CAPITOL HILL — His colleagues saw a bill to end insider trading by members of Congress as a chance to close an unethical loophole. Senator Bob Alderbrush (Brony, New Columbia) saw it as a surefire way to win big.
Senator Alderbrush had something that all of the C-SPAN junkies trying to divine how Congress would vote on the Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge Act, or STOCK Act, did not: Congressional knowledge. He used that knowledge to go to Vegas and bet on the outcome of Senate debate on the bill.
“It was as easy as taking health care from a poor American,” he said at his deposition hearing. “The House had it favored to pass at 98 to 2, but I knew White and Hillebrand were on board and was able to beat the spread.” The Senate ultimately voted to approve the legislation unanimously.
Senator Alderbrush also placed bets on a specific provision in the bill that would have required people working for political intelligence firms that sell Congressional inside information to hedge funds to register publicly like lobbyists. He told investigators, “Since I knew it was a no-go, what I did was I called my bookie to lock down the best odds for myself, and then I sold the tip to one of those intel firms for a couple grand in campaign donations.”
Despite being under investigation for misconduct, Senator Alderbrush is likely to be exonerated in the end. The second provision that failed to make the final cut for the STOCK Act was the one that would have finally given prosecutors any actual power to pursue public corruption cases.