Kelly Loeffler Caught In Election-Influencing Financial Scandal

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In Georgia, both incumbent Republican U.S. Senators — both of whom are running for re-election in run-off elections slated for early January — have been caught in insider trading scandals. The Senators, David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler, have repeatedly reaped clear financial rewards on the stock market while in office. In both Perdue and Loeffler’s cases, their stock portfolios shifted significantly following a January briefing about the then-looming threat of COVID-19. Both Senators have distanced themselves from the stock trades, saying that they’ve “relied on portfolio managers to make day-to-day decisions,” as Mother Jones explains. No matter if financial managers ran the daily decision-making process, were these managers ever informed by information or political moves from the Senators?

Some voters in Georgia who turned out for Trump might not be motivated to turn out for other Republican candidates of a more traditional streak. On the flip side, Georgia voters who may have voted for Biden and one of the Republican Senate candidates out of a combination of anti-Trump animus and attachment to conservatism might be persuaded to support the Democrats for the run-offs. Georgia Democratic strategist Chris Huttman commented as follows to Mother Jones:

‘I do think there’s some opportunity there just to divorce yourself from the party aspect of it: ‘These are just bad people who you shouldn’t be trusting to make tough decisions.’ I definitely think that’s the way to go… If you think about these Trump surge voters, the only person they’ve ever turned out to vote for is Trump. Why not tell those people that there’s really nothing for you here, either? That really scrambles the traditional runoff turnout patterns that people have relied on.’

The two Senate run-off elections slated for early January in Georgia will determine which political party controls the U.S. Senate. If Democrats win both races — which seems possible, since Joe Biden won the state in the recent presidential election — then Democrats would control the Senate. The chamber would be 50-50, but vice presidents break ties, and with Biden in the White House, the vice president will be Kamala Harris.

Trump and some of his allies have actually gone after Georgia Republicans, although the state’s Republican U.S. Senators have mostly escaped the wrath. Trump and allies have pushed bombastic claims about supposed complicity in election fraud on the part of state leaders, which there’s no meaningful evidence for, at all.