Ben Nelson and Berkshire Hathaway


Rachel Slajda flags Ben Nelson’s curious outburst against critics of his apparently Buffet-motivated filibuster of financial regulatory reform:

To be absolutely clear, I did not vote no because of Berkshire Hathaway. Nor did the fact that I and my wife have owned Berkshire stock for 30+ years have anything to do with my vote. It has never been an issue. It isn’t now,” he said in a statement. “I voted no because of concerns about what is in the underlying bill drafted by Senator Dodd.”

He said he did support the exemption Berkshire wanted, as a matter of policy. To force existing contracts to conform to new rules, he said, would be unconstitutional.

So he wanted the same think Berkshire wanted, and he owns shares in Berkshire, and Berkshire is located in his home state, and he filibustered the bill, but he didn’t filibuster the bill because of Berkshire’s concerns. It’s just a big coincidence. Now we’re clear.

Meanwhile, the rule in question is clearly constitutional. In fact, if it were unconstitutional it probably wouldn’t bother Warren Buffet so much. He’s concerned precisely because the law would be enforced and he doesn’t want to comply with it.