Sunday, December 13, 2009

McCollum Once Again Cashing In On His Political Insider Status to White-Wash Record

From FDP:

After leaving Congress, Attorney General Bill McCollum cashed in on his support of the financial industry to become a high-paid lobbyist for the industry. Just recently, he sent a letter to bank executives asking them to address the housing crisis in Florida? Bill McCollum is trying to cash in again, but this time for help in white-washing his own record. Will Bill McCollum finally take responsibility for his use of Washington's revolving door, even at the expense of Florida home-owners?

McCollum Cashed in on His Political Insider Status

McCollum Went To Work For a Law And Lobbying Firm, Specifically to Lobby for Clients on ‘Congressional’ Action. After serving as a member of Congress, Bill McCollum went to work in the Orlando offices of Cleveland, Ohio based Baker & Hostetler. McCollum joined the firm as a partner and worked in the federal policy group. In 2006 he reported a salary of $300,000. McCollum’s job was to represent clients who “seek to resolve or avert federal policy-related concerns through Congressional or administration action,” according to a press release. “Bill McCollum knows the legislative process and the people who shape our nation’s policy,” said Tom Ball, managing partner of the law practice’s Orlando office. “From keeping clients abreast of pending legislation to ensuring their views are known in Washington, Bill is ideally qualified to represent the interests of our clients.” (Associated Press, April 17, 2001; Florida Department of State, Full and Public Disclosure of Financial Interests; Roll Call, 4/23/01)

McCollum Lobbied On Behalf Of Mortgage Bankers Association Of America: From 2001-2003, McCollum lobbied on behalf of the Mortgage Bankers Association of America. During that time the Mortgage Bankers Association of America paid Baker & Hostetler $110,000. (House and Senate Lobbying Reports 2001-2007)

Mortgage Bankers Association Of America Opposed Consumer Protections: In 2009, Representative Barney Frank planned to introduce and pass the Consumer Financial Protection Agency, as the Obama administration had proposed in June. The agency would have broad authority to set rules and regulate products such as mortgage loans and credit cards. However, industry groups including the Mortgage Bankers Association have opposed the effort, arguing that it would restrict the flow of credit and hurt consumers. They have mobilized a lobbying and advocacy campaign against the proposal and spent the Congressional recess hearing PR pitches from at least four firms. (The Hill, 7/6/09)

Mortgage Bankers Association Admitted Role In Financial Crisis: Steve O'Connor, government affairs representative for the Mortgage Bankers Association confirmed that the MBA, whose members are chartered by state authorities and only indirectly scrutinized at the federal level, had started talking with Office of Thrift Supervision officials about federal regulation to prevent a recurrence. “Our industry has acknowledged that we have had a role in the problems that are confronting the housing and financial sectors,” O'Connor said. (San Francisco Chronicle, 11/11/08)

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