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Dem Candidate Falsely Claims He Doesn’t Have Any Investments in Offshore Drilling

A Democrat running for Congress in New York told a constituent earlier this month that he does not have any investments in offshore drilling, but his 2018 financial disclosure lists hundreds of thousands of dollars in bonds associated with offshore drilling.

Perry Gershon, who is challenging incumbent Republican Rep. Lee Zeldin in New York's 1st Congressional District, appeared at the Pattersquash Creek Civic Association for an event on Sept. 4, and there a voter asked whether it was true that he had investments in offshore drilling.

Gershon, a commercial real estate lender, responded with a resounding "no," contradicting his own financial disclosure form from earlier this year.

His 2018 financial disclosure lists between $250,001 and $500,000 invested in Louisiana State Offshore Terminal Authority Revenue Bonds, operated by LOOP LLC. LOOP has received over 12 billion barrels of oil since it was founded in 1972 and is currently the single largest source of waterborne crude oil entering the United States.

Gershon, who was recently added to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee's competitive "Red to Blue" program, owns a bond worth between $250,001 and $500,000 issued by the Louisiana State Offshore Terminal Authority, which administers the Louisiana Offshore Oil Platform (LOOP), according to his financial disclosure. The bond has given Gershon between $15,001 and $50,000 in interest and capital gains this year

The specific bond listed in Gershon's financial disclosure is a series 1 bond, which went toward the construction of up to five 600,000 barrel crude oil tanks in the port, according to page 15 of LOOP's financial statements.

Gershon's investment in offshore drilling also contradicts his campaign platform of opposing offshore drilling. On Gershon's website, he castigates offshore drilling on the eastern seaboard, saying that it "risk[s] the health and well-being of coastal communities."

The Gershon campaign sent the Free Beacon the following comment.

"Perry purchased a bond issued by the Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority, a state agency that regulates and licenses deepwater ports and terminal facilities. It ensures compliance with environmental regulations. The Louisiana Offshore Terminal Authority does not profit from offshore drilling, and neither did Perry. He accurately answered a question about his bond purchase, when asked about it at a candidates’ forum September 4th.

Perry opposes offshore drilling. He would fight to restore full funding for the EPA to ensure compliance with existing environmental laws and regulations. The EPA is a critical agency that has been decimated under the current administration."

The National Republican Congressional Committee slammed Gershon for "blatantly lying" about his investments, adding that this is why "people don't trust politicians."

"Perry Gershon blatantly lying about his massive offshore drilling investments is exactly why people don't trust politicians," said NRCC spokesman Chris Martin. "If he's willing to lie about something so easily disproven, what else is he hiding?"

UPDATE 9/25 6:09 a.m.: The article was updated to include comment from the Gershon campaign.