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Friday, October 22, 2010

CAUGHT IN A LIE: Barney Frank Took Campaign Dollars From Bailed Out Banks

If the Guinness Book of World records had a political hypocrisy category, the winner would be Barney Frank, Chairman of the House Banking Committee. Let me revise that, Frank wouldn't be the winner, they would retire the category and name it after the Boston Democrat. After promising not to take money from the banks he helped to bail out, his latest financial disclosure shows that he did indeed take money from the people he has been regulating.

This is the same Mr. Frank who called for prosecution of the people who caused the banking crisis.  Of course if that happened Frank would have to arrest himself, take this little video from September of 2003 where Frank objects to further government regulation because Fannie and Freddie are sound, and there is no housing disaster coming.

It seems despite his loud protestations to the contrary, Frank is still "in bed" with the banking industry, although this time he is only literally in bed with them but that wasn't always true.

The July 3, 1998, Reliable Source column in The Washington Post reported Frank, who is openly gay, had a relationship with Herb Moses, an executive for the now-government controlled Fannie Mae. The column revealed the two had split up at the time but also said Frank was referring to Moses as his “spouse.” Another Washington Post report said Frank called Moses his “lover” and that the two were “still friends” after the breakup.
Franks relationship with the banking industry now seems to be limited to taking their money, despite a  vow to shun bailed-out lenders
Frank vowed in February 2009 that he wouldn’t accept campaign donations from banks that received money under the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) or political action committees tied to such institutions.

But Frank has hauled in thousands from top execs at Bank of America, Citizens Bank, Wainwright Bank, JP Morgan Chase and other institutions that received billions in TARP money.
Just yesterday, Frank made new campaign finance disclosures showing he received $17,000 from top executives of Bank of America — including $2,000 from CEO Brian Moynihan. B of A received $45 billion in bailout money. In all, Frank has hauled in at least $27,000 since 2009 from bank execs — and $13,000 from PACs — connected to banks that received TARP funding, including:
  • $5,000 earlier this month from the Bank of America Corp. Federal PAC;
  •  $10,000 in August and September from the Bipartisan PAC/Bank of New York Mellon Corp.; Mellon received $3 billion from TARP;
  •  $2,000 in June 2009 from the Financial Services Roundtable PAC, which counts TARP recipients B of A, JP Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo among its members; and 
  • $1,000 in March from U.S. Bancorp PAC; the Minnesota-based bank received more than $6 billion in TARP funds. 

     Source of the image above Washington Examiner

    Now to be totally fair, Frank is fighting the first close reelection battle in his congressional life against Republican Sean Bielat. In a tough battle like that, do you really expect poor Barney Frank to have the integrity to stick to his promises?
    In a statement last night, a Frank spokesman said the congressman has declined to take contributions only from the top 10 TARP recipients, but he noted he would accept donations from those institutions once they repaid their debts. The spokesman said none of the donations cited by the Herald violated that policy.
    Except that's not what he said, in a Feb. 23, 2009, article in Roll Call, Frank said, “I won’t take any PAC money from banks that took TARP funds, nor would I take it from the top executive.” The article made no mention of the policy only applying to the top 10 TARP fund recipients. Nor did it mention anything about sending his boy friend out with a camera to heckle his opponent. So it seems that this explanation is just another example of Barney Frank dancing around the issue:

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