Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer is too cozy with hedge funds because a former staffer has several fund firms as clients, writes Washington Examiner columnist Timothy Carney.
In 2007, Schumer’s banking committee staffer, Carmencita Whonder, left to work for the lobbying firm Brownstein, Hyatt, Farber, Schreck. The New York Democrat is chairman of the House Banking Committee.
At the firm, Whonder lobbied for hedge funds.
“Within days of Whonder's hire, she registered three private equity firms as clients. By the time Obama came to office, her clients included the Private Equity Council and seven private equity or hedge fund firms,” Carney writes.
In March 2009, when Congress started looking at financial regulation reform, Whonder joined the Managed Funds Association, hedge funds' main lobbying group.
She also raised $18,200 for her old boss, according to Federal Election Commission documents, Carney writes.
Other hedge fund lobbyists are official bundlers for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which Schumer formerly headed.
“Of course, the hedge funds get a good return on the money they've spent electing Democrats and hiring Schumer's staff: beneficial legislation, which includes stricter regulation,” Carney writes.
The Managed Funds Association approves of requiring hedge funds to register with the Securities and Exchange Commission. That’s because it favors big funds over smaller ones, Carney writes.
“For now, all we can do is follow the money — and it all leads back to Schumer.”
The financial crisis hasn’t stopped a raft of members of Congress from continuing to seek campaign contributions from banks.
The financial industry is hosting fundraisers for legislators at the rate of almost once a business day this month, Bloomberg reports.
At least 20 senators and representatives are involved, according to Democratic and Republican Party committee schedules sent to prospective donors.
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