Colorado Delegation Democrats Invest Their Money in Wall Street

August 21, 2012
By

Ed Perlmutter (D-Lakewood), a member of the House Financial Services Committee, owns financial services holding company stocks

WASHINGTON — Rep. Ed Perlmutter owns as much as $200,000 of stock in a financial services company he oversees as a member of a key committee in Congress.

The Lakewood Democrat owns two stocks worth $50,001 to $100,000 each in U.S. Bancorp, a diversified financial services holding company.

Perlmutter sits on the House Committee on Financial Services, which has jurisdiction over the nation’s banking system.

Asked if Perlmutter’s investments represent a conflict of interest, his Republican opponent in the race for the 7th congressional district seat, Joseph Coors, declined to respond.  Coors’ spokeswoman, Michelle Yi, said Perlmutter’s stocks “raise a lot of questions.”

Two spokespersons for Perlmutter did not respond to email and voicemail messages for comment.

Perlmutter’s stock investments were among the details found in the personal financial disclosure forms that Congress has released this summer. Perlmutter was one of three members of Colorado’s congressional delegation who received an extension to file his forms, the release of which is a yearly event designed to reveal lawmakers’ possible conflicts of interest.

For years, the forms required that all 535 members of Congress disclose their financial liabilities, transactions, assets, sources of income, and job-related trips. Now congressional rules require federal lawmakers to reveal any liabilities on mortgages for their personal homes.

The forms show that Boulder is a popular city for the delegation’s Democratic members to reside. Both Senator Mark Udall and Rep. Jared Polis own homes in the university-and-technology mecca. Udall owes $250,001 to $500,000 on a mortgage in Boulder, while Polis has a liability of $1 million to $5 million on a mortgage on the 1300 block of Canyon Boulevard in the city (Members are required to provide ballpark rather than exact figures).

Yet the forms also show that delegation members invest more of their money in Wall Street than in their homes.

Polis is the largest financial investor among Colorado’s nine members. His stock investment in Confluence Commons, Inc., an Internet-based firm also known as Fuser, is worth $5 million to $10 million. He also possesses 21 investments worth $1 million to $5 million each and 15 investments worth $500,001 to $1 million. Many of those are in financial, technology, and investment firms.

By contrast, Udall does not own more than $250,000 in a mutual fund, stock, or IRA. He has eight financial investments worth $50,001 to $100,000. Those include Parnassus Equity, a Schwab Money Market account, and American Century.

Perlmutter declared more than $50,001 in four investments, two of which were in U.S. Bancorp. The other two are $250,001 to $500,000 in the Vanguard 500 Index Fund and $100,001 to $250,000 in Colorado’s public-employees retirement association.

Colorado Republicans also maintain substantial investments in Wall Street. Representatives Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs made 29 purchases and sales of stocks and options, while Scott Tipton of Cortez earned $67,000 to $180,00 in capital gains.

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