Sen. Joe Donnelly (D., Ind.) sold stock in his family company Friday after reports that he profited when it shifted jobs from the United States to Mexico.
Donnelly made no large investments in the ink stamp company Stewart Superior until 2013, when he invested between $15,001 and $50,000, the Associated Press reported Thursday. The company was moving part of its manufacturing into Mexico around that time.
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Subsequent financial disclosures show that Donnelly's investment paid off big time. By 2016, the senator was reporting he earned up to $50,000 in dividends on his investment.
As the Associated Press noted, Donnelly had long been a critic of companies outsourcing their labor and "accused Carrier, an air conditioner and furnace maker, of exploiting $3-an-hour workers when it announced plans to wind down operations in Indiana and move to Mexico."
Donnelly announced the following day in response to the criticism that he was divesting from the business, while maintaining the story was a "distraction."
"Some folks in Washington want to make the stock I've owned in my brother's company into a distraction from our work to end outsourcing," he said in a statement. "I won't let them distract us, so I'm selling the stock in my brother's company — a company I haven't had an active role in for 20 years."
Donnelly is considered on the most vulnerable Senate Democrats going into the 2018 election. The freshman senator seeks to win reelection in a state that Republican President Donald Trump won by nearly 20 points in the 2016 presidential election.
Conservative group America Rising PAC responded to Donnelly by calling on him to donate his outsourcing profits to charity. "If Donnelly really wants to do the right thing, he’ll donate the $80,000 to charity immediately. Only that will show that he has not profited from shipping good American jobs to Mexico," the statement reads.