June 25, 2014

Shaheens Refuse To Answer Questions About Benefiting From Stimulus

jeannebilly

The Boston Globe reported this morning that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is refusing to answer questions about the possibility that she and her husband, William, benefited from stimulus money she advocated for as a U.S. Senator.

The Globe reports that William Shaheen’s company, Shaheen & Gordon, had a “stimulus opportunities team” that was designed to help clients grab a share of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. Additionally, he served as an advisor at a company that directly received stimulus money for work Sen. Shaheen advocated for:

In 2009, her husband, William, became an adviser to a Southern California startup, Ultrawave Labs Inc., that was developing new imaging technology to detect breast cancer and acquired stock options in the firm.

That same year, Ultrawave received $78,000 in federal stimulus funding and later paid a Washington company to lobby both houses of Congress and several government agencies, including the Department of Defense, on breast cancer funding, dovetailing with the senator’s own work to support the Pentagon’s breast cancer program.

While the money ultimately came from the National Science Foundation, the Globe notes Sen. Shaheen’s influence and involvement:

Jeanne Shaheen was in a position to be particularly influential over breast cancer research because she has roles on both the Armed Services Committee and an appropriations subcommittee overseeing health research.

Now the Shaheens are refusing to answer questions about their involvement in the company or the stimulus money it received:

The Shaheens declined multiple requests for interviews and would not answer most detailed questions about their investments and connection to the firm.

At another point, the Globe notes the Shaheens refused to elaborate on the specifics of William Shaheen’s agreement with Ultrawave Labs:

Neither the company nor the Shaheens would say exactly when Shaheen began advising the company or when his stock options in the firm expired.

If everything is on the up-and-up, why are the Shaheens refusing to answer these basic questions?