Friday, May 19, 2017

The Republican Wing Of The Democratic Party-- Meet Jim Himes Of Connecticut


At a meeting of Democratic thought leaders earlier in the week, Elizabeth Warren posed a rhetorical question "Do you get the feeling that if Bernie Madoff weren’t in prison he’d be in charge of the SEC right now?" I wonder if New Dem chairman and former Goldman-Sachs banker Jim Himes was in the room, though I doubt it, since he spends so much of his spare time shuffling from fundraiser to fundraiser. The Financial Sector is very generous to Himes, who serves Wall Street's interests from his perch on the House Financial Services Committee. Since he was first elected in 2008, they've given him $5,545,212-- pure bribery-- more than any Democrat in the House other than notoriously corrupt House leadership scumbags Steny Hoyer and Joe Crowley.

Wall Street looks for the most easily corruptible congressmembers to lavish with immense bribes. Although they give many times more more to corrupt Republicans, in the 2016 cycle their top 3 bribees were Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI- $4,415,864), sleazy "ex"-Republican crook Patrick Murphy (New Dem-FL- $2,157,347) and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA- $2,139,229). The 5 Democrats, currently serving in the House, they found most easy to buy off were these buckets of disgusting slime:
Joe Crowley (New Dem-NY)- $1,070,873
Kyrsten Sinema (Blue Dog-AZ)- $1,007,440
Jim Himes (New Dem-CT)- $979,235
Sean Patrick Maloney (New Dem-NY)- $928,002
Steny Hoyer (MD)- $811,276
What do they have in common? They all serve Wall Street banksters' interests in return for the massive infusions of cash into their careers. And they're all part of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. They have all been groomed by Hoyer to take over the House Democratic leadership after he and Pelosi are gone.

When I look at that list I start to understand why Ro Khanna was willing to team up with right-wing lunatic Jodey Arrington (R-TX) to introduce term limits legislation into Congress, a constitutional amendment that would limit members of the House to serving six two-year terms and members of the U.S. Senate to serving two six-year terms. From Khanna's office this week:
Congress has a lower turnover rate than European monarchies, with 97 percent of Representatives and 93 percent of Senators winning reelection. This incumbency advantage for career politicians goes against what the Founding Fathers envisioned for the United States.

“Enacting term limits will give more voices the opportunity to serve in Congress and bring fresh ideas and new energy to Capitol Hill,” said Rep. Ro Khanna. “Being a member of Congress needn’t be a lifetime career, but instead more people should have the chance to work in public service.”
David Sirota's exposé in yesterday's International Business Times, Will Wall Street Money Turn Moderate Democrats Against Dodd-Frank? makes Khanna's point. He focuses in on Himes, the New Dem chieftain who was a former Goldman Sachs vice president and was feted Wednesday at a fundraiser at the Washington home of a Lou Costantino, a former Merrill Lynch lobbyist who is now the top lobbyist for the Managed Funds Association-- a major trade association for the hedge fund and private equity industries.
In their yearslong quest to rescind bank regulations and oppose the Obama administration’s fiduciary rule, financial executives have at times needed the help of a group of Wall Street-friendly Democratic lawmakers to secure votes necessary to advance their agenda. Now, as those executives and Republican lawmakers seek the votes needed to help Donald Trump dismantle Dodd-Frank rules, a caucus of moderate House Democrats has chosen a former Wall Street executive and a prolific fundraiser of finance industry money to lead them.

  ...[T]the timing of the event is significant, because it comes just as Wall Street lobbyists are looking to peel-off Democratic votes to change Dodd-Frank. Himes may be a top target because of his new position leading the New Democrat Coalition-- a group of 61 Democrats in the House who have in the past provided key support to Republicans and Wall Street in their efforts to block or weaken Obama administration financial rules.

...Himes has said he supports the overall Dodd-Frank bill and he did vote against the Financial CHOICE Act that passed the House Financial Services Committee along partisan lines earlier this month. But with Republicans having trouble finding enough votes to support a full Dodd-Frank repeal, they may pursue a more piecemeal strategy to chip away at the law and other financial regulations in the same manner Himes and the New Democrats have sought to in the past.

