When Peter Schweizer uncovered evidence of insider trading by Republican chairman of the House Financial Services Committee Spencer Bachus (R-AL), and 60 Minutes reported on it, I was the first person to call for Rep. Bachus to resign.
That was November 14, 2011.
Now, with news that the Office of Congressional Ethics has launched an insider trading investigation of Rep. Bachus, among possible others, I once again call on the Alabama Republican to do the right thing and leave Congress for good.
At the historic moment when the American people were looking to their elected leaders to protect them and their families’ portfolios, Rep. Bachus was busy using nonpublic information to enrich his own portfolio. In the summer and fall of 2008, Spencer Bachus’s position as the ranking Republican on the House Financial Services Committee gave him access to high-level private meetings and conversations with the then-Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and other senior officials. The meetings Bachus was privy to were so secretive that those in attendance were not even allowed to bring cell phones into the meetings so as to prevent sensitive information that could threaten our nation’s financial system from leaking out.
And what did Congressman Bachus do with such trust and responsibility?
What Congressman Spencer Bachus did was wrong, vile, and an affront to the decency of the American people and the principles of honesty and fairness upon which our system rests.
I have received criticism from some Republican quarters who think I should never have spoken out against such an influential Republican member of Congress. But the conservative movement has a long tradition of ousting forces that stand to threaten the principles we fight for, regardless of party. We must do so again now—especially now.
I seldom call for resignations. Even at the height of the Anthony Weiner scandal, I remained silent on whether Rep. Weiner should leave office. But what Spencer Bachus did was egregious and fundamentally unethical.
On November 17, 2011, the Tea Party’s commitment to principle, not party, compelled them to organize a protest at Rep. Bachus’s Alabama office and call for his ouster. They were right then, and they are right now.
Our Founding Fathers believed political leadership was a call to stewardship, not self-enrichment. We must protect the principles that made America great. And that starts with throwing out those who smirk at fair play and shrug at the laws of our land.
Spencer Bachus: it’s time for you to go.