As the Boston Globe reported, Deval Patrick recently unloaded some of his stock holdings that “wouldn’t meet some of the liberal “smell tests” for socially responsible investing.” Specifically, that article mentioned:
Those stock sell-offs followed a trend from earlier this year when Deval Patrick sold off his holdings in the nation’s two largest tobacco firms as well as Kerry Healey’s husband’s company prior to the deadline to publicly disclose his holdings. (Interestingly Patrick, a critic of the $1.2 million tax break received by Sean Healey’s company, owned stock in the company himself.) At that time, Patrick’s spokesperson Richard Chacon explained, “When Deval saw these stocks were part of his portfolio, he asked that they be sold, and they were sold earlier this year.”
OK, but if Deval Patrick found those stock holdings offensive to his social and political sensibilities, why not part company with the following items currently in his financial portfolio?
In 2002, the World Policy Institute noted “After a decade of consolidation, the merger [between Northrop Grumman and TRW] will leave the U.S. with three major defense contractors. . .The 1990s bout of government-backed ‘merger mania’ in the military industry accomplished one thing: it resulted in a. . .much more politically powerful corporate military sector.” In a separate article, the institute revealed: “Together Northrop Grumman and TRW have spent over $20 million on lobbying members of Congress and given about $4 million in campaign contributions” Many members of Congress and executive officials have pushed heavily for purchasing items like Stealth Bombers and a national SDI system, purchases that would signify a windfall for Northrop Grumman if approved. . .Several former officials, consultants, or primary shareholders of Northrop Grumman have held high posts in the Bush administration, including Paul Wolfowitz, [and] I. Lewis Libby. Many commentators point to Northrop Grumman as a primary example of a player in the military-industrial complex. By contracting military services to private contractors such as Northrop Grumman, the U.S. Government is seen as avoiding responsibility for its actions.
According to this progressive blog, Deval Patrick is “unambiguously” opposed to the war in Iraq. It is strange then that Patrick should align his financial interests with defense contractors that are profiting from the war. Unambiguous? Do as I say, not as I invest, I guess. Armed with Patrick’s SFI, Google, and Wikipedia, it didn’t take me long to identify these questionable holdings. So, where does Deval Patrick draw the line on socially-responsible investing? Tobacco bad? Military industrial stocks good? Why not just let the sun shine on everything?
Regrettably, Chris Gabrieli, the man who is busy shattering the spending record for a gubernatorial election, doesn’t feel compelled to share any of his income information. Chris, who has been the lightest candidate on substance appears to have adopted a policy of “show little, risk little.” Hey, Chris, I thought we had to “take risks to get results?” What gives?
I note that some still find Tom Reilly’s interest in tax returns “curious”. Personally, I find it open, refreshing, and unabashedly forthcoming.
If Deval Patrick’s limited SFI is any indication, you may also learn that there may be more to what a candidate says once you have seen learned where he gets and bets his dollars.