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Caught On Tape: Fake Lobbyist Shames Congressman
UPDATE: In response to our action, Himes’ spokesperson argued that H.R. 992 had bi-partisan support. Our response? That’s exactly the problem! If both major parties support a law that was written and paid for by the very same banks that law is supposed to regulate — who is left to represent the people? This is not about partisan politics. It’s about creating an American government that represents us.
This action has raised some eyebrows — but also some much-needed awareness about Himes’ actions and his cozy relationships with big bank special interests. We’ve been covered by…
Representative Jim Himes first caught our attention when he helped push through a bill written by CitiGroup lobbyists. As it just so happens, CitiGroup is also Rep. Himes’ #1 financial backer. That’s why we decided to make a “generous donation” of our own.
We decided to target Jim Himes because he’s emblematic of a much larger systemic problem: Our Congress is being corrupted by big money and no longer represents the people. Rep. Himes co-sponsored and helped push a bill called H.R. 992 through the House. 992 would further deregulate derivatives, a financial instrument that played a major role in the 2008 crisis (source).
Our organization doesn’t have a position on derivatives trading. What we do have a position is corruption, and this is a textbook case. The New York Times revealed that 992 was written by big bank lobbyists — 70 of the 85 lines in 992 were written by lobbyists for CitiGroup (source).
As it just so happens, Jim Himes has received more money from CitiGroup than any other member of Congress — The only politicians who received more money from CitiGroup in the 2012 election cycle were Mitt Romney and Barack Obama (source). 7 of the top 10 interests funding his campaign committee and leadership PAC were financial services institutions (source).
The Congressman who co-sponsored a bill written by big bank lobbyists — a bill which would directly benefit big banks if it ever becomes law — is completely dependent on those same banks to get reelected. Jim Himes also sits on the House Financial Services committee. He’s supposed to regulate the financial sector, and instead he’s letting their lobbyists write our laws. It’s flagrantly corrupt, and astonishingly legal.
What used to be a shoebox full of unmarked bills has been replaced with a handful of checks from a lobbyist. The nature of corruption has evolved, and our laws have failed to evolve with it. That’s why we’re pushing for the American Anti-Corruption Act: A law that would put and end to the legalized bribery that’s come to define modern politics. Click here to read the Act, and add your name to the petition on this page to show your support the Act and join the movement.