State Senator Jen Kiggans (R-Virginia Beach) is criticizing her opponent for Congress, Representative Elaine Luria (D-VA-02), for voting in favor of the CHIPS and Science Act while holding NVIDIA stock.
“Elaine Luria’s vote to provide billions of dollars in subsidies for an industry in which she owns up to $25 million in stocks would be unethical, self-serving, and the latest example of how she will put her bottom line ahead of her constituents’ well-being,” Kiggans said the day of the vote.
Legislators on both sides of the aisle have been criticized for making votes while holding stock that could be impacted by those votes. Additionally, in 2020, some legislators seemed to benefit by selling millions of dollars of stocks just before the market crashed due to COVID-19, Open Secrets reported.
Legislators are required by the STOCK Act to declare their assets, but watchdog Campaign Legal Center has complained that some legislators have failed to file all reports on time.
Representative Abigail Spanberger (D-VA-07), who is also facing a competitive Republican challenger, has introduced legislation with Representative Chip Roy (R-TX-21) to place stocks in blind trust or index funds, leading to sharp criticism from Luria earlier this year.
“I think this whole concept is bull***t. Because I think that, why would you assume that members of Congress are going to be inherently bad or corrupt?” she said in March, according to Punchbowl News.
On Thursday, the same day as the House CHIPS and Science vote, Punchbowl reported that House leadership plans to introduce legislation that will require legislators to place stock in blind trusts or divest the stocks.
Kiggans and her husband have IRAs and a 401(k) but don’t hold individual stocks. Her campaign said that she’d support legislation to require divesting or placing stock in blind trusts and funds.
Kiggans said in her release, “Instead of reforming Washington like she promised on the campaign trail, Elaine has spent her time in Washington playing political games, voting with Nancy Pelosi over 95 percent of the time, and flip-flopping on everything from accepting corporate PAC donations to raising the minimum wage. If Elaine is serious about reforming Washington, she should lead by example and immediately sell her stocks in the Nvidia Corporation after her vote.”
Luria’s office didn’t respond to a request for comment.
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Eric Burk is a reporter at The Virginia Star and The Star News Network. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Jen Kiggans” by Senator Jen Kiggans. Photo “Elaine Luria” by Congresswoman Elaine Luria. Background Photo “NVIDIA” by דוד שי. CC BY-SA 4.0.