Candidate Chip Cravaack has a good story :
It was a hot day in August 2009, at the peak of Tea Party fervor. A radio talk show host was railing against the Democrats’ health care plan: Visit your congressman — the talker said — demand a town hall meeting.
Cravaack was living the quiet life of a medically retired Northwest Airlines pilot, grounded at 48 with sleep apnea.
Heeding the call on the radio, Cravaack set out from his upscale family home in Lindstrom, where he and his wife, Traci, are raising their two boys, to North Branch, where Oberstar has a district office.
There, Cravaack and about 25 other fellow travelers met with congressional staffer Blake Chaffee. “We were all there, saying, ‘Hey, we want to talk to our congressman,'” Cravaack said. “After about two and a half hours, the place was packed and it was getting hot.”
But Oberstar wasn’t in. It would be the catalyst for Cravaack’s decision to enter politics.
The influence of one radio host altered Chip Cravaack’s life … or were there at least 265,000 reasons weighing in on Chip’s mind ?
Yeah, voters in the Eighth District may have known about his medical disability … but now with Representative Cravaack finally filing his Personal Financial Disclosure Form (that was due on May 16th) revealing that Raymond Cravaack received $92,273.44 from the Delta Air Line Pilots Disability and Survivorship Trust.
That information was not disclosed on Candidate Cravaack’s filing.
Comparing the two reports, there are some obvious differences … the most significant is that Traci Cravaack’s investments are included now. Excluding personal home, vehicles and personal property, Mr. Cravaack’s current report indicates between $843,219 and $1,696,000 in assets and unearned income, including stocks and retirement savings
NOTE : These reports classify investments in ranges, so exact amounts are unknown.
Traci Cravaack lists an investment in Novo Nordisk stock at a value of $15,000 – $50,000 plus an investment in a 401k plan valued at $250,000 to $500,000.
For those unfamiliar with Novo Nordisk, it is a Danish pharmaceutical giant … with interests ranging from insulin to stem cell research … and investors like Mitt Romney who wrote in a March 6, 2005 Boston Globe OpEd piece that he supports stem cell research including those that “are obtained from surplus embryos from in vitro fertilization” prompting questions of candidate Romney’s views on stem cell research as well as the appropriateness of the investment.
Oh, sure Novo Nordisk may have “invested” $1,390,000 in lobbying Congress … but how much better just to have a Member of Congress invested heavily in your company ?
Somehow, on Wednesday, February 23 when Mr. Cravaack met with Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International (JDRF) who advocated for the need to continue to federally fund research and to develop therapies that make managing diabetes easier, it probably was not a hard sell … after all, the group is funded by an educational grant from Novo Nordisk through its Changing Diabetes© leadership initiative.
Yes, Healthcare Reform could have an impact on the Cravaack family finances.
Novo Nordisk CFO Jesper Brandgaard told CNBC the pharmaceutical company’s sales would not be as positive as they had been in the first quarter. He said Novo expected sales growth to suffer by around 3 percent as a result of US and European healthcare reforms and that he expected that to be the continuing trend for the year.
One has to wonder if the voters knew the extent of the investment in Novo Nordisk, would they have considered Mr. Cravaack’s complaints as being more self-serving than patriotically motivated.
One has to wonder why Mr. Cravaack waited so long to file the Personal Financial Disclosure Form … was it just to delay exposing his connection to the healthcare industry ?
Healthcare will be the issue in 2012 … at least now, voters can now understand a little better Mr. Cravaack’s motivation.