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Sen. Loeffler’s Stock Liquidation ‘is essentially a guilty plea,’ says Opponent

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Georgia Sen. Kelly Loeffler and her CEO husband will liquidate their individual stock share positions, after more than a month of controversy over purchases and sales of millions of dollars of stocks during the onset of the coronavirus outbreak, but her Senate challenger’s campaign team says it’s nothing short of ‘a guilty plea.’

“She’s less credible than the Chinese government. Same advisors, different funds and no blind trust?  We’re not buying it,” said Dan McGlan, spokesman for Rep. Doug Collins

Loeffler issued her statement Wednesday in an opinion editorial submitted to the Wall Street Journal. Loeffler announced that she and her husband CEO Jeff Sprecher would be liquidating those stocks shortly after her interview with Fox Business host Maria Bartiromo and a day after SaraACarter.com published a story regarding her failure to name the broker of her stock portfolio.

Loeffler, however, continued to defend her stock sales and said that “I have never used any confidential information I received while performing my Senate duties as a means of making a private profit.” She posted her opinion piece on Twitter with a statement saying “my husband and I are liquidating our holdings in managed accounts.”

“I’m not doing this because I have to. I’m doing it to move beyond the distraction and put the focus back on the essential work we must all do to defeat the coronavirus,” she added.

Her spokesperson told this reporter in a story published Tuesday that “allegations of improper trading are based purely on cherry-picking dates and misrepresenting transactions contained in Senator Loeffler’s Periodic Transaction Reports (PTRs), rather than any actions that Sen. Loeffler took. For years, her stock portfolio has been managed independently by third-party advisors who plan the investment strategy and implement trades.”

However, Dan McLagan, spokesman for Rep. Doug Collins, who is challenging Loeffler for her Senate seat, said on Wednesday that her refusal to name her broker calls into question the stocks traded during the pandemic.

“This is essentially a guilty plea and Georgians who just saw their retirement plans crater while she profited are not going to agree to the plea deal,” said McLagan. “She’s less credible than the Chinese government. Same advisors, different funds and no blind trust?  We’re not buying it. “

Collins has not yet issued a direct statement on Loeffler’s decision to liquidate the stocks but had said earlier that he was “sickened” by the trades and purchases during a time when so many people had lost their jobs and lives.

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Economy

Off-Duty Southwest Airlines Pilots Protest ‘Summer of Luv: Delayed, Rescheduled, Cancelled’

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A large gathering of over 1,300 Southwest Airlines pilots protested at the Dallas Love Field airport on Tuesday. The Southwest Airlines and the pilots’ union, Southwest Airlines Pilots Association, have been negotiating a new contract for the past two years, and are saying that they’re overworked and understaffed.

Signs held included the phrases “Our passengers and pilots deserve better” and “Summer of Luv: delayed, rescheduled, cancelled.”

The New York Post reports:

Flight delays and cancellations have been rising in recent months as the airline industry faces a shortage of pilots and cannot meet the increased travel demand with COVID-19 restrictions lifting across the world.

While the whole industry is reeling from the pilot shortage, SWAPA said Southwest Airlines’ poor scheduling practices for pilots has compounded the issue.

The union said its 8,300 members have faced constant reassignments to flights and last-minute scheduling changes as the labor shortage and severe weather disrupt regular flight service. Nearly a third of pilots are being reassigned daily, SWAPA President Capt. Casey Murray said.

Southwest Airlines said that it respected its off-duty pilots and staffers’ right to protest.

“Southwest Airlines respects the rights of our Employees to express their opinions, and we do not anticipate any disruption in service as a result of this single demonstration,” the company said in a statement to the Post. “For 51 years, we’ve maintained a legendary Southwest Culture that honors our valued Employees.”

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