OUR CALL-IN DAYS ARE OUR LAST HOPE FOR “NO BAILOUTS REFORMS”

LATEST UPDATES: Tell us how your call went in the report back section right here, or scroll down below. We have had so many calls and so many reports back, it’s really great to watch the staffers start to get it and know we’re around. This week, our targets are Sen. Johnson, Rep. Frank, Sen. Corker, and Sen. Reed. TPM reports on the four New Dems weakening measures behind closed-doors, can you call them and report back?: Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), (202) 225-8203; Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), 202-225-3461; Rep. Mel Watt (D-NC), 202-225-1510; Rep. Dennis Moore, Chair (D-KS), (202)225-2865. Rep. Frank has tried to gut provisions to reform credit rating agencies, showing where he is going with the bill… The Senate agreed to expand auditing of the Fed – 1 BIG WIN SO FAR. Our #2 reform discussed now, seems like a win.. Thank you for making the calls! (Follow on @wayfwd, FaceBook, riski)

We’re going to make sure there are no backroom deals that effectively gut the best reforms currently in the bill — we’ve launched “Call-in Days for the Big 3 No Bailouts Reforms” to put every decision maker in the spotlight for gutting or keeping the Big 3. We have 14 days until June 24 to influence the financial reform bill to be something worth passing. So, yesterday on Tuesday, today on Wednesday (6/16), and tomorrow on Thursday (6/17), please help us get enough people so it’s like we’re walking right into the backroom with them and slapping their hands if they do something bad. We’ll update our list on the slimiest and worst on financial reform. Full list below.

Sign up for a day that works for you — you just need a 5 minute chunk of time free — and we’ll make your call effortless. If you’ve already signed up and when you finish your call, add what you find out in the report back section here. As soon as we hear back from you, we’ll update who is acting the sleaziest (you can also report back at #finreg #716 on twitter).

We need to call as much as each of us can to stop government support and incentives for banks to become bigger and riskier – this is structural reform.

WHAT’S HAPPENING IN THE LAST LEG OF FINANCIAL REFORM? The financial reform bill is going into the final stage in the legislative process this week and bought-out members of Congress are trying to stealthily remove all the provisions in it that the big banks oppose. The financial reform bill would be a pure product of lobbying and big banking if it were not for the just a handful of “No Bailout Reforms” that are still in the bill as we speak. Can you join us in making sure that conferees don’t gut the strongest provisions in the financial reform bill behind closed doors?

No-Bailout Reform #1, is Section 716, “PROHIBITION AGAINST FEDERAL GOVERNMENT BAILOUTS OF SWAPS ENTITIES”. Currently, the Senate financial reform bill still has language in it that will stop the biggest, most dangerous banks from getting federal bailouts for their riskiest gambling. The provision that provides for this would require banks to spin off the derivatives activities into separate entities without access to discount Fed money and FDIC guarantees. It is structural reform. This is the main provision that our conference committee members are being asked to gut by the lobbyists. 716 literally says this in its own bill text. Without this language financial companies that turned themselves into banks for the purpose of receiving bailouts under the TARP will get to stay bailout recipients in perpetuity. Without this language, the 2008 crisis will lead to a permanent situation where the government continually subsidizes derivatives trades, which were at the heart of what caused the crisis. Here’s more from Bankster.

No-Bailout Reform #2, STRONG CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BIG AND SMALL BANKS: When banks make their bets, they’re supposed to put some money down. Over the years, the largest banks received exemptions to how much, and therefore their bets got riskier. This time around, Senators Collins and Representative Speier have introduced complementary amendments in the Senate and House to make sure that the money these banks put down for their bets is real capital and is enough to keep the big banks from taking risks they can’t pay for and need to be bailed out by taxpayers. For strong capital requirements, the best of the House and Senate version need to stay. Here’s more from Rortybomb.

No-Bailout Reform #3, A NEW CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY: A signature reform of the Obama Administration and TARP watchdog Elizabeth Warren, an independent consumer watchdog agency can stop financial corporations from abusing consumers. “Subprime mortgages. Abusive and arbitrary rate hikes on your credit card. Payday loans. If you’re wondering who lets banks get away with this crap, there are more people at it than you think. There are no less than four federal regulators responsible for overseeing consumer protection in finance, and all of them are terrible,” writes Zach Carter. The Senate bill would house the CFPA in the Fed and allow the Fed to veto their rules proposal. That’s unacceptable. We need an independent CFPA, via the House bill, with full rule-making authority. More from HuffPo.

BIG REFORM #4: First and foremost, we’re advocates of breaking up the big banks. We fought for the Brown-Kaufman amendment to cap the size of banks before they get too big to fail, but it didn’t pass with the Senate bill. Therefore, we agree with Dr. Simon Johnson that Rep. Kanjorski’s amendment to allow regulators to break up the banks is an important part of the finreg bill and are happy to push for it. To see more reforms, see our blog post from Stephanie and Ruth.

Supporters of these measures are Nobel Laureate Economist Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman, renowned Economists Robert Reich, Jane D’Arista, Dean Baker, Simon Johnson, Jennifer Taub, David Moss, Michael Greenberger, financial writers and advocates, Rortybomb/Mike Konczal, Ilan Moscovitz of the Motley Fool, Zach Carter of CAF/Alternet, Public Citizen, CAF, David Dayen/FireDogLake, BanksterUSA, McJoan of Daily Kos. Join them!

