Gov. Rick Perry is making a ban on congressional insider trading a central theme of his presidential campaign.
In an op-ed published yesterday with RedState.com, Gov. Perry wrote:
Earlier this week, the Chicago Tribune ran a little noted editorial on the insider trading scandal plaguing Congress, calling out phony efforts to reform the rules and demanding that we finally put a stop to this outrageous and unethical behavior.
If you haven’t read the editorial yet, I recommend you do because while the professional political punditry class is more interested in superfluous items like the political horse race and candidate attire, the reality is that members of both parties in Washington, D.C., are abusing their positions and ordinary Americans have had enough.
The Chicago Tribune article to which Gov. Perry refers was analyzed in a featured story by Breitbart News yesterday.
As Gov. Perry makes clear in his op-ed:
It’s not enough members of Congress make $174,000 a year, some are trading on inside information to use their public service to enrich themselves.
The Tribune is right, the Securities and Exchange Commission and Justice Department should be using every available tool to put a stop to this. But they are not. So, Congress needs to pass the STOCK Act as a matter of urgency, to do even more to ensure that this kind of thing is stopped dead in its tracks.
This is not the first time Gov. Perry has stated his support for ending the use of material, nonpublic information by members of Congress when investing. In November, Perry cut a campaign commercial on this issue.
In his piece yesterday, Gov. Perry makes it clear that banning insider trading by members of Congress is essential:
We have a $15 trillion national debt that is growing by the day, a direct result of establishment, insider politicians who are more interested in constantly increasing their personal power and profit than in reforming the system, bringing spending under control, and doing the work they were elected to do. It’s time to uproot and overhaul Washington. We can start with ensuring insider trading by members of Congress results in prison time, and not unseemly profits.
As the Republican primary moves into the critical states of New Hampshire and then South Carolina, it remains unclear whether Gov. Perry’s emphasis on banning insider trading issue will be enough to improve his currently lagging poll numbers.
Still, as others have argued, the decision to seize the insider trading issue–and all that it symbolizes about the growth of government and the corrupting influence of power–may be an effective way for Republican presidential candidates to galvanize Tea Party activists while also appealing to the nation’s widespread dissatisfaction with Congress.