Monday, July 26, 2010

Now the BP Stock Thing is an Issue

Even though I initially defended Ron Johnson's ownership of BP stock a few weeks ago, this is going to create enormous headaches for him:

MADISON, Wis. -- Wisconsin candidate for Senate Ron Johnson says he hasn't decided whether to sell his BP stock, two weeks after he told reporters he would get rid of it.

Financial disclosure forms show the Oshkosh manufacturer owns between $116,000 and $315,000 in BP stock. On July 9, Johnson's campaign said he would be moving his investments into a blind trust.

But following a campaign rally just days later, the Republican told reporters he planned to sell the BP PLC stock to help finance his campaign against Democratic Sen. Russ Feingold.

Johnson on Monday says he will probably sell the stock to help finance his campaign, but he hasn't made a decision yet.

If you say you're going to do something, you kind of have to go ahead and do it.

To be honest, in the back of my mind I was expecting this move: hedge and/or delay until the issue blows over. When RJ first floated the idea of selling the stock was worth about half of what it was when Johnson entered the race. That would mean he would have gotten a haircut that cost between $58,000-$157,500. The stock has rebounded since then -- he might just be waiting for a better time to dump it.

This probably has more to do with recouping an investment then it does to perceived ties or loyalty to BP, but, again, when you say you're going to do something, you kind of have to go ahead and do it.

[via IT]

MORE: Here's audio of RJ explaining to a reporter that he'll consider selling the stock based on "market conditions." I have no idea when the recording was made.

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