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Rep. Axne amends her financial disclosures following ethics complaint over unreported stock trades

"He said he's the best thing that's ever happened to farmers," says Iowa Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne, "and literally two months later had his finger on issuing waivers to Exxon and Chevron, multibillion-dollar companies."
Clay Masters
/
IPR file
Iowa Democratic Congresswoman Cindy Axne has filed amendments to her financial disclosure reports, following a complaint by an ethics group that she and other lawmakers failed to disclose stock trades.

A spokesperson for Democratic U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne says she has filed amendments to her financial disclosure reports, after an outside ethics group filed a complaint against her and other lawmakers.

According to a complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics by the Campaign Legal Center last month, Axne and six other members of Congress failed to report stock trades which totaled tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The Campaign Legal Center found that Axne “appears to have purchased and sold more than 40 assets with a total value ranging from approximately $43,043 to $645,000 without disclosing the transactions”, in possible violation of the STOCK Act and House rules.

On Friday, a spokesperson for Axne released a statement saying the second-term congresswoman responded immediately to the address the concerns. The spokesperson characterized the failure to report as a matter of “clerical issues."

According to her staff, Axne filed the documents needed on Friday.

“As soon as she learned of these issues, she took steps to properly address them, including hiring an outside counsel to audit her reports and confirming with the third-party money manager who oversees the related retirement accounts that she did not personally direct or execute any of these trades,” the written statement reads.

The ethics group’s complaint argues that the failure of members of Congress to disclose financial transactions as required by law undermines public trust in elected officials.

“When members of Congress trade individual stocks and fail to disclose those trades, they break the law and diminish the public’s trust in government. The recent prevalence of STOCK Act violations in the House shows that merely the threat of a fine is not deterring members of Congress from breaking the law; real accountability is necessary,” the complaint reads. “As members of Congress craft laws that directly impact the lives of all Americans, the public must be able to trust that representatives are acting in the public’s interest, and not in their own financial interest.”

Axne’s spokesperson has said the congresswoman, who is up for reelection in 2022, has taken steps “to ensure these issues don’t happen again” but the statement didn’t specify what those steps are.

Kate Payne was an Iowa City-based Reporter