Filthy Lucre

22 November 2009

While I understand that ethics and politics have never mixed well. I have also believed in not having conflicts of interest – No Double Dealing! Da Mare said dat.  Politicians are dirty; we all know this. What follows is a list of congressmen and senators who have taken large contributions from the banking industry. The stats come from Huffingtonpost.com:

# 15 – Massachusetts Representative Barney Frank has received $387,749 in contributions from the financial sector. Frank, who is Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, received more donations from hedge funds than any other House member.

#14 – New York Democratic Representative Carolyn Maloney has received $396,750 in contributions from the financial sector. She is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and she sits on three subcommittees: Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises; Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit; and Domestic Monetary Policy and Technology.

#13 – Oregon Senator Ron Wyden (D) has received $404,750 in contributions from the financial sector. He sits on the Senate Finance Committee.

#12 – South Dakota Republican Senator John Thune has received $407,950 in contributions from the financial sector. He sits on the Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, as well as the Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship. Citigroup and the American Bankers Association are two of his top donors.

#11 – Connecticut Representative Jim Himes, a Democrat, has received $430,123 in financial sector contributions. He is a member of the House Financial Services Committee, and sits on two subcommittees: the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance, and Government Sponsored Enterprises and the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. He counts Credit Suisse and Citigroup among his top contributors.

#10 – Republican Senator Richard Shelby of Alabama has received $502,150 in contributions from the financial sector. He is the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee.

#9 – Arkansas Democratic Senator Blanche Lincoln has received contributions worth $515,000 from the financial sector. She’s a member of the Senate Finance Committee.

#8 – Virginia Representative Eric Cantor, the Republican Whip, has received $516,197 in contributions from the financial sector.

#7 – Senator Arlen Specter, who in April switched from the Republican to the Democratic Party, has received contributions from the financial sector in the amount of $552,175.

#6 – Representative Mark Kirk, an Illinois Republican, has received $557,375 in contributions from the financial sector. He’s a member of the Appropriations Committee.

#5 – Democratic Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado has been the recipient of $612,804 in contributions from the financial sector. He is a member of the Senate Banking Committee.

#4 – Senator Chris Dodd, Democrat of Connecticut and Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee, has received $752,698 in contributions from the financial sector. He has received more from the mortgage banking and brokerage industry than any other congressperson, and Citigroup, AIG, Merrill Lynch, Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, and Morgan Stanley have been among his biggest donors.

#3 – Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has received $1,038,210 in contributions from the financial sector. He received more from the securities and investment industry than any other except law, and he was the recipient of more money from the credit card industry than any other member of Congress.

#2 – New York Democratic Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has received $1,173,400 in financial-sector contributions. She received more from the commercial banking industry than any other member of congress, and some of her biggest contributions from political action committees came from JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, and Deutsche Bank.

#1 – New York Senator Chuck Schumer has received $2,167,300 in contributions from the financial sector. A member of the Senate Banking Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Schumer received more contributions from the hedge fund, private equity, and securities and investment industries than any other member of congress. Credit Swisse, JP Morgan, UBS, and New York Life Insurance are among his biggest donors.

These 15 all sit on banking and finance committees and they willingly accept large sums of money from the banking and finance industry. That is called a conflict of interest, at least as you and I know it.

Wherever you work, usually you sign an agreement with the company saying you will not work with a company involved in the same business while you are employed at that company. My friend Sara works for NASA, it would be a conflict of interest for her to work for a defense contractor in any capacity at the same time.

I bring this up because we had a huge banking crises and a subsequent bailout of the banking industry. The lawmakers who wrote the banking laws and handed out almost a trillion dollars to said banks are listed above. Wonder why we are in this crisis? Look at the names listed above.

My conservative friends are probably reading this a little shocked that I am coming out against Dems; a dirty crook is a dirty crook. I think Nixon said that.

I am not smart enough to know why the banking industry collapsed, nor do I understand how a derivative works. What I do know is that you can’t have people who are in bed with an industry write laws that govern and subsequently favor that industry.

Many of you are parents, do you have your kids set their bed times, decide how much homework they do and figure out which chores they do? Why not, because they will take advantage of the system.

It sickens me when I see elected officials taking so much money from the banking industry and then turning around and bailing them out. Aren’t we still waiting for the airlines to pay back from the bailout they received after 9/11?

These duplicitous congressmen should have their nether regions slapped with peanut butter and let loose at Bad Newz Kennels.

The congressmen are worse than the bankers because they allowed this to happen, they wrote the laws that let it happen. The bankers, while greedy douche bags, are not to be blamed as much, it’s their nature to be greedy douche bags.

If you live or have friends/relatives who are “served” by one of the above listed congressmen, do what you can to get rid of them. They serve their banking masters and not the people who elected them.

Am I wrong? Let me know.

Coming up soon on Pure Gibberish:

  • I resurrect a great Chicago Thanksgiving tradition
  • The 30th anniversary of the greatest album EVAH!
  • My take on Sarah Palin
  • The best movies of 2009
  • The best movies of the Aughts
  • Pros and cons of Facebook
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