FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Rick Bielke: firstname.lastname@example.org
CAMPAIGN FINANCE WATCHDOG CONGRATULATES ANGELIDES, OTHER COMMISSIONERS APPOINTED TO NEW COMMISSION
GROUP URGES NEW COMMISSION TO INVESTIGATE WALL STREET'S POLITICAL CONTRIBUTIONS
Washington, D.C. - Public Campaign Action Fund praised the appointment of former California Treasurer Phil Angelides as the chairman of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, and urged Angelides and the other commissioners to investigate the role that campaign contributions from Wall Street and big banking interests played in precipitating the economic crisis. Angelides was appointed by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and selected as chair of the congressionally established commission by Speaker Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) appointed former House Ways & Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.) to serve as Vice Chairman of the Commission.
"Phil Angelides has a record of looking out for consumers, investors, and taxpayers, and is a good choice for chair of this investigative commission," said David Donnelly, national campaigns director of Public Campaign Action Fund. "The full story of the financial crisis cannot be told without exploring and exposing the role played by campaign contributions from Wall Street, banking, and insurance executives in the development of deregulatory policies in the last two decades.
"While we offer our congratulations to Mr. Angelides and his fellow commissioners, we urge that the commission investigate the symbiotic financial relationship between Washington and Wall Street," Donnelly continued. "As much as Mr. Angelides is a solid choice, we are concerned about the selection of former Representative Bill Thomas as Vice Chair. Over his career, Rep. Thomas raised $1.8 million from the finance, insurance, and real estate interests, and supported many of the deregulatory policies those interests pursued."
The other appointments to the commission made by the Democratic leaders are Brooksley Born, former chair of the Commodities Futures Trading Commission; John Thompson, retired CEO and chairman of Symantec Corporation; former U.S. Senator and former Governor Bob Graham (D-Fla.); Heather Murren, a retired executive at Merrill Lynch; and Byron Georgiou, a businessman and attorney from Las Vegas. Republican congressional leaders appointed Peter Wallison, co-director for Financial Policy Studies at the American Enterprise Institute; former Congressional Budget Office Director Doug Holtz-Eakin; and former National Economic Council Director Keith Hennessey.
The Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission has been compared to the Pecora Commission of the 1930s, which investigated wrongdoing on Wall Street that led to the 1929 crash.
Public Campaign Action Fund is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to comprehensive campaign finance reform and to holding elected officials accountable for the favoritism they give to their big money contributors.