Watchdog Questions Whether Rep. Renacci Will Represent His Donors or Constituents in New Post

Freshman Renacci appointed to vice chairmanship of congressional panel overseeing financial institutions

Took $144k from Wall Street Interests in 2010

Washington, D.C.—Campaign finance watchdog Public Campaign Action Fund questioned the appointment of Rep. Jim Renacci (R-Ohio) as Vice Chair of a House Subcommittee that oversees financial institution after he took  $144,000 from Wall Street interests during his first election to Congress.

Rep. Renacci also benefitted from $421,315 in spending by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an organization that represents many financial firms and opposed legislation to rein in Wall Street banks.

“It looks like Wall Street may be getting a return on its investments with Rep. Renacci’s appointment,” said David Donnelly, national campaigns director for Public Campaign Action Fund. “As some in the new majority push to repeal financial reform legislation passed last year, voters in Canton have to be wondering whether Rep. Renacci will stand with them or the Wall Street banks that funded his campaign.

On Wednesday, Rep. Renacci was named Vice Chair of the Financial Institutions and Consumer Credit Subcommittee of the U.S. House Financial Services Committee. Rep. Renacci received $144,000 from the finance, insurance, and real estate industries for his first election in 2010, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. He was also assisted in $421,315 in spending by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, according to the Washington Post.

In September 2010, Karl Rove hosted a fundraiser for the congressman at the house of Donald Deville, a real estate developer, according to an invitation obtained by the Sunlight Foundation’s PoliticalPartyTime.org. Several weeks later, American Crossroads, a group run by Rove, which was supposed to be operating independently, spent $447,125 in the last week before Election Day, according to the Washington Post. American Crossroads, and its affiliated group Crossroads GPS, received millions in donations from real estate and financial industry donors in 2010.

“Ohio's 16th Congressional district is hurting,” said Donnelly. “People need a congressman who will listen to them, not the big banks and Wall Street CEOs who caused the economic and foreclosure crises.”

In January, Public Campaign Action Fund launched a television ad campaign educating voters in Rep. Renacci’s district about his vote to repeal health care reform after taking $79,000 in campaign cash from health care interests. That ad is available online at http://www.campaignmoney.org/ads/newyear/renacci.

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Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonpartisan campaign finance group that works to hold elected officials accountable and to further comprehensive reforms that place elections into the hands of everyday Americans. Learn more at www.campaignmoney.org.