Wednesday, November 01, 2017

Wall Street Loses A Top Congressional Ally As Jeb Hensarling Announces His Retirement


Yesterday, Jeb Hensarling announced he is retiring after the current term. It matters because he's been a major player in Wall Street congressional politics. Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee-- he's quitting Congress because this is his last term as chair-- he's taken $7,956,248 from the bankster sector since first being elected in 2002. The only current members of the House who's taken more in bribes from Wall Street are Paul Ryan ($11,479,082) and... no one. Ryan and Hensarling are the two most corrupt, although Ed Royce (R-CA) is close at $7,520,376 and Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy does ok with the banksters as well ($6,942,617). These 4 have been working their hands to the bones to make sure Wall Street can return to the good ole (pre-Dodd-Frank) days of ripping off their customers with impunity... and legal immunity.

Hensarling's district has a PVI of R+16. Obama lost with 37% in 2008 and with 34% in 2012. Hillary-- who won Dallas County (which is about a third of Hensarling's district) with a huge 61-35% landslide-- lost to Trump district-wide by an even bigger landslide in the other direction, 62.7-34.3%. Democrats don't even run against Hensarling. The last Democrat who ran, Linda Mrosko, didn't even get a third of the vote and since then Hensarling's only opposition has been a libertarian with no money at all. Before he announced his retirement there was no Republican challenging him and the Democrat in the race, attorney and former Terrell City Council member Dan Wood, has raised only $27,737. Hensarling ended the 2016 cycle with $648,063 in his campaign account. He's been raising prodigiously since then, having spent nearly $400,000 and sitting on a $1,165,568 campaign warchest today.

War criminal and former Florida congressman Allen West lives in the Dallas area now and he's asking for backers from the far right to push him to get back into Congress. Unfortunately for West, though, there's a homegrown psychopath, state Senator Bryan Hughes of Mineola, who plans on running and is beloved of anyone and everyone to the right of the Tea Party.

Bartlett Naylor, the financial policy expert from Public Citizen’s Congress Watch Division, seemed delighted to see Hensarling retiring. "In the face of extensive Wall Street fraud, abuses and misconduct," he said, "Hensarling has conducted almost no investigative hearings. His sole hearing with failed Wells Fargo CEO John Stumpf only presaged a wasteful probe of the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, the agency that brought the case against the bank for fake accounts. While his own party platform calls for the restoration of the Glass-Steagall separation of lending and speculation, Hensarling has defended the vision of his mentor, former U.S. Sen. Phil Gramm (R-TX), who authored the repeal of this law. With Hensarling’s departure from Congress, lawmakers should reject Wall Street’s agenda in favor of one that puts Main Street first. Polls show that clear majorities, including Independents and Republicans, want tough financial rules that hold Wall Street accountable for its crimes and abuses. Public Citizen’s message to Hensarling: Don’t let the revolving door hit you on the way out."

So... more important than another right-wing dog from Texas finally retiring, who's taking over as head of the House Financial Services Committee? Probably a Democrat because the likelihood of a Democratic House flip is gigantic and growing with every passing tweet. The Republican ranking member will probably be Patrick McHenry (R-NC). Boehner had two things to say about the whacked out North Carolina closet case in the infamous interviews over the summer-- one was that he laughed about telling the porcine little McHenry to stop sneaking into the cloak room to gobble down ice cream bars or he'd become a "fat ass." The other was that McHenry, who he likes, would one day become Speaker of the House. McHenry has taken a hefty $4,634,742 since being elected in 2004, but as he's risen in influence on the committee, Wall Street has been stepping up to the plate for him more and more aggressively. When you look at who the banksters bribed most last cycle, among current House members, only Paul Ryan ($4,434,364), Kevin McCarthy ($2,150,229), and Ed Royce ($1,408,949) took in more in bribes than McHenry's $1,381,400. And so far this cycle McHenry is number two on the Wall Street gravy train, after Ryan and McCarthy. The only possible challengers to head the Republicans on the committee would be Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO), Frank Lucas (R-OK) and Ed Royce (R-CA), but the GOP will let the banksters and lobbyists make the decision and they'll go with the most corrupt, as they always do, and-- hands down-- that means McHenry. (Closet queens are always the easiest to control too; a sweet bonus for the lobbyists.)

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At 3:05 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not go down the list of democraps who might rise to become wall street's favorite? It's as if you only want to shine the light of corruption on half the money party.

I mean, even when dodd and frank chaired their respective banking committees, there were no meaningful congressional investigations... remember 2009 and all those hearings, charges and imprisonments? I don't remember either. Did I forget?


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