I thought I would provide some vital statistics on U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, who is seeking reelection.
In the 2012 election cycle Rep. Himes received a total of $63,450 in contributions from Wall Street bank CitiGroup. I found this data on opensecrets.org. Rep. Himes was a Wall Street banker before being elected to Congress.
Six months after the election, in May of 2013, Rep. Himes co-sponsored the Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act, H.R. 992. Josh Silver wrote the following in the 12/11/2013 issue of the Huffington Post: “Rep. Himes co-sponsored and helped push a bill called H.R. 992 through the House …..H.R. 992 was written by big bank lobbyists: 70 of the 85 lines were written by lobbyists for CitiGroup. …… [Rep. Himes] who co-sponsored and aggressively campaigned for a bill written by big bank lobbyists is completely dependent on those same banks to get reelected. Rep. Himes is ……letting their lobbyists [big banks] write our laws. It’s flagrantly corrupt and astonishingly legal”.
In a 10/30/2013 New York Times article written by Eric Lipton he wrote the following: “Rep. Collin C. Peterson, Democrat of Minnesota said: ‘This bill the [Swaps Regulatory Improvement Act] would effectively gut important financial reforms and put taxpayers potentially on the hook for big banks’ risky behavior.”
To fast forward to the 2016 election cycle [according to opensecrets.org] Rep. Himes has received a total of $13,100 from CitiGroup again. In addition to that Rep. Himes received a total of $17,900 from his former employer Goldman Sachs. It may be legal but it has the appearance of being unethical to accept any amount of campaign contributions from a former employer.
Without a doubt Rep. Himes has deep connections with Wall Street banks such as CitiGroup and Goldman Sachs. Those are just two of the banks that contributed to the disastrous financial meltdown in 2008 that cost Americans their jobs. Then to add a tremendous insult to injury, the banks were disgracefully bailed out by the hard working American taxpayer.
The question has to be asked: is Rep. Himes working for the interests of his Connecticut constituents who elect him to Congress or for the agenda of Wall Street banks and Fortune 500 companies who bankroll his campaigns?
That is something for all of us to consider as we vote on November 8.
Michael Treadwell lives in Westport.