A day after the AP and TPM reported Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA) sold off millions of shares in oil and gas industry stock following claims of hypocrisy from ThinkProgress and Al Sharpton, Kelly’s office tells reporters the sales happened “well before” a constituent questioned Kelly’s portfolio in a June town hall.From an update to the story published today by the AP:
U.S. Rep. Mike Kelly’s press secretary tells The Herald newspaper of Sharon that Kelly’s stock in Phillips Resources Inc. and T.W. Phillips Inc. had been “entirely been sold off.” Press secretary Julia Thornton said the transactions will be detailed in his financial disclosure forms for 2011.
Thorton told TPM that “the talks to sell” one set of shares in the oil and gas companies started by Kelly’s wife’s family and sold recently to ExxonMobil began in Spring 2010. Kelly’s office did not respond to inquiries about the story yesterday, but called TPM Thursday morning.
Last week, Kelly published an op-ed pushing back on Sharpton in The Hill. The op-ed does not mention a sale of the shares, but does refer to them in the past-tense, as Kelly’s office pointed out.
The fact that Kelly had sold the shares was announced nearly a week after the op-ed was published.
Up to now, Kelly’s office has been dodgy about the status of the shares. On July 7, PoliticsPA.com published this write-up of the story, which included this comment from Kelly’s office:
Kelly’s office did not dispute the facts or figures presented by Sharpton. Instead, spokeswoman Julie Thornton said the Congressman’s assets were hard-earned, and noted the Kellys’ history of charitable giving.
Yesterday’s AP story reported Thornton said “she doesn’t know when the transactions took place.” The details on the sales will be made public in Kelly’s 2011 required financial disclosure filing, Thornton told TPM.