Wisconsin Republican Rep. Tom Petri is calling for an ethics investigation into his own actions, saying he is "distressed by the innuendo" that there is a conflict of interest between his financial interests and his actions as a lawmaker.
In a letter sent
to the House Ethics Committee and released on Monday, Petri said he wants to end any questions about how he has advocated Oshkosh Corp., a defense contractor in his district, to the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, reports The Hill.
According to an investigation conducted by
the Gannett Washington bureau, Petri owns hundreds of thousands of dollars of Oshkosh stock.
A USA Today
report says Petri contacted both the Secretary of Defense and the Army Secretary in 2009 to expedite a $3 billion truck-manufacturing contract for Oshkosh. Further, the newspaper reports, Petri asked Congress to vote down $101 million in cuts to the program last year.
Petri's investments of $265,000 to $650,000 in Oshkosh stock grew, the Gannett analysis found, by 28 to 33 percent, to a value of $340,000 to $863,000.
The lawmaker said in his letter that it is his "honor and duty to advocate on his behalf" for people who live and work in his district, and said he already reported his investments in Oshkosh on disclosure forms and in public records.
"My advocacy has been taken openly," Petri said in his letter, insisting that his actions as a stockholder "are no different than any other stockholder based solely on public information."
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