Collins invokes insider trading complaints in TV attack on Loeffler

U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins.

‘She profited off the pandemic,' he says

U.S. Rep. Doug Collins unleashed one of his most scathing TV attacks yet on U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler with a 30-second spot that frames the fellow Republican as a greedy insider who used her public office to boost her financial bottom line.

The ad released Wednesday targets stock transactions that came under intense scrutiny after a large number of stocks that Loeffler or her husband owned were sold off shortly after she attended a senators-only coronavirus briefing Jan. 24.

“She profited off the pandemic while too many Georgians lost everything. I’m Doug Collins, the proven pro-life, pro-gun conservative,” said Collins, standing beside a pickup truck with a Trump-Pence sticker.

“I approve this message because while Kelly does a great job looking out for herself, I will always look out for you.”

The U.S. Senate Ethics Committee dismissed complaints from watchdog groups questioning whether she engaged in insider trading, and other officials closed investigations into the stock transactions without finding criminal wrongdoing.

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“Doug Collins is attacking President Trump’s Department of Justice and peddling a completely debunked lie about Kelly Loeffler in a desperate attempt to save his failing, dumpster-fire campaign,” said Loeffler spokesman Stephen Lawson.

Collins' campaign sniffed at that response.

“The SEC and FBI aren’t in the “exoneration” business. The FBI declined to prosecute Al Capone on bootlegging charges too,” said Collins spokesman Dan McLagan. “It was not because he was innocent, it was because he covered his tracks and lawyered up with the best suits money could buy.”

Collins' campaign has pummeled Loeffler with accusations that she and her husband Jeff Sprecher – who runs a powerful Atlanta-based financial platform – benefited from insider information in January about a pandemic that would trigger an economic slowdown by March.

Vastly outspent on the airwaves, the four-term congressman hopes his attack will shape the closing weeks of the special election campaign, a 20-candidate free-for-all to serve out the remaining two years of retired U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s term.

Polls show him in a tight contest with Loeffler for a spot in an expected January runoff against Democratic frontrunner Raphael Warnock, who is soaring in recent surveys.

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Collins is at a daunting financial disadvantage. The senator and her allies have pumped roughly $30 million into TV airtime boosting her campaign, and the pro-Loeffler Georgia United Victory PAC this week snapped up another $2.5 million worth of television spots for the final stretch.

Collins is spending only a fraction on ads for cable and broadcast audiences, but is marshaling his bankroll for a final flurry of ads. Another spot, running online, features a string of voters who allege Loeffler “got away with it.”

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