Democrats questioning Scott Brown stock deal
Democrats are calling on Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Scott Brown to file financial disclosure statements in the wake of published reports describing his involvement on the advisory board of a company that represents itself as a firearms manufacturer, but according to the Sunday Boston Globe has “no revenue, no patents, no trademarks, no manufacturing facilities, and no experience developing weapons.”
The newspaper cited a report by Global Digital Solutions Inc. (GDSI) to the Securities and Exchange Commission made public last month, which revealed that Brown received stock worth $1.3 million when he agreed to serve on the company’s advisory board last summer.
Since then the stock has lost more than half of its value.
“Scott Brown was cashing in when he said he was taking time off. And he cashed in with shady characters running a questionable company,” said Julie McClain, New Hampshire Democratic Party communications director. “No wonder Brown didn’t file his financial disclosure form. He didn’t want New Hampshire to know.”
A spokesman for the Brown campaign challenged the characterization of GDSI as a “questionable company.”
“GDSI is a start-up company that does not have significant operations at this point,” said Lizzy Guyton, Brown’s communications director. “Scott Brown has an advisory role but he is not involved in the day to day management or decisions of the company.”
GDSI was founded as a beauty supply company in New Jersey, then became a wireless data firm in California, before opening offices as a firearms maker in South Florida.
The firm reported having four employees, $271,776 in cash and $19.7 million in losses as of March 31, according to the Globe, which interviewed several accountants who maintained that GDSI’s filings raised a number of red flags for investors.
Campaign sources would not comment on whether Brown has sold any of the stock or what restrictions may exist on converting the stock to cash, referring all questions to a GDSI spokesman who did not respond to requests for comment.
Brown’s financial reports would contain such information, but he asked for and was granted an extension allowed by the Senate ethics rules, which state: “Candidate financial reports are due within 30 days after becoming a candidate for nomination or election to the office (of) the United States Senate, or by May 15 of that calendar year, whichever is later, but at least 30 days before the election.”
Brown now has until Aug. 9, one month before the Republican primary, to file his reports. Incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen filed her disclosure form on May 15.
“This is a routine extension that’s commonly requested by Democrats and Republicans alike,” said Guyton.