FACT CHECK: Sherrod Has Been An Outspoken Advocate For Stronger Transparency And Ethics Laws

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FACT CHECK: Sherrod Has Been An Outspoken Advocate For Stronger Transparency And Ethics Laws

JOSH CLAIMS:  Sherrod Brown profited from the Wall Street bailout.

THE TRUTH:  Sherrod Brown supported the STOCK Act and actually introduced an amendment that would go a step further by requiring all Senators to sell any stocks for companies that are impacted by their work in the Senate.

1. Sherrod Brown introduced an amendment to the STOCK Act that would prohibit members of Congress from owning stock in any companies that are affected by their official duties. [Washington Post, 01/31/12]

2. Following the death of his mother, Sherrod inherited a small amount of J.P. Morgan stock but sold it because of his position on the Senate Banking Committee. [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/1/12]

Sen. Brown Supported The STOCK Act, But Claimed It Wasn’t Good Enough.  In January 2012, The Washington Post reported that Senator “Brown says he supports the STOCK Act, but that it isn’t good enough. His proposal would formally prohibit members from owning individual stock in any companies directly affected by any of their official duties. This rule already applies to committee staff and executive branch employees, but not officials elected to the legislative branch.”  [Washington Post, 01/31/12]

Senator Brown Planned To Introduce A Measure That Would Require All Senators To Divest Of Any Stock That Are Impacted By Their Own Decisions.  In January 2012, Greg Sargent of The Washington Post wrote that “Senator Brown tells me he is introducing a measure in the Senate today that would require all Senators to divest themselves of any stocks in companies that are impacted by their actions as a Senator. The idea is that members of Congress who are suffering historically low approval ratings while enjoying historically high levels of personal wealth have some work to do in building confidence that the institution is representing the public interest, rather than the interests of the wealthy and well-connected, some of whom are, well, them.”  [Washington Post, 1/31/12]

Amendment To The STOCK Act Offered By Sen. Brown Would Have Required Lawmakers To Sell Their Stocks Or Place Them In A Blind Trust.  In February 2012, WKSU reported “A bill banning insider trading by members of Congress got a ‘yes’ vote from both of Ohio’s senators yesterday. But it got only qualified support from one of them. Republican Sen. Rob Portman, praised the bill, saying it ‘ensures that those who abuse their access to inside information will be held accountable.’ Ohio’s other senator, Democrat Sherrod Brown, also voted for the Stock Act. But an amendment he offered would have gone much further by requiring lawmakers to sell stocks that could create conflicts of interest or to put the stock in a blind trust.”  [WKSU.org, 02/02/12]

Following The Death Of His Mother, Brown Inherited J.P. Morgan Stock And Sold It.  In February 2012, The Cleveland Plain Dealer wrote “although Brown is on the Senate banking committee, which in 2010 helped write the Dodd-Frank financial regulation law, he held stock through a family trust in J.P. Morgan Chase that year, his records show.”  The Plain Dealer continued by quoting Brown, “‘I also inherited last year, after the death of my mother, a small amount — when I say a small amount, a few thousand dollars, literally — of J.P. Morgan stock. It shows in one of my reports [that] I sold it almost immediately upon inheriting it. So I think I should not hold any of those. The total worth of those was, I believe, around $10,000, maybe less. I thought that selling it made the most sense.’”  [Cleveland Plain Dealer, 2/1/12]