CHARLESTON, W.Va.—The Democrat looking to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Shelley Moore Capito in the general election challenged her Friday to release details of her mortgages on properties in Charleston, Lexington, Va., and Washington, D.C.
Howard Swint’s challenge came after the Charleston Gazette reported that House Speaker John Boehner was headed to West Virginia to attend a private fundraiser at Capito’s home.
The event is for freshman House of Delegates member Rick Snuffer, who’s taking on Democratic U.S. Rep. Nick Rahall this fall. Snuffer lost when he challenged Rahall in 2004.
Capito’s re-election campaign said the visit underscores the importance of the congressional contest.
But Swint saw something different. He said it’s the time to ask whether Capito, a member of the House Financial Services Committee, got “preferential terms” for her mortgages.
“Congresswoman Capito has complied and fully disclosed all of her financial information and her mortgages, as required by federal law,” spokesman Kent Gates said.
Swint is an associate broker for West Virginia Commercial LP.
“If he’s so interested in disclosure and full accounting, why doesn’t he release all his clients and business actions, including his arrangements with JP Morgan Chase, which was the largest recipient of TARP money?,” Gates asked.
TARP is the Troubled Assets Relief Program, the official name for the 2009 Wall Street bailout.
The financial services sector is a key part of her donor base, and Capito’s husband has worked for banks and investment firms.
But Capito co-sponsored the recently passed STOCK Act, which stands for Stop Trading on Congressional Knowledge. The legislation explicitly bans members of Congress, the president and thousands of other federal workers from profiting from nonpublic information learned on the job.
Swint said it “would be viewed as highly unethical” for any member of the committee to have received below-market terms from a bank or mortgage lender it was charged with overseeing.
In financial disclosure forms that members of Congress were required to file for the first time this year, Capito and husband Charles reported that they owe $250,000-$500,000 on their home mortgage in Charleston, and the same amount on a property in Washington.
The Daily Mail said those mortgages are with Wells Fargo, and both were refinanced last year.
Meanwhile, Charles Capito owes CitiMortgage $100,000-$250,000 for real estate in Lexington, the report said. Previously a rental property, it’s now considered a second home.