Duckworth Slams Goldman Sachs Despite Investing in Firm

Has history of criticizing companies in public, still buying their stocks

Tammy Duckworth
Tammy Duckworth / AP

Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D., Ill.) took aim at Goldman Sachs over tax breaks in January, even though the Illinois Senate candidate has held stock in the company for years.

Duckworth, a two-term House member who is running for the seat currently held by Republican Sen. Mark Kirk, owned between $1,000 and $15,000 in Goldman Sachs in 2014, according to her most recent financial disclosure report. She disclosed the same amount in 2011, 2012, and 2013.

But that didn’t stop Duckworth from slamming the investment firm during a campaign stop on Jan. 21.

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"Goldman Sachs doesn't need a tax break," Duckworth said at the event. "Local small and medium-sized businesses, that's who need tax breaks."

It’s not the first time Duckworth has criticized companies in which she also owns stock, the Kirk campaign said on Monday.

"Rep. Duckworth operates at the corner of hypocrisy and self-interest. While using DC talking points to attack U.S. companies, she is simultaneously soliciting donations from these same companies and also buying their stock," said Kirk’s campaign manager Kevin Artl.

A spokesperson for Duckworth did not respond to a request for comment by publication time.

Duckworth said during an interview with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in 2011 that General Electric needed to "pay their taxes for a change, and pay their fair share." That year, Duckworth disclosed owning between $1,000 and $15,000 in the company’s stock. She also received $2,500 in campaign donations from G.E. in 2012.

In May 2012, Duckworth attended a union strike event in Illinois targeting the manufacturing company Caterpillar. While acknowledging that she held stock in the company, Duckworth also said its recent actions had changed her view.

"I’m a stockholder," Duckworth told the crowd, according to one union report. "We believed in the company back then and what it stood for. Now, this is not OK. I don’t like this."

Just a few months later, in July 2012, Duckworth purchased between an additional $1,000 and $15,000 in Caterpillar stock, according to her financial disclosure.

The Kirk campaign accused Duckworth of "hypocrisy," and also noted that she recently advocated for cutting "red tape" for small businesses on the campaign trail but voted against the Regulatory Review And Cost Reduction Act in early January. The bill would set up a commission to review regulatory policies and identify ways to reduce economic costs.

"It is this exact type of DC double-talk that is fueling voters anger and mistrust with politicians like Rep. Duckworth," said Artl.