Biden Nominee Raises Eyebrows Over Possible Financial Benefits while Working in Congress

Gage Skidmore from Surprise, AZ, United States of America via Wikimedia Commons

Republicans are concerned that Biden’s nominee for director of the Bureau of Land Management, Tracy Stone-Manning accepted an unethical loan while working as a Congressional staffer. During Tuesday’s hearing, Sen. Roger Marshall pressed Stone-Manning for more details regarding a loan between $50,000 to $100,000 she accepted while working as the state director for Sen. Jon Tester. Stone-Manning claims she took out the loan after the 2008 financial crisis, however, the friend who financed the loan offered it at a discounted interest rate.

Fox News reports:

“According to your disclosure it looks like you received that [loan] at an interest rate of 6% but the going rate for a consumer loan was 11%,” Marshall said in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee hearing. “Do you feel like that’s some type of conflict of interest?”

“Ethics are deeply important to me,” Stone-Manning said. “Like many families in 2008, we got smacked by the recession and a friend loaned us some money to make sure that we could get through it. And we came to terms and we honored the loan.”

The individual who gave the loan to Stone-Manning is Stuart Goldberg, a Montana developer. Marshall’s concerns about the loan were not eased by Stone-Manning’s answers, Fox News is told, and he plans to submit further questions for the record to Stone-Manning about her history with Goldberg.

Those questions will press Stone-Manning on whether she was aware the interest rate on the loan was below the market rate; whether she interacted with Goldberg in an official capacity when she worked for Tester; whether Goldberg sought assistance from Tester’s office “around the time” of the loan; whether Stone-Manning ceased her official interactions with Goldberg after she got the loan; and whether Goldberg and Stone-Manning previously exchanged gifts.

According to a loan calculator, based on previous market values Stone-Manning benefitted somewhere between $20,000 and $40,000 from the loan arrangement.

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