It should come as no surprise that the radical left is rallying behind former Ohio Attorney general Richard Cordray to head to powerful Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) – a newly created government agency designed to regulate the American economy with little oversight from Congress.
MoveOn.org and other liberal groups are demanding Republicans play dead and allow Cordray to be confirmed by the Senate for a five year term where he can singlehandedly dictate regulations government nearly any financial transaction in America.
Quietly another interest group is rallying to Cordray’s corner – the securities lawyers. Daniel Fisher, writing at Forbes.com noticed that despite the constant bashing of the financial industry by Cordray, he is wildly popular with securities class action lawyers and law firms:
Lawyers at Labaton Sucharow contributed $125,000 to various Cordray campaigns between 2008 and 2010, according to Ohio campaign-finance records. Delaware-based Labaton represented Ohio in the AIG case, which it settled last year for $1 billion including something like $90 million in fees (the final fee payout, surprisingly, isn’t on the AG’s website).
Lawyers at crosstown Delaware rivals Grant & Eisenhofer ponied up $25,000 for the Cordray campaign; they represented the state in a lawsuit against Marsh & McClennan that netted the state’s outside lawyers 13% on a $400 million settlement. Other out-of-state law firms that took a keen interest in Cordray’s campaign included Atlanta’s Chitwood Harley, which gave $146,000; Berman deValerio of San Francisco and New York’s Bernstein Litowitz, known for its generosity in seemingly obscure state political races, which gave $50,000.
That’s because Cordray has a scandalous record of “taking money from lawyers who profit from private litigation that often follows closely on the heels of government investigations…” So, the reality is that President Obama’s liberal white-hatted regulator appears to be neck deep in a pay to play scandal with trial lawyers.
Republicans appear ready to hold the line on the nomination with 44 Senators signing a letter refusing to support any nominee until the CFPB is reformed and proper checks and balances are put into place. But there is a bigger story and a bigger scandal brewing.