$enator Chri$ Dodd’$ baum is still roasting: Dear Barack I really want to help….

Chri$ Dodd shortly after the "Greenberg Genuflection"
Chri$ Dodd shortly after the "Greenberg Genuflection"

Poor Chri$ Dodd just can’t seem to stay out of the news these days. Not only did Pacman like taking the corporate ca$h from Wall Street stalwarts like AIG it seems the execs at AIG circa 2006 decided he needed their personal help as well so the email blast at AIG financial products went out. The Washington Times has the story:

As Democrats prepared to take control of Congress after the 2006 elections, a top boss at the insurance giant American International Group Inc. told colleagues that Sen. Christopher J. Dodd was seeking re-election donations and he implored company executives and their spouses to give.

AIG Dodd Email

Sen. Christopher J. Dodd, chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, has lost some political standing heading into re-election because of his ties to American International Group Inc.

The message in the Nov. 17, 2006, e-mail from Joseph Cassano, AIG Financial Products chief executive, was unmistakable: Mr. Dodd was “next in line” to be chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, which oversees the insurance industry, and he would “have the opportunity to set the committee’s agenda on issues critical to the financial services industry.

“Given his seniority in the Senate, he will also play a key role in the Democratic Majority’s leadership,” Mr. Cassano wrote in the message, obtained by The Washington Times.

Mr. Dodd’s campaign quickly hit pay dirt, collecting more than $160,000 from employees and their spouses at the AIG Financial Products division (AIG-FP) in Wilton, Conn., in the days before he took over as the committee chairman in January 2007. Months later, the senator transferred the donations to jump-start his 2008 presidential bid, which later failed.

Now, two years later, Mr. Dodd has emerged as a central figure in the government’s decision to let executives at the now-failing AIG collect more than $218 million in bonuses, according to the Connecticut attorney general – even as the company was receiving billions of dollars in assistance from the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP). He acknowledged that he slipped a provision into legislation in February that authorized the bonuses……….

Despite all the claims that Washington has changed, the tale of Mr. Dodd’s lucrative political ties to AIG is a fresh reminder that special interests continue to use donations and fundraising to sow good will with powerful lawmakers like Mr. Dodd.

“The message seems clear: The boss says I want you to support the senator,” said Sheila Krumholz, executive director of the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics, which studies political fundraising and ethics. “And I think the employees got the message.”…..

Mr. Dodd’s plight also signals that the actions taken by lawmakers after they receive big political donations are being scrutinized by an increasingly distrustful public. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found Mr. Dodd lagging 43 percent to 42 percent behind former U.S. Rep. Rob Simmons, a Republican who plans to challenge Mr. Dodd, in a hypothetical race.

“The concern and the question is whether AIG was purchasing kid-glove treatment from their home state senator – from the senator chairing the committee charged with overseeing their industry,” Ms. Krumholz said………

AIG’s employees have been big financial backers of Mr. Dodd. Over his career, Mr. Dodd has collected $238,418 from AIG employees and their spouses, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Mr. Cassano has donated $7,118 to Mr. Dodd’s campaigns…………….

Watchdog groups say Mr. Dodd’s close association with AIG – over his career, the company’s employees have been one of his largest donor bases – raises questions about his and his committee’s ability to provide objective oversight. It was the $218 million in bonuses paid by AIG that became the focus of public outrage, igniting a torrent of criticism and congressional hearings in the wake of federal loan packages.

I’ll add as a long time observer of the financial markets I have absolutely no confidence Dodd and his cohorts on the Senate Banking Committee will do anything truly meaningful (blowing hot air does not qualify), they were all pretty much bought and paid for years ago.

So we are more than amused to see this Dear Barack letter from Chris Dodd and Barney Frank (h/t Tyler Durden). We do think Rep Frank is somewhat sincere but Dodd? Our local crackhead isn’t that stupid….. 

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2 thoughts on “$enator Chri$ Dodd’$ baum is still roasting: Dear Barack I really want to help….”

  1. Here is what they were saying about Mr. Dodd at the CEO Roundtable discussion of the Joint Industry(insurance) Forum on January 14, 2003.

    This is quote from Mr. Ayer made during the industry meeting of CEO’s. Seems the industry feels Mr. Dodd is their goto man in regards to legilation. This discussion was held in context of passage of a reinsurance bill favorable to insurance companies. This is the concept which is the legislative competitor of Gene Taylors bill to provide a unified wind/water policy.

    Ramani Ayer
    Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
    The Hartford Financial Services Group

    The second lesson I felt very strongly is that there is a will to act, and it was really coordinated and concerted action on the part of the White House as well as some leadership members out of both the House and the Senate. I think Senator Dodd and Congressman Oxley did a lot in the area of making sure that we got passage of these reforms. *

  2. Smoking gun post there SOP. Dodd must cooperate to survive. I think the Dem’s must throw Dodd under the bus to survive. Will they? Who knows.

    __________________________________________
    Dodd being directly connected to Cassino is damning.

    The Executive Who Brought Down AIG
    Joseph Cassano Made More Than $300 Million at the Insurance Firm He Virtually Bankrupted
    By ANNA SCHECTER, BRIAN ROSS, and JUSTIN ROOD
    March 30, 2009
    The FBI and federal prosecutors are reportedly closing in on the AIG executive whose suspect investments cost the insurance giant hundreds of billions of dollars. The government is investigating whether or not 54-year old Brooklyn-native Joseph Cassano committed criminal fraud in virtually bankrupting the company.

    An investigation finds that Joseph Cassano’s investments cost AIG billions.

    More Photos
    “He almost single-handedly is responsible for bringing AIG down and by reference the economy of this country,” said Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Ca.)

    Cassano, who lives in London, made more than $300 million running the infamous Financial Products Division of AIG where he, with about a dozen others, committed AIG to insure what turned out to be more than a trillion dollars worth of junk quality loans held by banks.

    “He is the golden boy of the casino,” said Rep. Speier. “They basically took peoples’ hard earned money and threw it away, gambled it and lost everything. And he must be held accountable for the fraud, for the dereliction of his duty, and for the havoc that he’s wrought on America.”

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