(A)Political Newsletter- Volume 16

(A)political Newsletter - U.S. Political News & Election Updates

Good morning everyone,

Let’s jump right in today.

In today’s edition:

  • Stock Watching

  • Republicans fail to oust Santos amid corruption scandals

  • Several states attempt to oust Trump from the ballot using the Constitution

  • The Virginia legislative races get even more tense


  • Representative Young Kim has signed onto the TRUST in Congress Act, a bipartisan bill that would ban congressional stock trading.

  • Apple, $AAPL, reports earnings this afternoon. 8 members of Congress traded Apple stock in Q3.

    • Six sold $AAPL, while two bought. One sale came from one of the most successful traders in the Senate, Tommy Tuberville.

    • However, Nancy Pelosi is still holding up to $30M.

  • Senator Thomas Carper has opened a new position shorting the US economy.

    • He just disclosed purchases of up to $45K of $HDGE, a short ETF.

    • He has already profited off of the market downturn from his purchase of a Short QQQ ETF back in July.

  • We've caught another congressman buying stock in the defense contractor Raytheon, $RTX.

    • Senator Markwayne Mullin bought $RTX on October 3rd.

    • Mullin sits on the Armed Services Committee. $RTX has risen over 17% in less than a month since his purchase.

  • The House Ethics Chair has said they are reviewing 140,000 pages of documents in their investigation of Representative George Santos.

  • Mitch McConnell just attacked Senator Josh Hawley for proposing a bill that would ban corporate political donations.

    • McConnell told Hawley that the only reason he's in the Senate is because of corporate donations, per Punchbowl.

  • Senator Josh Hawley just announced a bill that would ban publicly traded corporations from making political donations.

Be on the Lookout:

It has been a quiet week for congressional trades. The house failed to vote out Representative George Santos who has 23 federal charges pending against him. The TRUST act is gathering more support from younger members of Congress. The act is aimed to prevent congressional stock trading altogether.

Vote to Remove Rep. George Santos Fails

A picture of Representative Santos. (Photo - Ryan Trefes)

November 3rd, 2023: Following a failed vote by his fellow New York Republicans, who wanted to distance themselves from his corruption scandal, opposition Republicans and Democrats failed to expel Rep. Santos. Santos has been accused of fabricating his background information, stealing from donors, and lying to Congress, among other things.

The final vote count was 179–213. Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said that Santos “deserves his day in court,” which rallied other Republicans to hold the vote in Santos’ favor. 31 Democrats also voted against the removal of Santos, stating their concern about moving ahead of the House Ethics Committee.

The committee stated they've issued 27 subpoenas, with 40 or more witnesses being contacted. They will announce their next steps on November 17. After the vote, Santos said, “I feel like due process is still alive. I feel like there are enough colleagues on both sides of the aisle here who understand that.”

Other Republicans feel that the Ethics Committee is going to confirm what they already know. Santos' fellow New York Republican Anthony D’Espisito stated that “Mr. Santos is a stain on this institution and not fit to serve his constituents in the House of Representatives.

The House of Representatives has only expelled five members during its history. Three occurred during the civil war, and two were due to public corruption charges. Rep. Santos has maintained his innocence, and for the time being, so have his fellow members of Congress.

State Courts Weigh the Use of the 14th Amendment to Oust Trump From the Ballot

(Photo - John Brighenti / FLICKR)

November 2nd, 2023: Former President Trump's electoral campaign is in peril in multiple states as his opponents are attempting to use a Civil War-era law to prevent him from running for office again. Voters in Colorado are mounting a legal challenge to Trump's campaign, saying if he won the nomination, he would prevent them from "vot[ing] for a qualified candidate in the general election." They cite the Fourteenth Amendment's Section 3, which states that no person should "hold any office, civil or military, under the United States... shall have engaged in insurrection or rebellion against the same."

The court is then faced with the official determination of whether Trump's actions and alleged actions before and during January 6th can be considered "insurrection."

Trump's legal team made multiple attempts to dismiss the case before it went to court, but Judge Sarah B. Wallace rejected all of them. The trial is running under an expedited process so that the Colorado Secretary of State, who oversees those who qualify to be on the ballot, may certify who will be on the primary ballots. No matter the outcome, both sides are expected to appeal. Another trial, brought forth by nonprofit Free Speech for People, was brought in front of the Missouri Supreme Court Thursday. The same Section 3 of the Fourteenth Amendment is being used to attempt to remove Trump from the ballot in Minnesota as well. Section 3 has only been applied twice in US history, both against former Confederates after the Civil War.

Tense Legislative Races in Virginia and Unprecedented Spending

November 3rd, 2023: Virginia legislative candidates have been on a fundraising frenzy in the final weeks of October, raising a whopping $46 million, as per the latest financial disclosures. The Democrats have emerged with a collective advantage in an extremely tight and highly important race.

In the Virginia state Senate, Democratic candidates amassed an impressive $12.7 million between October 1 and October 26, closing the period with a substantial cash-on-hand advantage of nearly $1 million over their Republican counterparts. The statistics, analyzed by the nonpartisan Virginia Public Access Project this week, revealed that Republican candidates reported raising $10.6 million during the same period.

Shifting the focus to the House of Delegates, essentially Virginia’s version of the House of Representatives, the Democratic candidates once again outpaced their Republican rivals, raising a noteworthy $14.2 million compared to the Republican haul of $8.4 million. However, the Republicans, despite lagging in fundraising, managed to conclude the period with a cash advantage of about $730,000.

With the state's legislative landscape hanging in the balance, the control of both the House of Delegates and the Senate may come down to a mere dozen seats across the two chambers. The outcome of these races is being closely monitored across the nation, as Virginia, one of only four states with legislative elections this year, carries significant weight due to its closely divided politics. It often serves as a bellwether for the political climate leading up to the 2024 presidential cycle. Notably, Virginia candidates seem to hold heavy focus on abortion-related issues, as Governor Glenn Youngkin seeks to pass a 15-week ban but is being held up by the narrowly held Democratic Senate.

The Republicans are making a concerted effort to maintain their narrow majority in the House and wrest control of the Senate, effectively controlling Virginia under their trifecta of power with GOP Governor Youngkin. Conversely, Democrats are vying to secure at least one chamber, which would ensure at least two more years of divided government. This balance of power would allow the party to continue blocking certain elements of Governor Youngkin's legislative agenda during the latter half of his term. This political landscape in Virginia is teetering on a precipice, with immense consequences for the state and potentially resonating impacts across the nation.

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