Tennessee senator Bob Corker gained some fame in liberal circles when it seemed like he was objecting to the recent tax giveaway on principle (a commodity that has long ceased to exist among Republicans), because he has long stated that he opposes increasing the debt. But he then made a sudden switch and voted for the bill after it turned out that the bill writers inserted a provision at the last minute that greatly benefited those who had real estate business like him and Donald Trump. I showed a chart earlier with those who profited the most and by how much and, Lo!, Bob Corker’s name led all the rest.
Corker feigned ignorance about the last minute change but Matt Taibbi was not in the least surprised by his action.
So Tennessee Senator Bob Corker is in trouble now, because he flip-flopped to vote for Donald Trump’s tax bill after a provision was included that reportedly helps him personally.
Color me not shocked. I spent most of this past summer investigating Corker, whose personal finances have been an open scandal for years. Everything you need to know about the Senator can be discerned from this chart.
Click on that link and you’ll see: Corker went from having an estimate net worth of zero when he entered the Senate in 2007, to being (as of 2015) the fourth-wealthiest man in the Senate, worth $69 million.
How do you increase your net worth by 69 million dollars while you’re working full-time as a Senator? That is not an easy story to explain.
In the first nine months of 2007, Corker made an incredible 1,200 trades, over four per day, including 332 over a two-day period.
Anne Weismann, director of the Campaign for Accountability, which filed a complaint against Corker in 2015, described Corker’s trading history in damning terms.
“Senator Corker’s trades followed a consistent pattern,” she said. “He bought low and sold high. It beggars belief to suggest these trades – netting the senator and his family millions – were mere coincidences.”
One financial analyst I know said Corker’s trading patterns looked more like the work of “an office of multiple analysts all grinding at least 60 hours a week” than like the work of “one guy moonlighting as a Senator.”
The Corker story to me is a classic example of why it’s always dangerous to overlook a politician’s failings because he happens to be on the right side of some partisan debate at a given moment in time. The reason is obvious: these types eventually revert to form, and soon enough, a politician’s flaws will be working against you again, rather than for you.
Being in Congress gives you plenty of information about future actions by the government that influence stock markets. If you have no ethics, and clearly Corker is ethically deprived, then you can make a killing. Is it any wonder that so many of the legislators have become so wealthy after they got into office?
Corker has announced he is retiring at the end of this term, no doubt to spend more time with his money.