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Peninsula readers' letters:November 16

From Daily News Group readers

Posted: 11/15/2011 07:12:51 PM PST
Updated: 11/15/2011 11:11:51 PM PST

Reaping profits

Dear Editor: On Sunday, "60 Minutes" aired a report highlighting instances in which congressional officials reportedly bought stocks around the same time Congress was discussing legislation affecting those companies or industries. The show looked at the investments of various lawmakers, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, House Speaker John Boehner and Republican Rep. Spencer Bachus of Alabama.

Former U.S. Rep. Brian Baird was grieved about members of Congress reaping huge investment dividends using insider information in ways that could put any of the rest of us behind bars. Baird said "one line in a bill in Congress can be worth millions and millions of dollars" to a member of Congress who picks up clues during testimony and deliberations for bills. Yet the politicians allow themselves to bypass insider-trading laws. Baird never received more than six co-sponsors for a bill that would make it illegal for lawmakers to trade stocks on nonpublic information.

The bill filed Tuesday by Republican U.S. Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts would make it illegal for elected congressional officials, their staffs and executive-branch employees to use information about pending bills that's not available to the general public in making investment decisions. It would also forbid them from making such information public for personal gain. Are not many world leaders driven by the same corruption, the same lust, the same greed? It's just plain greed and selfishness.

Ted Rudow III, MA

Palo Alto

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