Tech

Anthony Gonzalez snags GoodRx, Marie Newman sells Moderna, Gary Peters buys fossil fuel burners

  • Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez invested up to $250,000 in healthcare company GoodRx.
  • Democratic Reps. Marie Newman and Josh Gottheimer sold shares in COVID-19 vaccine maker Moderna.
  • Democratic Sen. Patty Murray gets a gold star for transparency punctuality.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Members of Congress routinely trade stocks, buying and selling the shares of companies that often have significant business before the federal government — and sometimes spend lots of money to lobby lawmakers. 

Insider dug through congressional financial disclosure records federal lawmakers filed in recent days. Here are the latest highlights this Insider’s weekly congressional stock report:

Have you heard about GoodRx?

Republican Rep. Anthony Gonzalez of Ohio has. 

On March 25, the two-term congressman invested between $100,001 and $250,000 into the healthcare and prescription drug discount company perhaps best known for its omnipresent national TV advertising campaign. (Lawmakers are only required to disclose trade values in broad ranges.)

GoodRx has increased its political profile of late, spending $60,000 in 2020 to hire federal lobbying firm Mehlman Castagnetti Rosen & Thomas. 

Gonzalez, a former NFL wide receiver, also sold up to $50,000 worth of stock in sports apparel giant Nike on March 25.

Newman sells Moderna

Last week, Insider reporters Kimberly Leonard and Warren Rojas profiled the stock trades of Rep. Marie Newman, a freshman Democrat from Illinois, and her husband. Many of the shares they bought and sold were those of companies, such as COVID-19 vaccine manufacturers Pfizer and Moderna, that stand to be profoundly affected by the pandemic.

On Wednesday, Newman reported that she or her husband made additional stock trades in January. They include selling up to $65,000 worth of Moderna shares, up to $50,000 in Boeing shares, and up to $30,000 in Twitter shares.

Environmentalist Peters invests in fossil fuel burners. Again. 

Sen. Gary Peters, a Democrat from Michigan who’s fought for various environmental causes, on April 15 bought up to $15,000 worth of shares in the Vanguard Utilities

Index Fund
.

That’s notable because the fund’s holdings include a smorgasbord of power generation companies that in part burn fossil fuels, including NextEra Energy Inc., Duke Energy Corp., Southern Co., Dominion Energy Inc., Exelon Corp., Sempra Energy, Xcel Energy Inc., and American Electric Power Company Inc.

Earlier this year, Peters purchased up to $15,000 worth of stock in American Electric Power Company, which generates nearly three-fourths of its 24,000 megawatts of power capacity from fossil fuels, including about 45% from coal.  

Biofuels for Mast

Rep. Brian Mast, a Florida Republican, invested up to $95,000 in California-based renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc., which touts the “prudence and wisdom of replacing petroleum with renewable fuels and chemicals.”

Mast ranks among the more environmentally-minded Republicans in Congress. 

In 2017, for example, he co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution — it died without receiving a vote — that would have put the US House on record supporting using “American ingenuity, innovation, and exceptionalism, to create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.” 

No Donald Duckworth

On April 5, Sen. Tammy Duckworth ditched investments in two high-profile companies. The first, Verizon Communications, was worth up to $50,000. The second, the Walt Disney Company, was worth up to $15,000.

Duckworth, a Democrat from Illinois, also reported dumping some — but not all — of her stock in Illinois Tool Works Inc., which makes a variety of construction, welding, and home-use appliances and hardware products.

patty murray

Sen. Patty Murray, a Democrat from Washington, is more transparent than most by one measure.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)


Murray in a hurry

Every year by May 15, members of Congress must file an annual personal financial disclosure listing all sorts of information about their investments, income, debt, and the like. 

Frequently, members ask for an extension — something to which they’re entitled, but that puts off the public’s right to know about the contents of these disclosures.

So give Democratic Sen. Patty Murray of Washington state a gold star for punctuality. She filed her annual financial disclosure — Murray and her husband invest mostly in cash and garden variety mutual funds — on April 19.

“She just wanted to be sure she met the deadline!” Murray spokesperson Helen Hare told Insider.

As for senators asking for annual financial disclosure extensions? Sens. Mazie Hirono, a Hawaii Democrat, and Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, are among the latest.

McCaul, Gottheimer, and Yarmuth making moves upon moves

Rep. Michael McCaul, a Republican from Texas, is one of Congress’ wealthiest members. And he and his wife last week reported making dozens of different stock trades and financial moves during March.

Taken together, the McCauls’ purchases and sales soared into the eight figures, with several valued between $500,001 and $1 million each. (Because members of Congress list trade values in broad ranges, it’s impossible to discern a specific dollar figure.)

Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat from New Jersey, made more than 60 stock trades during March. 

Notable share purchases include those of Google parent Alphabet Inc., Dominion Energy Inc., Estee Lauder Companies Inc., Etsy Inc., FedEx Corporation, Lululemon Athletica Inc., Twitter Inc., and Wayfair Inc., the home furnishings company.

His high-profile sales include shares of Airbnb Inc., Apple Inc., Home Depot Inc., Moderna Inc., Tesla Inc., and Snap Inc., the parent company of social media platform Snapchat.

Rep. John Yarmuth, a Democrat from Kentucky, meanwhile made nearly 20 stock trades during March. 

He purchased shares of American Tower Corporation, Broadcom Inc., Cisco Systems Inc., NextEra Energy Inc. and ProLogis Inc., a real estate investment trust that focuses on logistics facilities.

Among the stocks they sold: Alphabet Inc., Bank of America Corporation, Facebook Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co.,

Netflix
Inc., UPS Inc., Walt Disney Company, and Berkshire Hathaway, the holding company of billionaire Warren Buffett.

mo.brooks

Rep. Mo Brooks is betting on Warren Buffett’s holding company.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Getty Images


Brooks bullish on Berkshire

While Yarmuth was dumping Berkshire Hathaway, Rep. Mo Brooks, an Alabama Republican who’s running for Senate with former President Donald Trump’s backing, bought up to $15,000 worth of the company’s shares on March 24.

Scott goes big on bonds

Sen. Rick Scott, a Florida Republican and another of Congress’ wealthiest members, reported that his wife, Ann, invested up to $1 million in Virginia College Building Authority revenue bonds on April 6.

Scott himself invested up to $250,000 on March 26 on New Jersey State Turnpike Authority revenue bonds.

Frequent bond buyers, Scott and his wife purchased up to $4.5 million in New York state and New York City revenue bonds late last year — all while blasting New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo for his management of the Empire State’s finances.

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