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Monday, June 22, 2009 David Donnelly, 617-899-1084
GRASSLEY FUNDRAISER HOSTED BY MORTGAGE, INSURANCE LOBBYISTS AND PAC
Special interest fundraiser comes after Grassley voted against bill opposed by hosts to allow bankruptcy judges to renegotiate mortgages
Washington, D.C. - Lobbyists and political action committees from the mortgage, insurance, and financial industries are hosting a fundraising event for Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) this afternoon just steps from the U.S. Senate. Sen. Grassley recently backed the industry and opposed legislation to allow judges to renegotiate mortgages. The fundraising event drew strong criticism from Public Campaign Action Fund, a campaign finance watchdog organization.
"Sen. Grassley appears to be cashing in from the mortgage bankers for his recent vote to prevent bankruptcy judges from renegotiating the terms of mortgages in order to prevent foreclosures to keep people in their homes," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "The lobbyists and PAC hosting this event have made it clear that they will continue to fight against the types of financial market reforms now under discussion in Washington.
"In the weeks to come, will Sen. Grassley again listen to them and their campaign money, or to constituents back home who are hurting because of the failures of Wall Street, the banks, regulators, and Congress?"
On April 30, Grassley voted against legislation that would have allow bankruptcy judges to renegotiate the terms of mortgages as part of bankruptcy proceedings. The Mortgage Bankers Association led the successful charge against the legislation, which led sponsoring Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to say of the banks "frankly they own the place."
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Sen. Grassley has raised nearly $2.8 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate sector over his career for his campaign and leadership political action committee.
The hosts of the fundraiser include representatives of the Mortgage Bankers Association, the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America, AFLAC PAC, and a lobbyist, Smith W. Davis, whose clients include Moody's, the Private Equity Council, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. Davis is the head of the financial policy practice at powerhouse lobbying firm Akin Gump.
A background document on each host and Grassley's fundraising is available online at http://www.campaignmoney.org/finance/grassley.
Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization that works to advance comprehensive public financing of campaigns and to hold elected officials accountable for the favors they give to special interests.