Monday, March 24, 2008

Gilmore and BS

First off, let me say that I have no personal grudge against Jim Gilmore. I happen to like his campaign manager Dick Leggitt. Dick ran the media in my 1995 race.

I do however have some significant concerns about Gilmore’s record and his viability as our Party’s nominee for the US Senate. A few of my readers have left some pretty spiteful comments after reading my post from last week. We are vetting a candidate and I am just participating in that process. And I see no reason to back off.

The press release issued by Gilmore to defend himself was pathetic.

1) Everquest was not a subsidiary of Bear Sterns - True. But it was 60% owned by Bear Sterns.
2) Everquest doesn’t market securities - Everquest was created to move bad investment CDOs off of Bear Sterns’ balance sheet and on to the new company, Everquest. Stock would then be sold in Everquest. When the investments went bad, it would be Everquest shareholders, not Bearn Sterns that would suffer the consequences.
3) Primary Everquest holdings were sound corporate loans – Not so. The holdings were sub prime mortgages that were a high risk of default going into 2008.
4) Everquest is not a hedge fund – True. Everquest was created to take on the risky debt of hedge funds controlled by Bear Sterns.
5) Everquest is thriving – It’s a not a publicly traded company so we have no way of knowing how well it’s doing.

Points 6-8 are political in nature and were responses made to a political reporter. They have nothing to do with this issue.

Barclay’s filed a civil suit against Everquest in December 2007. SEC investigations are sure to follow and heads will role.

Again, the question is why would Jim Gilmore be involved in something like this? I think it’s because this was an easy, non-time consuming job. We can assume he would receive a significant salary as Chairman, but he’s not running day to day operations.

And Jim has done this before. He took a job at a Richmond law firm when he was running for Governor in 1997, knowing he wouldn’t have to actually “work” for the firm.

13 comments:

John said...

Ex Senator Bell:

First:
I would like to remind you of a quote from a great political figure:
"Keep your eye on the main chance and don't stop to kick every barking dog along the way."

Second:
http://www.inrich.com/cva/ric/opinion.apx.-content-articles-RTD-2008-03-24-0045.html

Hopefully you will consider this argument in any future "criticisms" you may have.

Third:
To say you don't have something personal against Gilmore is worrisome. The manner in which you quote press releases and interpret information begs the question: Are you simply grasping at straws? Are you trying to create some kind of a feeding frenzy here? Allow me to emphasize:

To your "point" "5: Everquest is thriving – It’s a not a publicly traded company so we have no way of knowing how well it’s doing."

You only sort of quoted the press release. In fact, the press release says: "5. As a result of sound management, Everquest is thriving and has earned a $100 million profit for its shareholders."

So what exactly are you accusing here? Are you saying that Governor Gilmore is lying? If so, that's quite an allegation. Do you have ANY evidence supporting it?

Your criticisms seem to be largely directed in a personal light: "...it became clear to me that Everquest was nothing more than a scam to move these risky investments off of Bear Sterns balance sheet and thus reduce their exposure" Here you're essentially saying that Governor Gilmore "scammed" people.

Your arguments appear to be normative and completely lacking fact. It's just very worrisome.

Spank That Donkey said...

Are you doing this just to get readers and commenters to your blog?

There are better ways to increase readership than to tie a pork chop around your neck....

Brandon Bell said...

John,

In regard to point 5I believe it is you who are trying to gloss over the facts. You state that the press release stated that EF earned a $100 million profit. Actually it states the it earned $100 million in revenue for it's shareholders. Revenue--if you have expenses of $200 million you are losing your shirt. Also since Bear Stearns is a 60%+ shareholder of EF, I don't know if many of Bear's shareholders are happy right now.

My main thrust are two fold. This is political spin at it's worse. It seems to be written by someone who doesn't understand what they are writing about. Secondly the ex Governor used very bad judgement in being involved in this venture much less sign up as Chairman of the Board.

And STD, I not concerned about who if anybody reads this blog. In this matter I am concerned that we are prepared to nominate someone for US Senate that has a 47% unfavorable rating and as the EF venture shows does not exhibit good decision making.

John said...

Ex Senator Bell:

I am glossed over nothing. I actually read the press release. I encourage you to do the same. I shall quote again: "5. As a result of sound management, Everquest is thriving and has earned a $100 million profit for its shareholders"

Now, you claim it says revenue when it clearly says profit. So, allow Webster to define what a profit is: "the monetary surplus left to a producer or employer after deducting wages, rent, cost of raw materials, etc.: The company works on a small margin of profit."

Now, does the word revenue appear in the press release? Yes it does. "7. The deficit in the state budget, as defined by Mark Warner, was the difference between state revenues, which had decreased in the recession; and what Mark Warner wanted to spend in future years." Again, let us allow Webster to define what revenue means: "the income of a government from taxation, excise duties, customs, or other sources, appropriated to the payment of the public expenses."

A hah! We have a difference! Profit is business related (Everquest usage) while revenue is Government related (Mark Warner's lie about the deficit.)

Please sir, read the press release without bias before claiming I "gloss over" facts.

Now, you clearly said you were going to ignore point 7 made by the press release because it was "political". May I assume you found another instance of revenue appearing in the press release that is not in a portion of the piece you admittedly ignored?

Brandon Bell said...

John,

Evidently I stand corrected. I was taking the language of the press release that was printed in a response to my previous post from Carl and on SWAC Girls blog. Both ran the letter from Dick seemily as is. Both used the word revenue not profit. In checking Gilmore's web site I noticed the word profit was used in item five of the press release. It seems odd that both Carl and SWAC Girl had the release exactly correct except for the one word. Could they have sent it out then realized the error and corrected it on the web site? No matter--I take them that they intended to mean profit and I stand corrected sir.

My overall point on item 5 stands uncorrected however. I fail to see how EF can be thriving when it is loaded with non performing loans and the primary shareholder Bear Stearns share price has plumetted in the last several weeks. I don't think we can truely know for sure and am left with my doubts.

yoder said...

wGillmore running does to Reps what Clinton would do for Dems. He is very disliked and will not only give the seat to Warner but very well have a large enough neg turnout to push the state blue. In a close election for President the nomination of Marshal could be what puts McCain in the White House.

Spank That Donkey said...

Former Senator:
It seems you are eating crow, and having to correct your statements.

Can I get a clarification on the pork chops?

Brandon Bell said...

STD,

As the follow on post highlights I was correct all along. I didn't count on the campaign changing a press release after it was sent out. And over such a significant point. This is unbelievable. I know you love Gov. Gilmore but this type of stunt is uncalled for in a potential US Senate nominee. You need to get on the phone and get him to come clean on the whole issue. For his and our party's sake.

Spank That Donkey said...

Former Senator:
For our Parties sake, your district's Republicans did their jobs....

Spank That Donkey said...

party's

dern, I screwed up the press release.

Brandon Bell said...

STD,

I always did think that you were Gilmore's press secretary. Thanks for clearing that up.

Brandon Bell said...

Really STD do you think these little cheap shots bother me at all? You seem to persist in taking them over and over. It is getting rather old don't you think?

Zak Moore said...

STD - I have yet to read a single insightful, intelligent comment from you on this issue. All you've done is attack Senator Bell.

Based on your previous posts, I gather you think and present ideas in very simple terms. Has this complex issue got you stumped?? Maybe you'll know what to think when you read it on a bumper sticker or t-shirt.