CINCINNATI (TDB) -- Democratic congressional candidate Steve Black -- whose campaign literature denounces Halliburton as a "war profiteer" -- says he briefly owned some of the company's stock in his Fifth Third Bank IRA. As word of Black's investment began to circulate widely in Ohio today, the campaign told The Daily Bellwether he had dumped the stake early last year at a loss. Black said he got out of Halliburton after discovering the bank's portfolio manager made the purchase.
Dan Herkert, Black's campaign manager, sent the following e-mail in response to an inquiry from TDB:
"Steve owns an IRA that is managed by Fifth Third Bank. On average, there are over 60 stock holdings, but this fluctuates monthly because of trading. Beginning on May 26, 2006, the Fifth Third IRA manager purchased shares of Halliburton stock, which was then worth $10,029.06. When Steve was reviewing his year-end statement (received in early 2007) he discovered that Halliburton stock was held in his IRA. He called the Fifth Third Bank IRA manager and requested that the stock be sold from his account. In the January 31, 2007 statement (the next statement available after the end of 2006) the Halliburton stock is shown to have sold for $8,326.30. The amount represents 1.1% of Steve's IRA. Steve took action as soon as he discovered the presence of this stock in his IRA. As is shown above, he in no way profited from owning Halliburton stock. Further, he in no way intentionally bought the company's stock."
Black, a lawyer, is challenging physician Vic Wulsin for the OH-02 Democratic nomination in the March primary. Wulsin's camp seemed prepared to make an issue of Black's Halliburton investment, but may back off. Or, it may contend that Black was not a socially conscious investor. The House seat now is held by Republican Jean Schmidt, who barely defeated Wulsin in 2006.
By the way, here's what Black had to say about Halliburton, a company once headed by Vice President Dick Cheney, in campaign literature mailed to Democrats across the seven-counties of the 2nd Congressional District in southern Ohio:
"War profiteers like Halliburton must be held accountable for their fraud and abuse -- as should the leaders who caused the mess in Iraq that has killed our brave soldiers and cost taxpayers billions."