For example, Himes co-sponsored legislation to weaken Dodd-Frank by reducing its mandated regulatory scrutiny of private equity firms. The bill, called the SBIC Advisers Relief Act of 2014, exempted advisers of small business investment companies (SBICs), a group which includes some private equity advisers, from SEC registration requirements.

Likewise, Himes’ co-sponsored a bill that repealed Dodd-Frank’s “push-out” rule that required banks to “push-out” risky credit default swaps into separate entities that would be required to have higher capital requirements and would not be eligible for federal assistance. The Wall Street Journal called the push-out rule “one of the most hated Dodd-Frank provisions on Wall Street.” The legislation was ultimately included in an omnibus bill passed as part of a deal to fund the federal government.

In 2011, Himes and the New Democrat Coalition opposed an early version of a proposed Fiduciary Rule designed to force financial advisers to prioritize their clients' best interests.

Many of those positions have reflected the Managed Funds Association’s agenda. Lobbying disclosures show the association has lobbied in recent years on the implementation of Dodd-Frank, as well as issues reflected in legislation Himes co-sponsored, including the “regulation and oversight of investment advisers,” and “legislation and regulation impacting alternative investment vehicles.”

...Wednesday's event for Himes at Costantino’s appears to be the second Wall Street-linked fundraiser for the Connecticut Democrat since the 2016 election that produced major victories for Republicans promising to undo financial industry regulation.

According to another invite obtained by Political Party Time, Himes held a fundraiser on March 14 at Heather Podesta + Partners, a lobbying firm that has since rebranded as Invariant LLC, and earlier this year lobbied on Dodd-Frank on behalf of Prudential Financial. Also this year, Invariant lobbied on “issues relating to financial services and banking regulations” on behalf of MacAndrews & Forbes, a diversified holding company led by billionaire Ronald Perelman.
Himes, a favorite guest of Rachel Maddow-- she gravitates, inexplicably, towards conservative Democrats-- is widely considered, along with Joe Crowley, the leader of the congressional chapter of the Republican wing of the Democratic Party. As far as we can tell, he has no primary opponent in 2018. A primary is the only opportunity to hold Himes accountable. His southwest Connecticut district, abutting Westchester County in New York and including Bridgeport and tony suburbs like Greenwich, Stamford, Darien, Norwalk and New Canaan, is blue enough for Himes to not have to worry he won't be endless reelected. Trump only got 36.6% there and Himes, who had no primary in 2016 either, beat Republican John Shaban 60.1% to 39.9%. Himes spent $1,098,673 to Shaban's $158,208. Unless progressives start primarying him, we're stuck with this guy forever.

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At 6:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Unless progressives start primarying him, we're stuck with this guy forever."

Further proof from top to bottom that until progressives move to another party, we're stuck with corrupt, worthless, feckless democraps forever.

And THAT means nothing will ever improve. period.

At 6:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm in his district and there's no way anyone is going to primary him in the foreseeable future. Most of FFD County is swimming in cash thanks to the crooks who work in finance. I absolutely feel you on the Wall Street issues. It's disgusting. We need to eliminate bribery altogether in Washington. And he should be held accountable and confronted over it.

But, socially, he's been very progressive and is quite visible to us. He's also been excessively vocal against the fucking NRA. He holds lots of town halls and is fairly accessible if you need to talk to him. The CT contingent in DC is one of the most progressive, overall, in the nation. It's hard for us to watch what's going on when we can't seem to do much to fight against Trumpf's disaster-a-day world. Every one of our guys/gals is fighting him tooth and nail.

At 11:38 AM, Blogger Anon said...

Thanks, repetitive anon troll.

At 11:40 AM, Blogger Anon said...

How does fellating Wall St help progressives?
How does weakening Dodd-Frank help progressives?
Trump is a convenient Boogeyman to provide cover for the Republican wing of Democratic party advancing their agenda.

At 8:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you are quite welcome.


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