March 22, 2012

VIDEO: Finance Industry Lobbyists Brag About Helping Corrupt Congressman Win Reelection, How Such Help Wins Access

The credit union industry provided nearly $30,000 in last-minute campaign advertisements for Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), a powerful lawmaker accused of insider trading. Bachus won his election earlier this month.

It’s common knowledge that powerful industry groups gain a seat at the table when it comes to lawmaking — by using campaign contributions and other assistance to legislators running for office. It’s more rare, however, to see lobbyists brag about this process.

Earlier this week, the lobbying group for the credit union industry — the Credit Union National Association — staged its annual “fly-in” day to press Congress on their top issues. At one point during the event, a lobbyist for the group explained to the credit union executives in attendance about the importance of helping lawmakers win reelection.

He gave two examples. Earlier this year, credit union lobbyists boosted the campaign of Suzanne Bonamici, a Democrat running in a special election in Oregon. The credit union lobbyist exclaimed that the aggressive help in electing Bonamici resulted in her signing onto a credit union-supported bill within moments of becoming a congresswoman. “When she was sworn in, she went to the desk of the House and asked to be put on the business lending bill.”

The lobbyist also boasted about helping Congressman Spencer Bachus (R-AL), the powerful chairman of House Financial Services — the committee tasked with almost all Wall Street regulations — in his bitter primary election only two weeks ago. Bachus faced allegation of insider trading after he was exposed for making suspicious bets during the TARP negotiations in 2008. “It helps to have friends,” the lobbyist said.

Republic Report recorded the event. Watch a video of the lobbyist’s boasts:

As iWatch News’ Michael Beckel reported earlier this month, the Credit Union National Association spent nearly $28,000 on last-minute radio ads supporting Bachus.