Friday, January 22, 2010

Peter Schiff Had to Know This Was Coming

Two Hartford Courant reporters have dug into Peter Schiff's financial disclosure statements, which he is required to file now that he is a candidate for the U.S. Senate.

Their conclusion is blared in the headline to their story:

Despite Wealth, Schiff Relies On Donations For Senate Run
They discovered that:
Schiff earned a salary of $17 million and reported dividends, interest and capital gains of at least $1.4 million over a 23-month period ending in mid-December...
But, they are aghast that he is still seeking campaign contributions:
Schiff is worth millions of dollars, but unlike one of his rivals, he does not intend to finance the bulk of his campaign. Schiff, a broker, author and financial pundit from Weston, says he has raised a total of close to $1.6 million, almost all of it in small donations from individuals. About $300,000 came in the past month.
Yup, not only are you supposed to run for Senate but you are supposed to quietly put up with the attacks from reporters who consider it a game of search and destroy, and do it with your own money! That is, of course, unless your name is Ted Kennedy.

Despite Kennedy living off a huge fortune, that would make Schiff look like a pauper, that Kennedy inherited from his father, who made it largely through bootlegging and stock manipulation, no reporter ever had a problem with Teddy collecting millions in campaign contributions from lawyers, pharmaceutical companies and brokerage firms. Between 2005 and his death, Teddy raised over $9 million in campaign contributions and spent every last dime, despite having opposition that would have made it more of a race if he ran against a pillow case.

Further, for Teddy, the income from daddy's inheritance was allowed to keep on giving while he was in the Senate, which, as the reporters point out, would not be the case for Schiff:
If elected, Schiff may have a tougher time maintaining the source of the bulk of his income — his salary as president of Euro Pacific Capital, a Westport-based brokerage. . Senators generally are barred from practicing a profession on Senate time, from serving as an officer of a regulated entity, and from receiving compensation from an organization that provides professional services involving a fiduciary relationship. Schiff's side income could be in danger, too. He made tens of thousands of dollars speaking at investment seminars, and smaller amounts writing for news outlets.

For example, he was paid $49,965 to speak at a global competitiveness conference in Saudi Arabia and $28,475 to appear at a wealth conference in Calgary, Canada; he was paid $250 for an interview he gave to Al Jazeera English, a news network.

Senators may not receive honoraria for appearances, speeches or articles, and generally may not accept compensation for teaching.
Which is not to say that Schiff would be without cashflow as he would be allowed to continue receiving his considerable book royalties. But the standard of personal money use in a campaign, and investigation of it, was certainly different for Teddy Kennedy than it is for Schiff now.



  1. And if he was self financing his campaign, he'd be accused of trying to buy the seat.

  2. Oh no, somebody who is individually successful, and not a perpetual parasite on society, is running for office. The horror.

  3. What the article fails to mention is the rival that will be self funding is Linda McMahon, who has claimed to be ready to spen $50 million of her own money.