members of Congress from using insider information to enrich themselves is being overshadowed by a report by the Wall Street Journal that the congresswoman's husband, Stephen Lowey, invested $350,000 in a fund co-founded by Rajat Gupta, a former Goldman Sachs board member facing criminal insider-trading charges.
Rep. Lowey's husband says his decision to invest $350,000 since 2008 in a fund run by New Silk Route Growth Capital should not reflect negatively on his wife:
Neither Mrs. Lowey nor I know Mr. Gupta, have ever met him or have had any dealings with him at all. It's not her [Rep. Nita Lowe's] investment. She had nothing to do with it.
Between 2006 and 2011, one of New Silk Route's co-founders, Parag Saxena, contributed more than $8,000 to Rep. Lowey's congressional campaign funds. According to the Wall Street Journal's report:
Mr. Lowey, a lawyer, said he committed $500,000 in 2008 to New Silk Route, which focuses on investments in India, because he and his wife had a relationship with another New Silk Route co-founder, Parag Saxena, whom he called "a neighbor and a friend" in Westchester County. Mr. Lowey has made several payments building toward that commitment but has not yet met it, he said....
Mr. Lowey made contributions to New Silk Route in 2010, including one after The Wall Street Journal first reported that Mr. Gupta was involved in the federal insider-trading investigation.
Mr. Lowey said all his investments in New Silk Route since 2008 have stemmed from requests for more capital by the fund. He said his investment was down by roughly $30,000 at the end of 2010 but was unsure of its current value. "If there were any smoke here, that's one thing," Mr. Lowey said. "But there's nothing here."
Last Thursday, Rep. Nita Lowey joined 416 other members of the House of Representatives in passing the STOCK (Stop Trading On Congressional Knowledge) Act to ban members of Congress from using their positions of power to enrich themselves.