Democrat Leader Accused Of Serious Violation – Iowa Rep. Axne Is On The Hot Seat For Possible Insider Trading

It’s always a concern in the world of politics: the ethics of elected officials. In 2021 especially, we’ve seen many examples of potential ethics violations, which never go over well with voters.

Our politicians often have a lot of power, and have access to plenty of sensitive (and inside) information. As a result, they’re often in positions to abuse the system.

And according to one group, a Democrat leader in Iowa might be guilty of doing just that.

Rep. Cindy Axne is on the hot seat for a potentially serious ethics violation regarding personal stock trades, which involved a significant sum of money: $135,000.

According to a report at The Daily Caller, Axne traded up to $135K in stocks, which normally isn’t against any laws or rules.

However, it seems she traded stocks in companies she has professional ties to: Axne is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and traded stocks in companies she “conducts direct oversight of.”

That’s the problem — she could’ve had inside information that led to her trading.

According to Sludge, Axne traded up to $45,000 in Global Payments Inc, up to $45,000 in the Markel Corporation, up to $30,000 in Visa stock, and up to $15,000 of stock in Mastercard.

But Axne is on a committee that holds “hearings addressing the acquisition and reporting of credit, digital payments and cryptocurrencies, and insurance.”

So this is where it stands now:

Axne was the target of a recent ethics complaint filed by the Campaign Legal Center over other trades.

The group alleged that Axne violated the STOCK Act, which regulates the financial activities of members of Congress, by failing to disclose 40 trades worth between $43,000 and $645,000.

The STOCK Act requires that members of Congress report all stock transactions within 45 days of the trade.

This is an ongoing problem on Capitol Hill.

Again, because so many elected officials are privy to so much information most ordinary citizens don’t have, politicians can really take advantage. It’s ethically wrong, but it keeps happening.

Some Congress members have called for a ban on members trading individual stocks.

New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t like the idea, saying on her Instagram that “we have access to sensitive information and upcoming policy.” So they shouldn’t hold or trade individual stock.

However, Rep. Axne’s office contends that she did nothing wrong. Said a spokesperson:

As the Congresswoman has made clear previously, she does not oversee her family’s retirement or college savings accounts—which she opened more than a decade ago, long before she came to Congress.

Federal law requires her to disclose the transactions in her family’s retirement accounts, even though they are run by a financial advisor and she does nothing to request or approve their actions.

These retirement and savings accounts function without her input, and therefore have no bearing on her work as a Representative for Iowa—and the routine disclosures from them should be treated as such.

While it may not have an impact on her work as a representative, it could be argued that her trades were made with information she only had because of her position.

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That’s where the Campaign Legal Center’s complaint comes in, and there is a question as to whether Axne violated the STOCK Act.

As an ethics issue, it’s an important one: voters seem to be losing trust in their representatives, and when those reps start raking in far more money than their salaries indicate, the citizens start to wonder.

Faith in politicians might be hitting an all-time low right now, so ethics violations leave an especially sour taste in the mouths of voters.

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