November 9, 2006
Hon. Sue Kelly
House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Ms. Kelly,
Despite the recent election results, I hope this letter finds you quite well. As a resident of Westchester County, I was exposed to almost all of the political commercials that were aired in the late campaign. Of course there were not a great many contested campaigns and therefore the variety of commercials were quite limited. One of the commercials that I happened to hear was one of yours, and it resonated with me more than others.
Your commercial, calling your opponent a hypocrite because of his ownership of mutual funds, was quite hilarious. As a NASD registered representative and an owner of mutual funds myself, I found your commercial accusing Mr. Hall of hypocrisy most amazing. I am sure that almost all citizens of Westchester, Putnam, Dutchess County own a mutual fund through either their 401(k), or 503(b), or deferred annuities or variable insurance policies. Of course there are exceptions. But as a person who does understand mutual funds I found your commercial foolish, disingenuous and misleading. With regards to mutual funds, their holdings are strictly limited to a small percentage of any one company’s stock. No mutual fund can own more than a small percentage of that company’s outstanding stock and when that stock grows in value beyond that legal limit, shares must be sold to equalize the fund’s holdings. Therefore all mutual funds, no matter if they are concentrated in a specific economic sector can never be dominated by one stock. I am sure you aware of that and I also assume you own mutual funds and your Congressional retirement account is also invested in that type of financial vehicle. Therefore to accuse someone of being a hypocrite because of that type of ownership is ridiculous. Mutual funds, in most cases, do not spin off earnings and grow tax deferred until sold. Therefore to accuse Mr. Hall of owning Walmart, or other stocks in a mutual fund’s portfolio is and was misleading. In the same way you, or anyone else, does not have control over any of the stocks in your mutual funds. Therefore to accuse someone who owns diversely invested mutual funds of being a hypocrite, regarding their criticism of those company’s actions, is meaningless. It would be like owning a telephone and complaining about its service. Should one give up one’s phone?
I did contribute to Mr. Hall’s campaign and I am a registered Democrat and therefore, even though I do not know you or him personally, I am exquisitely happy with the change of leadership in the Congress. The Republican leadership and the Republican members have been in lock step as cheerleaders and co-conspirators with one of the worst and most divisive Presidents in our history. His venal conduct and his pandering to the flat-earth thinkers of our society have reduced us to the laughing stock of most of the world. (Read Gary Wills piece “A Country Ruled by Faith”) Thankfully a vast majority of Americans have awakened to his charade and have spoken out in righteous indignation. They have repudiated your do-nothing, “rubber stamp” 109th Congress that has ratified his errors, miscalculations and lies.
Of course it will not be an easy task to undo the harm that this President has wrought. But be assured, history will show eventually, that this administration, and the Republican led Congress, will be accurately portrayed as one bought and sold by some of worst and greediest elements of our society. When the harsh and long overdue light of oversight enters the halls and hearing rooms of Congress, much will be exposed to the public. I am sure that we will see revealed a level of corruption and misconduct that will make Teapot Dome, Watergate, Iran-gate and other scandals pale in comparison. Unlike the mindless meandering witch-hunt led by Kenneth Starr we will see a true and thorough unearthing that will let all the poisons come forth. Hopefully the Congress will open up the files on Mr. Bush and his family that he so conveniently locked away from public scrutiny at Texas A.M. under the former guardianship of Bob Gates. (See Maureen Dowd, The New York Times, November 9, 2006) It is too bad that so much suffering in New Orleans and in overseas has happened because of the stolen election of 2000. The Bush legacy has been a disaster for America and most of the world, but finally the public is awakening to the truth.
Richard J. Garfunkel