Employees at Goldman Sachs and Citigroup weren’t outraged by the $700 billion bailout in 2008. Everybody else was. It grinds your grits to give those scumsuckers that kind of money. And aside from the question of whether that money kept the economy from slipping into a coma, the fact is that most voters would like to spit on the big banks and the politicians who bestowed all those benjamins on them. Maybe the government got that money back with interest or maybe it really didn’t. Depends on how you figure it. But politically? Especially in Missouri? It’s a no brainer for Robin Carnahan to handcuff Roy Blunt to the bailout.
And that’s exactly what she’s doing in her “Stop the bull” stump speech. She starts by shackling him to his 1999 vote for the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act that allowed traditional banks to merge with investment houses. When the inevitable result of that law hit the fan nine years later, Roy Blunt was in the forefront, crafting the deal that saved AIG’s and Goldman Sucs’ bacon. He was the lead negotiator for the GOP.
Carnahan sort of doesn’t mention that the Democrats–including Claire–were just as intent on bailing out the banks as the Republicans were. But the implication that she wouldn’t have voted for it is clear. Some of you may approve of that stand; some not. But we’ll all nod our heads vigorously when she berates Blunt for voting against the regulatory reform bill last December; for voting against the bill that required the bailed out banks to prove they were using the money to increase lending to consumers and small businesses; and for voting against capping executive compensation and bonuses at the bailed out companies.
“[Blunt] didn’t just [vote for the bailout], he twisted arms to get other people to bail them out as well. I call that bull. And Congressman Blunt-you might not know this–he sits on the Energy and Commerce Committee. That’s the committee that oversees the oil companies, supposed to investigate what went wrong in the Gulf. Trouble is, he’s one of the top ten recipients of all time of BP money in Congress. He’s taken over a million dollars from oil and gas interests and, of all the people on that committee, he’s taken more money from oil and gas interests than any other member of the committee. So it shouldn’t be a big surprise that he’s stood every step of the way on the side of oil and gas companies. (…)
Congressman Blunt says he’s looking out for us in his fourteen years in Washington. So I ask this question: Why is it you’ve taken more money–listen to this–more money from lobbyists than any other member of Congress? There are 535 members of Congress. USA Today says Congressman Blunt has taken more campaign contributions from them than anybody else. (…)
Lobbyists aren’t the only way these big corporate special interests try to influence politicians. The other way is through PAC contributions, and I’ll tell you that’s another chart where Congressman Blunt comes in at the top. So when it comes to PAC contributions, he’s the number two recipient in the entire House of Representatives. In PAC contributions, this is the other way. Lobbyists and PAC contributions, that’s how these big interests influence congressmen. And Congressman Blunt is at the top of both of these lists. I think it’s bull.
By the way, it’s not as if Carnahan receives no PAC money. Blunt gets 27% of his contributions from PACs. Carnahan gets 14% of hers that way. No, what’s important to note is which PACs prefer which candidates. And I’ll analyze that in the next posting.
Apologies for almost leaving Carnahan out of the video picture. I was furiously taking notes and didn’t notice that the tripod had been moved.