(SF Weekly) Indications from the Beltway media world are that 60 Minutes is preparing to air a segment exploring legislative actions House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi oversaw that might have benefited her husband’s stock investments.
According to multiple news reports, 60 Minutes reporter Steve Kroft sprang a number of questions on Pelosi at a recent press conference in Washington, D.C. about why legislation affecting credit-card swipe fees was not brought to the floor of the house for a vote late in 2008.
Earlier that year, Pelosi’s husband, San Francisco businessman Paul Pelosi, purchased between $1 and $5 million in Visa stock. Visa, based in San Francisco, was undergoing a large IPO.
ABC News reported:
… Kroft asked Pelosi whether she considered it a conflict of interest for she and her husband to participate “in a very large IPO deal from Visa at a time there was major legislation affecting the credit card companies” making its way through Congress.
“What you’re contending is not true,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said. “The fact is your basic premise is a false one.”
Kroft also reportedly peppered House Speaker John Boehner with questions about trades he made in health-insurance company stock as healthcare reform legislation was moving through Congress. Boehner denied any improprieties in the trades.
A Politico story teases apart the specific allegations against Pelosi, noting that one reason the legislation affecting card swipes — later passed in a different form under broad reform of credit-card companies after President Obama assumed office — might not have been brought to the floor is that Congress was struggling to approve emergency economic measures in the midst of a financial collapse.
Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill told SF Weekly that 60 Minutes informed him its report was based in part on information in a new book by conservative author and Hoover Institution fellow Peter Schweizer. Schweizer’s past works include Do as I Say (Not as I Do): Profiles in Liberal Hypocrisy and Reagan’s War: The Epic Story of His Forty-Year Struggle and Final Triumph over Communism.
“60 Minutes is basing this story off of a conservative author, one who has repeatedly written books attacking Democrats. He has made a career out of it,” Hammill said. “There’s no one who has been stronger in fighting for consumers and against the credit-card industry than Nancy Pelosi.”
The probe of Pelosi’s role in crafting credit-card regulations also seems to have gotten passing mention in a lighthearted story on her morning power walks in the most recent edition of The New Yorker. The 60 Minutes episode on the House party leaders’ financial dealings is expected to air Sunday, Nov. 13. (article)