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Coca-Cola is still the real thing for Sen. Cynthia Lummis despite the company infuriating many Republicans

  • Sen. Cynthia Lummis of Wyoming holds stock in Coca-Cola, a company other Republicans are boycotting.
  • Rep. Lois Frankel invests in oil companies and natural-gas utilities despite her environmentalism.
  • Former Sen. David Perdue this weekend revealed his financial assets four months after losing office.
  • 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 a lot of money to lobby lawmakers.

Insider dug through congressional financial-disclosure records federal lawmakers filed in recent days. Here are the highlights from what we’ve found.

For Lummis, Coke is the real thing

Coca-Cola isn’t exactly the Republican Party’s favorite beverage these days after the company went sour on Georgia’s new GOP-backed voting law, saying it will “diminish or deter access to voting.”

Both former President Donald Trump and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky have called on Americans to boycott Coke products (even if Trump appears to still be swilling his beloved Diet Coke). Some state lawmakers are banishing Coke from their offices.

But don’t count Sen. Cynthia Lummis, a freshman Republican from Wyoming, among them.

Lummis’ new annual personal financial-disclosure report indicated she owned up to $15,000 in Coca-Cola at the end of 2020.

And it doesn’t appear she’s sold the shares since. Members of Congress are required to publicly disclose any stock trade soon after making it, and Lummis has filed no such report in 2021.

Since bottoming out at below $38 a share in March 2020, Coca-Cola’s stock price has steadily climbed and been trading above $54 a share lately.

Lummis’ Senate office did not respond to Insider’s phone and email messages inquiring about the senator’s stance on Coca-Cola’s political advocacy or whether she would continue to be a Coke investor.

Separately, congressional disclosures indicated that Lummis had dumped between $50,001 and $100,000 in bitcoin holdings she disclosed last year. The senator’s most recent financial disclosure did not list bitcoin among her assets.

David Perdue

Former Sen. David Perdue, a Republican representing Georgia.

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images


Perdue left Senate with little stock

By the time Sen. David Perdue left the US Senate in January, the Georgia Republican had jettisoned most of his individual stock holdings, according to a new “termination” financial disclosure he filed May 2 after receiving two filing extensions. 

Perdue, who lost in a January runoff to Democrat Jon Ossoff, had been one of the Senate’s most prolific stock traders. He frequently bought and sold the shares of companies that did big business with the federal government — or were subject to the oversight of the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, of which Perdue was a member.

Read more: Sen. David Perdue is raising big campaign money with DC lobbyists. He also traded stock shares of several of the companies the lobbyists represent.

Perdue came under withering scrutiny for a flurry of stock trades he made in early 2020 as COVID-19 spread globally. Among them: purchases and sales of pharmaceutical company Pfizer, which developed a COVID-19 vaccine.

The Justice Department opened, then closes an investigation into whether Perdue traded on insider information. Perdue maintained he did nothing wrong and wasn’t involved in day-to-day stock trading decisions and that financial advisers made all such decisions.

Nevertheless, Perdue in April vowed to stop trading most individual stocks.

Perdue’s May 2 report indicated he still held several individual stocks as of January. Among them: between $1 million and $5 million in Cardlytics, Inc., $500,001 to $1 million in Alliant Energy Corporation, and $15,001 to $50,000 in Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P.

lois.frankel 2

Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat, wants to stop climate change. She also invests money in fossil-fuel interests.

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call


Frankel spills oil stocks

Rep. Lois Frankel, a Florida Democrat, is an outspoken environmental advocate. Her congressional website lists numerous ways in which she’s fought to “preserve our natural resources” and “protect communities from harm caused by global climate change.”

Frankel also personally invests money in companies that contribute to climate change, including oil companies and natural-gas utilities.

On March 16, Frankel sold up to $15,000 worth of stock in Hess Corp., according to a disclosure filed with the US House. Hess describes itself as a “leading shale oil and gas producer” and “one of the largest producers in the deepwater Gulf of Mexico.” 

Three days later, Frankel sold up to $15,000 worth of stock in NiSource Inc., a natural-gas utility that also operates the electric-generation company NIPSCO, which burns coal as part of its generating portfolio that also includes renewable technologies. 

Olivia Hodge, Frankel’s spokesperson, said Frankel was not involved in such incremental stock trades.

“Rep. Frankel’s portfolio is managed independently by a financial advisor,” Hodge said.

Hodge did not elaborate on which broad direction — if any — Frankel had given her financial advisor regarding how her money was invested.

Pat Toomey

Republican Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is investing in a South Korean gaming company.

Photo By Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images


Toomey playing market games

Sen. Pat Toomey, a Republican from Pennsylvania, on March 31 purchased up to $15,000 worth of stock in Aiara Co. Ltd.

The South Korean gaming company describes itself as specializing in “augmented reality, virtual reality, machine learning, and artificial intelligence,” as well as “blockchain technology.”

Aiara counts Facebook, Toyota, CBS Interactive, and DreamWorks among its clients.

Toomey made news earlier this year not for his own stock trades but for that of his son Patrick Toomey III.

In January, the younger Toomey bought, then quickly sold, GameStop stock at the height of the “short squeeze” — right as his father was publicly telling people not to get swept up in the frenetic trading.

Wydens hook up with Match

Whether its an investment of convenience or true financial passion, Sen. Ron Wyden‘s wife, Nancy Bass Wyden, is making a transactional love connection with Match.com

On April 1, she invested up to $50,000 in Match Group, the parent company of the popular dating website.

Ron Wyden is a Democrat from Oregon who’s served in either the House or Senate since 1981 and is now chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance. Nancy Bass Wyden is co-owner of The Strand, the legendary New York City bookstore that remains in the midst of pandemic-related financial turbulence and internal strife. 

5 senators push back on deadline

Five senators received more time to file their annual financial disclosures. 

Sens. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, and Mike Braun, a Republican from Indiana, requested and were granted 60-day extensions. Sens. Mark Kelly, a Democrat of Arizona; Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat of New Hampshire; and Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat of Nevada, have an extra 90 days to submit their disclosures.

When eventually filed, the documents will contain information about the lawmakers’ investments, income, and debt. They were originally due May 17.

Debbie Wasserman-Schultz

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz is a Democrat from Florida.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images


Other notable congressional stock moves

Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a Democrat of Florida, made up to $15,000 in Emcore Corp. stock purchases on behalf of each of her three dependent children. Wasserman Schultz’s spokesman David Damron confirmed an advisor made the trades, which occurred April 19. Emcore makes fiber-optic and solar products. 

Rep. French Hill, a Republican of Arkansas, made a couple of trades on behalf of a dependent child in April, including buying as much as $15,000 in Tesla stock. The trade happened a few days after Tesla announced it sold more than double the number of electric cars during the first quarter of 2021 than in the first quarter of last year.

Hill’s office did not respond to questions about the trades, which were listed under the William Payne Hill brokerage.

On April 14, under his own account, Hill sold as much as $50,000 in stock in the consumer-financial-services company Synchrony Financial, which competes against companies such as Visa and Mastercard. 

Rep. Bill Keating, a Democrat of Massachusetts, made several investments in April, including purchases of Microsoft, Boeing, the consumer-goods giant Procter & Gamble, the internet-domain registry VeriSign, and the healthcare company Baxter International. He sold stock in Suncor Energy and Chevron. 

All purchases and sales were in the $1,000 to $15,000 range.

Keating also purchased several corporate bonds, including those of

Netflix
, Anthem, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley.


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