Many different vectors infect our political process with corporate influence. While campaign finance and post-election lobbying have long drawn attention, however, the widespread practice of congressional insider trading has managed to largely evade public scrutiny.

Until now.

Can you join us today to continue forcing issues to the front of the national debate, despite the interests of corporate politicians and the journalists who insulate them from public scrutiny?

I grew concerned about the corporate corruption of Congress years before ever running for office. My first case as a baby lawyer back in 2003 focused on defending the “McCain-Feingold” Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, which aimed to curtail corporate money in elections. The Supreme Court flipped our 2006 victory in Shays v FEC on its head with its Citizens United decision in 2010, and Pelosi’s role as a poster child of corporate influence was largely what motivated me to shift from non-profit advocacy to politics in 2018.

Our campaign has been hammering the issue of congressional conflicts of interest for years. We’ve raised the issue on social media, with voters in our field outreach, and also in grassroots actions, including one just three weeks ago that we organized at Pelosi’s downtown San Francisco office over the holidays.

Most voices concerned about congressional insider trading have expressed alarms about how it skews the marketplace. Pelosi claims the right to participate in a “free market,” conveniently ignoring how the information to which she has unique access as a policymaker confers a massive advantage.

That’s not only theoretical: her husband’s stock portfolio is notorious for beating the market. No Democrat in Congress secured a higher return on their investments last year than their political leader. That in itself is a glaring reflection of corruption.

Can you support our campaign to win San Francisco a voice in the House more concerned with the public interest and public needs than a private stock portfolio? The incumbent is an oligarch with an intergenerational dynasty, while I’m an immigrant whose only property is a formidable record of fighting the bipartisan establishment on your behalf.

While voices concerned about insider trading are right to call it out, they frankly downplay the harms it presents to the public. It is certainly true that allowing Members of Congress to trade stocks gives them an inherent advantage, undermining the fairness and efficiency of the marketplace.

But that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Far worse than skewing the marketplace is dividing the loyalties of policymakers, inviting the open corruption of the policymaking process by incentivizing policymakers to prioritize not the needs of their constituents, but rather whatever decision will maximize the profits of the enterprises that they own.

Put another way: the harm to the market pales next to the even greater harm to democracy, and the legitimacy of each of those spheres in the face of co-optation by an oligarch.

We need your help to defend democracy from the military-industrial complex. The co-optation of voices in Washington—including Nancy Pelosi—by Wall Street represent precisely that.

Thanks again for helping to make this victory possible! To be frank, I take Pelosi’s comment with a pound of salt, and will believe she’s sincere when I see Congress pass a law to restrict congressional insider trading.

But while there remains more to do here, the public shift in her position represents a major concession to our demands.

I’m eager to see what else, working together, we can win.

Your voice,

Shahid