April 20, 2020/Media, Press

SHOT/CHASER: Burr definitely went to Washington to look after himself

LA Times: “Burr’s reported behavior fits into the narrative of Washington elites looking out for No. 1 while ordinary Americans suffer.”

PRE-GAME: “In 2008… as the nation was entering a recession — [Burr] called his wife and told her to withdraw as much cash as possible from their bank accounts” [NYT]

When it became clear to Senators with security clearance that the country was about to enter the 2008 recession, instead of working to cushion the blow for the country and North Carolina, Burr told his wife to withdraw cash from their shared bank account, presumably because he expected banks to fail. 

“I want you to go to the A.T.M., and I want you to draw out everything it will let you take,” Burr shamelessly told reporters, according to The Hill.

SHOT: “The fact that she has insinuated that I’ve gone to Washington and only looked after myself. For anybody who knows me, they know that is 100 percent crap.” [N&O]

In a 2016 Q&A with the News & Observer, when asked how then Senatorial challenger Deborah Ross had hurt his feelings, Burr responded that she “insinuated that I’ve gone to Washington and only looked after myself.”

CHASER: “Instead of raising [his] voices to prepare Americans for what was to come, Mr. Burr … prioritized [his] stock portfolios, in a rank betrayal of the public trust — and possibly in violation of the law.” [NYT Ed Board]

In February, Burr warned members of a private organization “behind closed doors” that the coronavirus was “much more aggressive than anything we have seen in recent history,” while publicly downplaying the severity. Additional reporting revealed Burr had sold huge amounts of stocks collectively worth between $628,000 and $1.7 million just days before the markets dipped.

MORE CHASER: Senator Richard Burr sold his Washington, D.C. townhouse in a private transaction to longtime lobbyist John Green for “tens of thousands of dollars above some estimates of the property’s value.” [ProPublica]

Green is a longtime donor to Burr’s political campaigns and lobbied “on behalf of a stream of clients with business before Burr’s committees.” Burr appears to have used the proceeds from the sale to buy a beach house.

LIME: “Burr has relatively lousy performance over the broad period… It’s not like he’s a stock-picking genius.” [WUNC]

New analysis, presented by researchers at Dartmouth College indicates that not only is this trade unusual for Burr, it is one of his “only market-beating trades since record keeping began eight years ago.” Additionally, Bruce Sacerdote, an economics professor at Dartmouth, said that in general, Burr has “relatively lousy performance” when it comes to stock picking.