Excerpt about Rep Robert Dold (R-IL 10) writing legislation to repeal portions of the Dodd-Frank banking and consumer protection law in August, 2011 and a campaign contribution given to him by a lobbying organization representing affected financial companies from May, 2011.
Originally appeared in 12/8/11 edition of Bond Buyer: The Daily Newspaper of Public Finance. Emphasis added.
REACTION FROM WHEELING TOWNSHIP DEMOCRATS:
"With Bob Dold introducing anti-middle class legislation gutting consumer protections just weeks after welcoming banking lobbyists with open arms and happily cashing a $1000 check from them every voter ought to be suspect about who Dold really thinks he represents," said Rob Nesvacil, President of the Wheeling Dems Executive Board. "This sort of cynical pay-to-play politicking is yet another symptom of the GOP's affinity for wealthy elites and multi-million dollar corporate lobbying at the expense of average joe Illinoisans."
"The Bond Buyer news report explains that Dold's legislation repeals a portion of the banking re-regulation bill requiring municipal advisors 'to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.' Worse, Dold bizarrely spins his anti-middle class legislation as somehow helping alleviate burdens on business. I've got news for Dold: middle class consumer protection is not a 'burden' and letting Wall Street put their bottom line ahead of their clients' bottom line is absolutely the last thing anyone in Congress should be doing during the Great Recession," said Nesvacil.
The Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association spent $3.96 million on lobbying during the first three quarters of 2011, slightly outpacing its efforts for the same periods in 2008 and 2009, according to reports filed with the clerk of the U.S. House that contain information for both houses of Congress. [...]
Democratic lawmakers and officials have criticized Republican lawmakers for seeking to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, or at least slow the pace of rulemaking until after the 2012 election, when Republicans hope to capture control of the Senate and the White House.
Disclosure reports provide grist for some of their concerns.
“We knew when Dodd-Frank was signed into law that the big battles were still to come because every important issue would ultimately be decided in the rulemaking process,” said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America. [...]
More specifically, SIFMA lobbied about a series of bills that would amend or curtail Dodd-Frank, disclosure reports show. And several lawmakers who introduced some of these bills also received contributions from SIFMA’s political action committee, SIFMA-PAC.
For example, in its third-quarter disclosure report, SIFMA reported lobbying on H.R. 2827, a bill introduced in August by Rep. Robert Dold, R-Ill., a freshman who sits on the House Financial Services Committee.
That bill would eliminate a key Dodd-Frank requirement subjecting muni advisors to a federal fiduciary duty that would require them to put their clients’ interests ahead of their own.
The legislation also would provide that certain already-regulated parties, including broker-dealers and swap dealers, are not municipal advisors under Dodd-Frank.
Dold received a $1,000 contribution from SIFMA-PAC in May, according to Federal Election Commission reports.
Five of the 10 freshman Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have received contributions from SIFMA-PAC so far this year, FEC reports show.
One of the other freshman committee members who accepted a $1,000 SIFMA-PAC contribution this year, Rep. Steve Stivers of Ohio, also introduced a bill that would modify certain Dodd-Frank provisions.
In August, Stivers and two Democrats co-sponsored H.R. 2779, a bill that would exempt inter-affiliate swaps from certain Dodd-Frank reporting requirements for security-based swaps.
Under Dodd-Frank, the CFTC regulates most swaps, including most muni-based swaps, and the SEC regulates security-based swaps.
While SIFMA-PAC’s contributions to Dold and Stivers fall well within the $5,000 maximum a PAC may contribute to a candidate per election — primary or general — under federal election laws, they serve as a lens into some of the PAC’s activities, and how the committee evaluates potential recipients. [...]
But to a consumer advocate, lobbying and campaign contributions by SIFMA and other industry groups cause concern, especially with so many Dodd-Frank rules unwritten.
“One of the things that money buys is the ability to get members of Congress to pay attention to your concerns,” Roper said. “Even if the bills don’t pass, it intimidates the regulators.” [...]