Ned Lamont, the Democratic challenger who faces off against incumbent
Joe Lieberman in Tuesday's Connecticut primary, has run into another
problem with his multimillion-dollar stock portfolio. Last spring the
anti-war candidate had to deal with revelations that he owned up to
$50,000 worth of stock in Halliburton, the services giant that has been at
the center of controversy over its lucrative post-war contracts in Iraq.
And now, only a day after he took Wal-Mart to task at a campaign stop
in Bridgeport, a review of his personal financial disclosure forms has
revealed that he owns between $2,000 and $30,000 worth of Wal-Mart stock
in two managed accounts.
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In response to questions from TIME Thursday, Lamont's campaign manager,
Tom Swan, said the candidate was not actively controlling the
investment. "He does not own any stock directly, it's not a direct holding," he
said. Part of the Wal-Mart stock is held in a Goldman Sachs "Tax
Advantaged Core Strategies managed account," according to a letter released
Thursday by Swan. He said the account is designed to track the S&P 500
index, and that Goldman Sachs makes the investment decisions for the
Lieberman's campaign didn't take long to accuse Lamont of hypocrisy.
"It obviously says something about him, being at a Wake Up Wal-Mart rally
yesterday," Lieberman's campaign spokesperson, Marion Steinfels, said
Thursday. At the rally, which Lieberman also attended, Lamont said,
"This is about waking up Wal-Mart and this is also about waking up
corporate America." It was organized by WakeUpWalMart.com, a union-backed group
trying to highlight wage and benefits complaints against the company.
Lieberman's campaign lambasted Lamont for the Halliburton holdings last
spring, until it was revealed Lieberman himself owned mutual funds that
held stock in the corporate giant. Lieberman spokesperson Steinfels
said the Senator has no stock in Wal-Mart, either held directly or in
mutual funds. His financial disclosure forms do show mutual funds that
continue to hold Halliburton.
Lamont, who is worth between $90 million and $300 million, is leading
Lieberman 54% to 41% in the latest Quinnipiac poll. His campaign accused
the Lieberman camp of desperate political tactics in criticizing his
holdings of the Wal-Mart stock. "This is a pathetic attempt by someone
who's clinging to power to make an issue where there is no issue,"
Lamont's campaign manager Swan said.
Swan said Lamont has no plans to sell either the Halliburton or the
Wal-Mart stock. "At this time he is not looking to getting into directly
managing or investing any of his funds," Swan said, "If he is fortunate
enough to be elected, Mr. Lamont realizes that there are a variety of
investing decisions that he will have to make," including "how to deal
with [his investments] in the most ethical manner."