Patrick McHenry Exposed: Conflict of Interest in Financial Industry

Think McHenry’s childish tirade against Elizabeth Warren had anything to do with good Republican politics? Think again. McHenry was probably doing it because his pockets are lined with cash from the financial industry:

Rep. Patrick McHenry spent hours in his subcommittee attacking the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Run by Elizabeth Warren, the CFPB was a crucial element of the Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act last year. In short, it’s the federal entity least connected to Wall Street and most closely tied to the actual interests of consumers. Why would this be such a problem for McHenry? Well, his campaigns are funded primarily by the financial and real estate industries. As the Campaign for America’s Future notes, you can start by looking at last year’s campaign money:

#1: Wells Fargo – $15,550
#3: Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu – $11,500
#5: American Bankers Association – $10,000
#5: Bank of America – $10,000
#5: Ernst & Young – $10,000
#5: PricewaterhouseCoopers – $10,000
#5: Independent Insurance Agents & Brokers of America – $10,000

If you want to keep going, you’ll find plenty more. Finance, Insurance and Real Estate has provided McHenry with $1.2 million in campaign support in his four campaigns. That’s by far the highest level of support — more than the second and third entries combined. McHenry also found himself in hot water for accepting campaign donations from Countrywide and then served on an investigation into CEO payout fraud that targeted Countrywide. Sounds like a conflict of interest to most people, but in Darrell Issa’s kingdom, it qualifies McHenry to lead the charge on financial issues.

 

McHenry is so dramatically opposed to providing an unbiased hearing on these issues that when he held a hearing in March on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Protection Act — the legislation that created the CFPB — he refused to let Rep. Barney Frank testify. That’s right: The person who co-authored the legislation and shepherded it to passage was proactively denied the opportunity to testify about its content and intent.

By all means, there’s nothing wrong with playing hardball with Democrats, especially when Democrats try to pass bad legislation. The problem is, Patrick McHenry doesn’t play hardball on the issues — he plays hardball because banks with money tell him to play hardball. Patrick McHenry doesn’t represent the 10th District — he represents banks that screwed over the 10th District thanks to loopholes and financial problems.