Wednesday :: Oct 12, 2011

David vs Goliath Senate Race

by Mary

One Senate race that will be a bellwether for the 2012 election season is that of Elizabeth Warren running against Republican Scott Brown in Massachusetts. Vanity Fair has a very good profile of Elizabeth Warren in their November issue and summarizes the challenge that Warren has as the defender of the Middle Class vs Brown who is the champion of the Financial Class.

Money was no object in trying to defeat Dodd-Frank and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

When the C.F.P.B. was first proposed to Congress, in early 2009, the Chamber of Commerce, the leading business lobbying group in the country, announced that it would “spend whatever it takes” to defeat the agency. According to the Center for Public Integrity, from 2009 through the beginning of 2010, it would be one of the biggest spenders among the more than 850 businesses and trade groups that together paid lobbyists $1.3 billion to fight financial reform.

Although a Gallup poll in the fall of 2010 would show that 61 percent of Americans supported Dodd-Frank—which was designed to curb the risky bank activities that triggered the 2008 meltdown and the ensuing recession—the financial establishment would continue to attack it even after it became law on July 21, 2010.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, in 2010 the financial industry flooded Congress with 2,565 lobbyists. They were financed by the likes of the Financial Services Roundtable, which, according to the Center, paid lobbyists $7.5 million, and is on its way to spending as much or more this year. The Chamber of Commerce spent $132 million on lobbying Washington in 2010. The American Bankers Association spent $7.8 million. As for individual banks: JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in TARP funds from taxpayers, spent nearly $14 million on lobbying during the 2009–10 election cycle; Goldman Sachs, which received more than $10 billion from taxpayers, spent $7.4 million; Citigroup, which was teetering on the brink of insolvency and received a $45 billion infusion, has paid more than $14 million to lobbyists since 2009. And none of this money includes the direct campaign donations these organizations, and their surrogates, made to members of Congress.

And Wall Street pockets will be overflowing into the Brown coffers as the election season heats up because Warren has earned their emnity in trying to protect the American consumer from the tricks and traps the predatory Financial industry used to rip-off their customers.

A Republican golden boy and Wall Street favorite, Brown was rolling in campaign money—some $10 million—even before Warren’s announcement, thanks in large part to the financial industry’s largesse. With Warren in the race, the Republican party and the nation’s corporatocracy is expected to flood Brown’s coffers with even more cash.

Whoever wins will show who really counts in today's America -- the 99% or the 1%. If you think the 99% should have an effective advocate in Washington, then it behooves you to give Warren your back.

Mary :: 10:45 AM :: Comments (5) :: Digg It!