Financial disclosures from the Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives have painted a new fault line for Democrats as they seek to confirm a new Speaker of the House.
Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., has positioned herself as heir apparent for a restoration to the gavel since Democrats retook the House in early November. Her first obstacle will be leadership elections set for Wednesday, which will then be transferred to a floor vote on January 3.
However, support for the old guard led by Pelosi is far from unanimous, despite the many she has coerced into falling in line behind her.
"Leader Pelosi wants to boil this down to a personal argument, but this is so much bigger than her," Massachusetts representative Seth Moulton told TheStreet in a statement. "It's about the entire, stagnant, 3-person leadership team and having a serious conversation about promoting leaders who reflect the future of our caucus."
His statement, which shies away from directly attacking Pelosi, is somewhat less aggressive than a letter signed by Moulton only one week ago.
"Democrats ran and won on a message of change," it reads. "We promised to change the status quo, and we intend to deliver on that promise. Therefore, we are committed to voting for new leadership in both our Caucus meeting and on the House Floor."
The letter was signed by 16 members of the house in total. Still, none have chosen to stand against the long-time leader.
Conflict of Interest
A new, and poorly timed, potential problem for Pelosi could be recently disclosed investments that she and her husband have made in companies that have become the bane of the "New Left" elected on November 6. That includes Jeff Bezos' Amazon (AMZN) .
Financial disclosures filed after the midterm elections show that Nancy and Paul Pelosi placed up to $250,000 on Facebook (FB) call options, purchased up to $500,000 worth of AT&T (T) shares, and bet on up to $5 million on bullish Amazon call options dated to 2020 in October alone.
The sizable bets certainly beg questions of her ability to lead a party headlined by figures like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a dedicated crusader against major corporations and Amazon specifically. Such stances have garnered the Democratic Socialist praise from even staunch opponents, like Tucker Carlson.
Both Ocasio-Cortez and newly elected Minnesota congresswoman Ilhan Omar have been vocal in their disdain for the e-commerce giant, especially amid its much-maligned subsidized headquarters sweepstakes.
From Minnesota to NYC, everyday people all over the country are organizing to resist Amazon's predatory practices on working class communities.
And it's working. ⬇️ https://t.co/AgrB43MOew— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 21, 2018
We get what we organize for.
Proud of these workers for standing up for their rights, even in the face of immense corporate power.https://t.co/a7nLUcaHqF— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) November 20, 2018
Given the stock the party has put in these young faces, the presumable future of the party, it will be interesting to see political reaction to Pelosi's bets against their anti-corporate crusading.
Additionally, the increased focus with which regulatory bodies have taken to examining Facebook, the Pelosi's vested interest in the success of Mark Zuckerberg for her own financial gain could pose a point of contention among those seeking to confirm a leader of the party of the "resistance."
In an attempt to quell dissent in her ranks, Pelosi has engaged in some political maneuvering already.
Most significantly, representative Marcia Fudge endorsed Nancy Pelosi after being considered the most likely challenger to her grip on the gavel.
The dropping of her challenge conveniently coincides with the appointment of the Ohio Democrat to chair the House subcommittee overseeing elections in the next Congress. Her confirmation to the position would rest on the appointment of Pelosi as speaker.
Pelosi also sent an open letter to her fellow representatives, urging a unified front for the party.
"Respectful of the views of all Members, I request that we all support the nominee of our Caucus for Speaker on the Floor of the House," she wrote. "Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power."
Both Pelosi, and likely corporate executives and investors as well, will be hoping that diversity of opinion on investment interests will be highlighted as a strength as well.
Wednesday's vote will be the first step to find out if Pelosi perch atop the party will persist.
Note: The Republican National Committee did not return requests for comment on this story. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's office did not return requests for comment on this story.