Rep. Spencer Bachus, the likely chairman of the Financial Services Committee next year, lost more campaign money through investments than any other House lawmaker during the past two years, according to a CQ MoneyLine study.
The Alabama Republican forfeited more than $168,000 in campaign funds during the 2010 election cycle. Meanwhile, Rep. Joe Barton (R-Texas) made the most of any lawmaker, earning more than a quarter of a million dollars from investing his campaign funds.
During the past two years, as the Dow Jones industrial average advanced approximately 30 percent, Bachus has repeatedly reported large losses from his campaign’s Fidelity investment account, which has been on a tumultuous ride. It started the election cycle with losses of nearly $62,000 through the end of March 2009, then gained more than $78,000 the following quarter.
But summer’s profits turned into fall’s losses, as his campaign took a hit of $110,000 by the end of September 2009. Since then, the Bachus for Congress Committee has reported more five-digit losses each quarter, except at the end of June 2010, when it made $60,000.
Bachus’ office did not return phone calls Wednesday, but his staff members were tight-lipped about his campaign investments when asked by Roll Call earlier this year. They said they would not disclose the investments in which the campaign lost money, saying, “The financial disclosure form speaks for itself.”
Federal Election Commission rules only require candidates to disclose the financial institutions, amounts and dates for campaign transactions; they do not instruct campaigns to list individual stocks, bonds or other securities. There is no rule prohibiting campaign committees from investing their funds.
Although Bachus lost money, Barton profited from his various Fidelity instruments, as well as specific stocks that included General Electric Co., the Home Depot Inc. and the Lennar Corp.
Other lawmakers’ campaigns profited from the stock market’s rebound during the 2010 election cycle, including the campaign of Rep. Bill Delahunt (D-Mass.), which made $188,000 during the two-year period.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., carries a musket on stage as he speaks during the American Conservative Union's Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at National Harbor, Md., on Thursday March 6, 2014.