Loeffler’s Wreck of a Week: Questions Rise About Where She Stands, Potential “‘Minefield’ of Ethical Issues”

December 13, 2019

“GOP firestorm” continues as hand-picked “mega-donor” Loeffler flies to DC rather than answer questions from Georgia voters and press about her record

Atlanta — Kelly Loeffler hasn’t even taken office yet, and already the “political mega-donor” is showing she’s “not yet ready for her close-up.” 

This week, Loeffler continues to face “mounting conservative criticism” alongside accusations that she’s trying to buy a Senate seat by funneling “$20 million of her own cash” into next year’s election. But now, Loeffler’s also faced with a potential “minefield’ of ethical issues” as she enters the Senate and refuses to answer how she’ll handle the numerous potential conflicts of interest that will arise if she’s in charge of regulating her own business.

So what’s Loeffler’s response to these charges? She was busy this week jetting off to DC to meet with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and hobnobbing with Washington special interests — before she even met with her own voters in Georgia or answered questions from the Georgia press corps.

See the headlines Loeffler’s facing after her disaster of a week:

AJC: Loeffler to face ‘minefield’ of potential ethical issues in Senate

  • Loeffler is under scrutiny over how she handles a vast fortune she’s accrued at Intercontinental Exchange, the Atlanta-based trading platform where Loeffler has long served as a senior official and her husband, Jeff Sprecher, is the chief executive.
  • [Loeffler] would not say how she planned to manage her finances or whether she would sit out votes that could influence her business. Nor would she say whether she would pursue positions on committees that have oversight over the financial industry.
  • “There’s certainly a minefield of issues – legitimate questions that the press and public should raise about whether Ms. Loeffler’s financial interest will impact decisions she makes in the Senate,” said Donald Sherman, the deputy director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group.

WSJ: Georgia Senator’s Cryptocurrency and Stock Exchange Ties Make for Tricky Balancing Act

  • The appointment of Kelly Loeffler as the next senator from Georgia puts a top financial executive in a position to oversee her former company’s regulators.
  • In the Senate, the Republican Loeffler will face votes that affect her husband’s company and touch on issues she dealt with intimately while running the cryptocurrency project, known as Bakkt.

AJC: The Jolt: A soon-to-be senator not yet ready for her close-up

  • Even as she’s introducing herself to Republican movers-and-shakers in D.C. and Atlanta, Loeffler has yet to sit down with members of the press, beyond a few cursory questions at her inaugural press conference last week.
  • But Loeffler can’t avoid cameras, digital recorders and notebooks for long. And pretty soon, every time she steps foot in or out of the U.S. Senate chamber, she’ll be surrounded by national reporters with little knowledge of Georgia politics hounding her for answers.

GPB: Political Rewind: Democrats Look To Use Loeffler’s Business Interests Against Her

  • Kelly Loeffler’s success in business is an asset Gov. Brian Kemp trumpeted when he named her as Sen. Johnny Isakson’s successor. But do her far flung interests pose ethical questions as she assumes her position in the Senate?

“Kelly Loeffler is avoiding questions now, but sooner or later she’ll have to face Georgia voters and answer for her record,” said Alex Floyd, spokesman for the Democratic Party of Georgia. “Rather than winning the trust and support of Mitch McConnell, Loeffler should focus on winning the trust and support Georgians who never had a chance to vet her before Governor Kemp rewarded her with a temporary appointment.”


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