Oh, good fuckin' Lord.
Uhm. Yeah. So look whose name is now in the running to head Consumer Financial Protection Agency (CFPA)? Like, I mean, aside from Elizabeth Warren?
MELISSA BEAN FLOATED AS CFPB HEAD – Buzz on Friday had Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.) possibly getting tapped as the first Consumer Financial Protection Bureau head depending on the outcome of her too-close-to-call reelection race, in which Republican Joe Walsh maintained a slight lead as of Sunday afternoon. But a possible Bean nomination is not sitting well with reformers on the left who say the moderate Illinois congresswoman is far too close to the banking industry. Said one administration official: "It’s not clear she would be acceptable to the reformers."
OH, YA THINK?! Jesus Horatio Christ wearing a sweater in the middle of June, what. the. fuck. is with the Barack Obama and his singing pitch?
Because Melissa Bean is not some awesome Democrat, a la Raul Grijalva. Oh no, of course not. Because that would be too easy, see, to pick someone to head the newly-formed agency that Democrats actually respected.
(I realize this comes as a complete shock to many of you. I'm sorry about that.)
As it turns out, Ms. Bean is about to lose her US House Rep seat in Illinois because, ya know, she's not a very well-liked Blue Dog/New Democrat/whatever the fuck.
Melissa Bean and the New Dems: The New Democrats were able to shoot the House derivatives plan full of holes, and now they’re taking aim at the Senate’s. They want to kill the Section 716 plan and add multiple carve-outs for "end users" in the derivatives title. 43 members of the 69-member coalition signed the letter on this. Bean and the New Dems claim that the Volcker rule, which they support, makes Section 716 unnecessary, a fact contradicted by the authors of the strongest Volcker rule, Jeff Merkley and Carl Levin.
Bean has been accused, of course, of being too cozy with the banks, not to mention the Chamber of Commerce. The always awesome Sunlight Foundation did a little number on her over a year ago:
John Michael Gonzalez is one of the nineteen former government officials hired to lobby with the Chamber of Commerce. Up until this year, Gonzalez was the chief of staff to Financial Services Committee member Melissa Bean. Bean is currently pushing to remove a provision from the Consumer Financial Protection Act that would allow states to craft stronger consumer protections. The move is backed by national banks and trade groups like the Chamber of Commerce. Bean has received over 40% of her 2009 campaign contributions from the finance, insurance and real estate sector.
Gonzalez works for the lobbying firm Peck, Madigan, Jone, & Stewart Inc. His company bio specifically hightlights his relationship with the Chamber when working for Bean, "Mr. Gonzalez successfully planned and executed a winning re-election strategy, raising $4.3 million and earning the most support of any incumbent from the US Chamber of Commerce."
Ethics law preclude Gonzalez from lobbying Bean’s office, but do not keep him from lobbying the Financial Services Committee. This could include key committee members who may support Bean’s preemption policy.
There is little doubt that lobbyist pressure is being put on members to support Bean’s preemption policy given the preponderance of lobbyists in attendance at the committee mark-up. Gonzalez’ long-time Hill connections, especially through Bean’s office to the Financial Services Committee, will give the Chamber a boost in its lobbying effort.
The real kicker here, though is not that Melissa Bean is a DINO, or that Melissa Bean is a Chamber crony, or that Melissa Bean wanted to get fin reg. It's that Melissa Bean herself was against the very goals of the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (!):
Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan pushed back against her fellow Democrat, Rep. Melissa Bean (D-Ill.), on Wednesday, sending a letter (PDF) opposing her effort to block states from having the ability to write bank regulations that are tougher than those imposed by a federal Consumer Financial Protection Agency.
On Wednesday, the committee took up a proposal to create a Consumer Financial Protection Agency. As currently structured, it would set baseline requirements, but states would be able to toughen their own regulations. An amendment by Bean would prevent states from doing so and a vote could come as early as Thursday.
Please contact the extremely tonedeaf White House and tell them not to appoint Melissa Bean as CFPA head. And, while you're at it, please tell them to remove their heads from their asses, because they clearly do not know which end is up.
Does anybody have any ibuprofen? I have a headache.