Cheney's Gift Agreement
Since 2001, Cheney has claimed that one day his stock options in Halliburton will be given to charity, so that "technically" he holds no financial interest in the company. But it's been FIVE years and Cheney still holds 100,000 Halliburton share options with a gross value of $3.2 million as of March 9, 2007.
Why the delay in giving up the options to charity?
Cheney claims a contract he signed in 2001 "irrevocably" requires the options to be given to charity at sometime in the future. But the contract states: "Nothing in this Agreement is intended to create any legal rights, privileges, or benefits in any ... charity ... to any donation."
The Agreement also states that Cheney cannot be sued for reneging on his promise to donate the options to charity. It states, “Nothing in this Agreement is intended to create any legal rights ... to any claim for damages resulting from any decision ... to withhold any item (i.e. withhold the stock options from the charities).”
The Agreement was signed between Cheney and Philip J. Ward, an attorney who is not affiliated with any charity. The Agreement gives Ward power of attorney over the options with the authority to donate to charity any profits derived therefrom.
Contract law allows the signatories of agreements to abandon agreements entirely if all the parties agree. Cheney and Mr. Ward may, at their discretion, terminate the Agreement at anytime and without any legal penalty and the charities would have no right to sue for damages. That's because the Agreement was made between Cheney and Mr. Ward, not Cheney and charity groups.
In other words, Vice President Cheney could retire from politics and terminate the gift agreement with the consent of Mr. Ward and keep all of his stock options.
Given Cheney's propensity for secrecy, the American people have reason to question whether the Vice
President truly intends to donate the Halliburton options to charity. His ongoing interest in the Halliburton options creates an ongoing conflict of interest at the highest levels of government.
We call on the vice president to give up his options immediately and cease his conflict of interest between his governmental duties and his financial interest in Halliburton.
The “Give It Up, Cheney” campaign suggests Mr. Cheney consider donating the proceeds from his remaining Halliburton stock options to the following charities that work with Iraq war veterans:
Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund
National Coalition for Homeless Veterans
Tell Mr. Cheney to give it up.
More on the campaign can be found on the internet at http://www.GiveItUpCheney.org