Reid Under Fire for Goldman Sachs Event

Wednesday, 21 Apr 2010 10:51 AM

By Dan Weil

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who criticized Republican leaders Monday for holding a secret, closed-door meeting with Wall Street executives, has a skeleton in his own closet.

Earlier this year he attended a fundraiser hosted by the president of Goldman Sachs.

Asked by reporters Tuesday to confirm his attendance and how it affected legislative developments on financial regulation reform, Reid evaded the issue, NBC reports.

His response was to read what appeared to be prepared remarks, praising himself for pushing reform.

"I'm leading the effort to rein in Wall Street," Reid said. "I'm going to make sure that in this legislation I do everything within my ability to make sure that banks aren't too big to fail."

Later, Reid spokesman Jim Manley quickly confirmed the event to NBC, saying it raised $37,000 and that all campaign finance rules were obeyed.

National Republican Senatorial Committee spokesman Brain Walsh said, "One can only presume that Sen. Reid will be returning these donations immediately."

But Manley said the majority leader will do no such thing.

Reid’s own activity didn’t stop him from going after Republican senators, including Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, and National Republican Senatorial Committee John Cornyn for their meeting with Wall Street executives.

Manley said in a statement that the senators "should immediately reveal what they discussed earlier this month during secret, closed-door meeting with Wall Street executives in New York City."

Congressman Mark Kirk, the Republican nominee for the Illinois Senate seat formerly held by President Obama, said Tuesday that he will return all the donations he has received from Goldman employees.

Kirk ranks sixth among members of Congress for the amount of money donated by Goldman workers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Four of the top six are Democrats.



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