Sunday, September 03, 2006

Mark Kennedy warns on Corporate Influence … what about DM&E ?

During Friday’s State Fair Senatorial debate, Mark Kennedy made an interesting – actually mind baffling – assertion … that Amy Klobuchar’s personal investments would drive her decision-making.

WOW ! I hadn’t thought of that before …I wonder if he realized that Dick Cheney had previously been CEO of Halliburton ?

So, what is Kennedy’s concern about Klobuchar :
"I'm wondering if you are troubled by the fact that … your largest single holding in your mutual funds is Exxon Mobil," Kennedy said. He said that was inconsistent and she should have, as she has said she does at the county attorney's office, "follow the money."
Klobuchar said she didn't know about all of her mutual funds' investments. Five hours after the debate, Klobuchar said she didn't know if Kennedy's claim was true but that even if it is, it doesn't make her uncomfortable. She said she doesn't own any individual stock and simply picked among her employers' mutual fund offerings.
At the debate, she retorted: "You are running an ad saying you want to go after the oil companies when, in fact, you have taken more than $55,000 from oil company PACs for your campaigns over the years. … I don't think this was the best question for you to ask."

WHOA ! Now, you may assume that a person who for less than three years was employed as a CPA and has an MBA from the University of Michigan (doesn’t the U of M have a MBA program?) would know that when you are an investor in a mutual fund, that the fund manager makes the decision about what companies to own based on the fund’s objectives and handles company proxy votes. Exxon-Mobil, which is ranked number 1 in the Fortune 500, is a widely held many mutual funds especially by indexed funds and a staple in 401k investment funds.

So how does Kennedy guard himself against influence peddling ?
I don’t know but maybe he got some insight from Senator John Thune during their joint campaign/State Fair appearance the previous Friday. Thune, who operates the Heartland Values PAC and has collected monies from Kevin Schieffer, Kurt Feaster, Steven O. Scharnweber, Daniel L Goodwin, Lynn A. Anderson, Clyde F Mittleider, Herb M. Jones, Mack A. Hailey, Michael E. Holley --- all of whom are affiliated with the Dakota, Minnesota and Eastern family of railroad companies. Heartland Values has contributed the maximum amount to Kennedy’s Senatorial election campaign.

I have less a concern the potential influence of a mutual fund then I do about someone who collects monies from individuals who actively seeking approval of the largest governmental loan to a private company in history. Let us remember that Kennedy was the swing vote on that TransPORKtation bill.

Source :

DISCLAIMER : I personally own Exxon-Mobil stock directly, in my 401k plan, and in various mutual funds.

No comments: