A progressive group founded by Harvard Law professor Lawrence Lessig is calling on Democrats to “stand with Warren against Obama” in opposing Obama’s nomination of Wall Street executive Antonio Weiss — a man who helped raise big bucks for Obama’s political campaigns.
Lessig’s group, Rootstrikers, urges individuals to sign a petition to “Close the Democrats Revolving Door to Wall Street!” and blasts Obama Treasury Secretary Jack Lew’s crony capitalist ties to Citigroup.
In urging opposition to Obama’s Weiss nomination, the group warns, “We can’t let this corporate raider lead one of the most powerful federal departments.”
Leading progressives like Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), self-described socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL), and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) have all been vocal in their opposition to Obama’s nomination of Weiss.
If Weiss wins confirmation and steps away from his post at Lazard, he will walk away with a $21 million compensation package. Critics, like the AFL-CIO’s Heather Slavkin Corzo, say such deals incentivize cronyism and may create a “backdoor way to pay off newly minted government regulators.”
The Obama White House, however, contends Weiss is the right person for the job.
“Antonio Weiss is a highly qualified nominee,” said White House spokesperson Jennifer Friedman. “His deep expertise in financial markets and economic issues makes him the right person to serve as Under Secretary of the Treasury for Domestic Finance.”