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Despite Anti-ESG Campaign Rhetoric, HD 65 Challenger Little Owned Blackrock Stock

Mitch Little's Investments in Blackrock and Other "Woke" Companies Raise Questions About Putting Profit Over Principles

On his campaign website, Texas House candidate Mitch Little claims he will “always oppose cynical and divisive DEI and ESG policies.” However, a review of a personal financial disclosure recently filed by Little with the Texas Ethics Commission reveals that Little owned stock in Blackrock as well as other companies that Little himself described as “every bit as woke or bad as Blackrock.” The personal financial statement covers Little’s financial activities for 2023. 

Blackrock, a major investment firm, has been the subject of widespread criticism by conservatives across the country for its promotion of Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) initiatives that critics argue impose leftist ideals in the corporate world. ESG Hurts, a website run by an affiliate of the Heritage Foundation, describes ESG policies as “the Left’s latest political tool to use businesses and financial institutions to advance progressive ideology in American society.”

Little is challenging incumbent State Representative Kronda Thimesch in the Republican primary for Texas House District 65, which covers part of Denton County. Little, who once served as Thimesch’s campaign treasurer, is an attorney who worked as a legal team member defending Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton in the impeachment proceedings held last year. 

In 2021, the Texas legislature passed Senate Bill 13 to prohibit the State of Texas from doing business with financial companies that boycott energy companies. Shortly after Senate Bill 13 became law, Lt. Governor Dan Patrick wrote a letter to State Comptroller Glenn Hegar urging Hegar to place Blackrock “at the top of the list” maintained by the Comptroller’s office of companies that boycott the energy industry. 

Patrick’s letter to Hegar, dated January 19, 2022, included pointed criticisms of Blackrock and its Chairman and CEO, Larry Fink. Patrick’s letter stated, in part:

“Please know, BlackRock only recently met with my office after you sent BlackRock and others a letter threatening to take action against entities that boycott energy companies. At the meeting with my staff, Blackrock said it was committed to Texas and Texas’s vast energy footprint, but I have grave concerns that BlackRock’s public statements and actions do not reflect its sentiments presented to my office.

Just yesterday, BlackRock Chairman and CEO, Larry Fink, issued his annual 2022 letter to CEOs indicating that BlackRock’s goal is to transition to a “net zero” world, including decarbonizing the energy sector. Needless to say, it is highly inconsistent to claim support for Texas’ oil and gas energy industry while leading a “net zero” policy effort that will destroy the oil and gas industry and destabilize the economy worldwide.

This is nothing new for Mr. Fink. In his 2020 letter to CEOs, he stated that Blackrock would be “exiting investments that present a high sustainability-related risk.” He expanded on this initiative further in his letter to BlackRock’s clients:

“Where we do not see progress in [transitioning to “net zero”], and in particular where we see a lack of alignment combined with a lack of engagement, we will not only use our vote against management for our index portfolio-held shares, we will also flag these holdings for potential exit in our discretionary active portfolios[.]”

Blackrock has also come under fire from Texas Governor Greg Abbott. In a tweet dated December 1, 2022, Abbott wrote, “Texas was the first state to ban BlackRock from doing business with our state. I signed a law in 2021 to ban financial companies that have ESG policies that discriminate against the oil & gas sector. That includes BlackRock and several other financial companies.”

In response to a tweet highlighting Little’s ownership of Blackrock stock despite Blackrock having been banned from doing business with the State of Texas, Little dismissed the criticism. “Mitch owned Blackrock that one time!!!” Is [Thimesch’s] polling THAT bad??! 😂,” said Little

In response to further questions about his investment in Blackrock, Little acknowledged that the reason he owned Blackrock stock was “The same reason as any of the stocks I’ve ever owned: To generate a capital gain.” In a later tweet, Little said, “Facebook and Apple are every bit as woke or bad as Blackrock, and I’ve owned both of those (and made way more money off of each),” while also noting that he had sold every stock he owned before running for office. 

When asked how his investment in Blackrock aligned with his principles and whether potential profit was the only criteria he used to evaluate prospective investments, Little simply replied, “Buzz off.

In addition to seemingly prioritizing personal profit over principles, Little has been dogged by allegations of unethical campaign conduct. He has been criticized for purchasing a billboard attacking Thimesch that features a picture of her and the words “Say No to Kronda” and “Defeat Liberal Kronda” near the church where the Little and Thimesch families both worship. Little has also touted the endorsement of a rock musician who once bragged about having an intimate relationship with a 17-year-old girl when he was 30 and wrote a song that features lyrics about having sex with a 13-year-old. 

Little has received over $363,000 from the Texans United for a Conservative Majority PAC, the successor to the disgraced Defend Texas Liberty PAC. Conservative leaders, including members of the State Republican Executive Committee, denounced Defend Texas Liberty last year after its then-president, former State Representative Jonathan Stickland, hosted prominent white nationalist and antisemitic commentator Nick Fuentes at his office for over six hours. 

Texans United for a Conservative Majority and Defend Texas Liberty are largely funded by businessman Farris Wilks, who is a controlling shareholder of Profrac Holding Corp. As previously reported by The Texas Voice, ProFrac Holding Corp. published an “ESG Progress Report” which discussed the company’s robust Environmental, Social, and Governance (“ESG”) and Diversity and Inclusion (“DI”) initiatives. “Sustainable Development Goals” developed by the United Nations are integral to ProFrac Holding Corp.’s ESG and DI programs. 

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