Rep. Bishop's millionaire GOP rivals dump BP-linked stock

U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop addresses guests at a

U.S. Rep. Tim Bishop addresses guests at a groundbreaking ceremony for grave site expansion at Calverton National Cemetery on Oct. 19, 2009. (Credit: File, 2009 / John Dunn)

WASHINGTON - The two Republican millionaires battling each other to challenge Democratic Rep. Tim Bishop both recently sold stock in companies related to the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, their aides said Wednesday.

Randy Altschuler sold his stock in BP, the British oil giant whose drilling in the Gulf continues to spew oil, shortly after the leak began in late April, his spokesman said. The value of the stock wasn't listed.

Christopher Cox sold his stock in Transocean Ltd., the firm that owned the rig leased by BP, even though it was listed as an asset worth between $15,000 and $50,000 on his personal financial disclosure statement, his spokesman Michael Levoff said.

"After the disaster in the Gulf became apparent, Chris directed his financial adviser to liquidate his investment in Transocean," Levoff said.

Those were just two of the many investments in stocks and bonds that Altschuler and Cox disclosed in personal financial disclosure statements made public Wednesday.

The statements confirm just how deep their pockets are as they ready for the September GOP primary to win the nomination to face Bishop, a four-term congressman from Southampton.

Altschuler - who has already kicked $1.5 million of his own money into his campaign - listed the value of his assets in stocks, bonds and other investments at between $9.6 million and $30.6 million.

He remains chairman and holder of $1 million to $5 million in stock of Cloud Blue Technologies, a firm he founded to recycle computers and electronics for large companies. He took a pay cut as he spends time on his campaign.

Cox - who has loaned his campaign $500,000 from personal funds - pegged his assets at between $2.1 million and $4.5 million.

He is managing partner of a consulting firm called OC Global Partners, in which he has a half interest worth between $250,000 and $500,000.

Those amounts far outstrip the third Republican in the race, George Demos, who listed his assets somewhere between $131,000 and $365,000. He made $113,166 last year as a lawyer for the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Demos could not be reached for comment.

Meanwhile, Bishop is not likely to fund his own campaign - his financial disclosure statement showed that all his assets are tied up in retirement funds for him and his wife, valued between $600,000 and $1.2 million. Bishop makes $174,000 as a member of Congress.

None of the four candidates listed any liabilities.

Altschuler was criticized Wednesday by aides to Bishop and Cox for building a fortune through a company that outsourced jobs overseas.

Cox, the grandson of former President Richard Nixon, was criticized as a trust fund recipient by an aide to Bishop.

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