Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein labeled accusations of her links to Wall Street, coal and the pharmaceutical industry as “a blatant smear attack” Thursday, following an article in The Daily Beast that labeled her investments a conflict of interest.
“This disingenuous shaming exercise is an effort to silence dissent, and a blunt attempt to bully people into refraining from exercising their democratic rights to free speech and political action,” Stein said via her website.
Yashar Ali’s article for the Daily Beast on Wednesday claimed that Stein invested in industries that her party has continually opposed and criticized.
Referencing Stein’s 2016 financial disclosure form and a 2015 federal tax return, the article claimed that Stein and her husband profited from funds with investments in corporations such as Exxon, Chevron, JP Morgan Chase and Pfizer.
Stein said that Ali “has created an imagined conflict of interest” with his logic insinuating that the millions of U.S. citizens who have retirement accounts in investment funds “can never speak out or organize against corporate abuses.”
The presidential candidate said that she had no control over the decision making of her investment funds and has “taken steps to divest from the worst of these holdings.”
“Sadly, most of these broad investments are as compromised as the American economy — degraded as it is by the fossil fuel, defense and finance industries.”
Stein called out Ali for hypocrisy for not looking at the conflict of interests of the Clinton family. She said her investments were a “far cry from the Clintons’ backroom fundraising” and the “predatory economics” of Republican candidate Donald Trump.
“If Mr. Ali is truly interested in conflicts of interest of political candidates and their families, where is his disclosure on the conflict of interest posed by Chelsea Clinton's position as a director of the corporate owner of the Daily Beast, IAC?
Stein, who has denounced corporate greed and inequality as part of her campaign, said the Daily Beast article was “suggesting that participating in the American economy is incompatible with working to change it.