October 12, 2020 News

Major Conflicts of Interest and a Potential Crime: Bob Good’s Financial Disclosure Controversy Keeps Getting Worse


by Democratic Party of Virginia

When Republican Congressional candidate Bob Good recently filed a financial disclosure form that listed no assets, he immediately aroused suspicion. As it turns out, that disclosure was false, and new reporting shows the updated disclosure form Good filed last week is much worse for him. 

Good's updated form shows multiple conflicts of interest from his time on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors. Good voted to award major contracts to two companies he held stock in - including Abbott Laboratories, a big pharma company that aggressively pushed opioids into communities across the country - without disclosing he had a financial interest in those companies at the time. And to make things even worse, Good's failure to disclose those conflicts of interest could be a crime under Virginia law. 

"It's no wonder why Bob Good wanted to mislead people by failing to disclose the assets he owned. We've seen Washington politicians use insider information to keep their portfolios secure from the recent economic downturn and use their positions to personally profit. Bob Good is making it perfectly clear he'll make the same corrupt back-room deals if given the chance," said DPVA Communications Director Grant Fox 

See below for more coverage: 

  • "After previously disclosing owning zero financial assets, Virginia congressional candidate Bob Good filed an amended financial disclosure this week showing he holds dozens of stocks, including in two companies that had business before the Campbell County Board of Supervisors when Good served on the panel." [Washington Post, 10/9/20
  • "A recent review of the Fifth District Republican congressional candidate’s financial disclosures reveal that during his four-year tenure on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors, Bob Good failed to disclose his assets and liabilities in apparent violation of Virginia ethics laws." [Rappahannock News, 10/10/20
  • "None of those assets or debts appeared on a January 8, 2019 Statement of Economic Interest Good submitted to Virginia’s ethics board while serving on the Campbell County Board of Supervisors, or in any of his annual state filings since 2015. Virginia law requires board of supervisors members to list any securities, debts, business interests, and real estate holdings (aside from a primary residence) valued at more than $5,000. They must also include assets owned by their immediate family. A 'knowing violation' of the law can result in misdemeanor charges of up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $2,500, though several legal experts said that Good was unlikely to face any charges." [VPM, 10/8/20
  • "Good had initially filed a financial disclosure report showing no unearned income or assets, and then filed an amended report earlier this week with 11 pages of assets worth between $213,000 and $1.65 million. Virginia law requires candidates for elected office to disclose their personal economic interests." [CBS19, 10/10/20, full clip available here]


Washington Post: A Va. congressional candidate reported no assets. His amended disclosure shows he holds dozens of stocks.

By Meagan Flynn 

October 9, 2020 

After previously disclosing owning zero financial assets, Virginia congressional candidate Bob Good filed an amended financial disclosure this week showing he holds dozens of stocks, including in two companies that had business before the Campbell County Board of Supervisors when Good served on the panel.

Good (R), who is running against Democrat Cameron Webb for the open 5th District seat, filed amended disclosures dating to 2018 after facing questions last week from news outlets in his district, such as the Rappahannock News, about why he had reported no assets, unusual for a longtime businessman. He now reports between $213,000 and $1.65 million in assets and unearned income.

Among the dozens of stocks now disclosed in Good’s individual retirement account are shares in Abbott Laboratories, a pharmaceutical company, and McKesson, a drug distributor and health-care IT company. The companies benefited from contracts with Campbell County in 2016. Each stock is worth between $1,001 to $15,000, according to the disclosure.

In 2016, Good voted to give Abbott Nutrition, a subsidiary of Abbott Laboratories, a $567,000 corporate subsidy to help fund its expansion and create jobs at a facility in Altavista, Va.

He also voted to give McKesson a contract overseeing the county’s ambulance billing and collection services, allowing the company to retain 4.25 percent of all that it collected. In the same year, Good and the board voted to hike ambulance fees by about 26 percent and to allow garnishing wages from Campbell County residents who did not pay for their ambulance rides.

Good did not disclose owning any securities, including stocks, during his tenure on the board, which lasted from 2016 to 2019. He reported owning more than $300,000 in mutual funds while running for the board seat in 2015.

[...]

Virginia law requires local and state lawmakers to disclose their personal economic interests in forms filed with the Virginia Conflict of Interest and Ethics Advisory Council. G. Stewart Petoe, executive director of the council, declined to discuss whether any violations occurred, saying he cannot answer questions from news organizations.

Norman Ornstein, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who helped found the House Office of Congressional Ethics, said it’s a “giant flare” if a candidate reports zero financial assets, then files an amended form showing dozens of assets.

He said it’s unlikely Good’s votes on items benefiting Abbott and McKesson would have any large impact on his finances if he owned stocks at the time. But Ornstein said the right thing for lawmakers to do is to recuse themselves, regardless of who is managing the investments. At the very least, Ornstein said, modest holdings should still be disclosed.

“I could cut a little slack in this sense. These are huge companies where contracts in the county are not likely to have a big material impact on the stock value or price,” Ornstein said. “But having said that, if you are a supervisor on a county board and you own stocks in companies where even if it’s a marginal impact on your holdings, the smart thing to do — the most ethical thing to do — would be to recuse yourself.”

In a statement, Webb’s campaign manager, Ben Young, said Good should not have waited so long to correct his financial disclosures.

“The voters deserve accountability and transparency from their representatives,” Young said. “It is unfortunate that Mr. Good chose to conceal this important information in the first place until after votes had already been cast.”

Good worked for CitiFinancial for 17 years before joining Liberty University as an athletics fundraising official. He and Webb, who is a doctor and a lawyer, are in an unexpectedly tight race in Virginia’s usually red 5th District.

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