LOS ANGELES — Bobby Shriver, a Democratic candidate for Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, purchased stock in 11 oil and gas companies in 2010, records show, despite earlier statements from the campaign that he had inherited his portfolio.
Shriver's campaign dismissed his ownership of oil and tobacco stocks Tuesday as family investments that "have been in the family for years that date back to his grandfather." However, according to a statement of economic interests filed with the Santa Monica office of the city clerk in 2011, Shriver purchased up to $1.1 million of stock in 11 oil, gas, pipeline, offshore drilling or oilfield services companies in 2010.
"It's clear to me he was making a conscious decision to invest in oil and tobacco when he easily could have sold the stocks," Parke Skelton, a consultant for Sheila Kuehl, a former state legislator also running for the Supervisor seat, told BuzzFeed. "There's some level of hypocrisy he's going to have to explain."
Shriver touted his record on environmental issues during his campaign announcement Tuesday. He was chairman of the California State Park and Recreation Commission from 2001 to 2008, and as Santa Monica mayor, he pushed for Measure V, which raised property taxes to pay for runoff water quality improvements.
The Shriver campaign backtracked Thursday, and said the candidate's investments were not solely made up of inherited stocks, and included a mix of personal picks and stocks chosen by the managers of his funds and trusts. Shriver told the Los Angeles Times Tuesday the only stocks he selected himself were Starbucks, Berkshire Hathaway, and Harley-Davidson.
"There's a few stocks he made a personal decision about, a few were in his existing portfolio, and a few were bought by his portfolio manager," Bill Carrick, a Shriver campaign advisor said. "Many large pension funds have many of these stocks we're talking about. Millions of Californians have investments in all kinds of stocks."
"Having a financial background which Bobby has is an asset for somebody in the County Board of Supervisors with the size of the budget they have," he said.
Financial records also show Shriver is a limited partner in, and receives royalties from, Arctic Royalty Limited Partnership, which deals in oil and gas. According to a 2013 disclosure form filed by Shriver's cousin Caroline Kennedy, Arctic Royalty Limited Partnerships has 143 oil and gas lease site listings throughout Texas and Oklahoma. Unlike corporations, royalty trusts are not subject to corporate or income tax.
"He didn't just own stock in oil and gas companies. He's part owner of two," said Skelton. "It's one thing to go out and buy Occidental (Petroleum), it's another thing to be a part of a tax dodger that's moving money to tax havens."
Public records show in 2011, Shriver made between $10,000 and $100,000 from Arctic Royalty Limited Partnerships.
Shriver is running for the third district seat of the five-person Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, the governing body of Los Angeles County. The third district is home to more than 2 million people and stretches from the coast to Glendale and includes Santa Monica, Malibu, Beverly Hills, Calabasas and portions of both Los Angeles and the San Fernando Valley. Current third district member Zev Yaroslavsky is leaving due to term limits.