Latest movements for the strongest reforms: Simon Johnson, Rortybomb, FireDogLake. CNBC says banks will lose on 716. Fed Chiefs support 716. NYTimes editorial.

AND NOW, WHO IS WATERING DOWN THE BILL? We have figured out who is trying to water down the bill thanks to the many people who have told us what they have heard in the comments of this post and what has been said in public.

Who of the 28+ are running the sleaziest deals (today the top 4 are Frank, Reed, Johnson, and Corker)?:

Big Bank Defenders (they would love to hear from you):
* Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D, IL) (202) 225-8203 here, here
* Rep. Spencer Bachus (R, AL) 202-225-4921 report, report
* Sen. Jack Reed (R, RI) (202) 224-4642 here, CFPA
* Rep. Dennis Moore, Chair (D, KS) 202-225-2865 blue dog, here
* Rep. Mel Watt (D, NC) 202-225-1510 bank cash, pro-CFPA, here
* Rep. Gary Peters (D-MI), (202) 225-5802 here, here
* Sen. Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) 202 224 3521 here

* Rep. Scott Garrett (R, NJ) 202-225-4465 C-SPAN, this
* Sen. Mike Crapo (R-ID) 202-224-6142 here
* Rep. Judy Biggert (R, IL) 202-225-3515 bad
* Rep. Gregory Meeks (D, NY) (202) 225-3461 bad, here
* Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R, TX) 202-225-3484 bad
* Rep. Edward Royce (R, CA) 202-225-4111 here, here
* Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) 202 224 3324 report, article
* Sen. Richard Shelby (R-AL) 202 224 5744 here, here
* Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) 202 224 3344 here

Public Defenders (so far):

* Rep. Paul Kanjorski (D, PA) (202) 225-6511 here
* Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D, AR) (202) 224-4843 gutting, reverting, report
* Rep. Collin Peterson (D-MN) 202-225-2165 prefers House version, maybe
* Sen. Tom Harkin (D, IA) (202) 224-3254 here
* Sen. Patrick Leahy (D, VT) (202) 224-4242 here
* Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) 202-224-5842 pro-CFPA
* Rep. Maxine Waters (D, CA) (202) 225-2201 here, here

MYSTERIOUS (they need calls ahora)

* Sen. Chris Dodd (D, CT) (202) 224-2823 report, and report, report
* Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) 202 224 6542 report, most fin cash, here
* Rep. Mary Jo Kilroy (D, OH) 202-225-2015 neutral
* Rep. Shelley Capito (R, WV) 202-225-2711 (against)
* Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D, NY) (202) 225-7944 unclear, here
* Rep. Barney Frank (D, MA) (202) 225-5931 no, yes, yes, here, YES

We hope that you are helping to call, join us for the next day or call right now, and further target the few people we need to reach. Then, help us finish the job — we can’t wait to hear from you so we can update our list of sleaziest deals — tell us what you hear in the comments of this post. Thanks for making it happen!

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254 Responses to “Call-in Days to Keep The Big 3 No Bailout Reforms”

  1. John says:

    I contacted the offices of Rep Maxine Waters, Rep Paul Kanjorski and Senator Jack Reed. Rep Waters aid said he did not know Waters’ position on Section or the Collins amendment, but did support the consumer protection agency. Rep Kanjorski’s aid said that Kanjorski is reviewing the legislation and has not taken a position on any of the 3; Senator Reed’s aid pretty much blew me off and referred me to his website.

  2. dshoes says:

    Just wanted to let you guys know that yesterday (6/16) I called the office (s) of Sen. Gregg and Bachus, and left a message that I wanted them to stand up for Sec. 716. Called the office of Sen. Schumer but didn’t get anyone.

  3. My first three calls went exactly as John stated above, Reed’s ofc hung up on me. I also called…

    Rep Kilroy supports the CFPA but said there’s too much info to navigate for the rest so no positions and no time estimated to come to conclusion.

    Rep. Peters had me leave a phone message for a staffer who could answer the questions.

    Rep. Moore has given me a staffer email address who can answer: glen.sears@mail.house.gov

    Cheers!
    -Sandy

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      great, i’ll link tot he kilroy part. thanks for all your great work, Sandy! we included your language in our email out today!

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hi Sandy, we’re going to write this all up and try to post in various places, this is absolutely ridiculous that reed’s office is so awful and does not work for the public, on our dime.

  4. Janet Childress says:

    I called all five of the offices of the Congresspersons listed in the Thursday email and spoke to four staff and emailed one staff of Congressman Meeks who is a directly involved staff in the hearings and who requested that I email. That email address is: milan.dalal@mail.house.gov

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      thanks, Janet! so good to have your support and help. sounds like a good call. insider word is that Gutierrez’ office is backtracking on it and saying they aren’t against 716. thanks for applying pressure where it matters.

  5. Brad Walker says:

    Rep. Peters:
    Still working through how he’s going to vote.

    Rep. Moore:
    I spoke to Mason, who said the Congressman hadn’t decided, and was I a constituent?

    Rep. Meeks:
    I was told to send an email to his finance guy at milan.dalal@mail.house.gov

    Rep. Gutierrez :
    Spoke to Samuel, who said no one is available, and he will pass along the message.

    Rep. Kilroy:
    Left voicemail.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      hey brad, great calling, thanks a lot! insider word is that Gutierrez’ office is backtracking on it and saying they aren’t against 716. thanks for applying pressure where it matters.

  6. mike s. says:

    I called the congressmen and asked them to support the people and not the banks. True derivative reform, no backroom deals, and consumer protection.

    Sen. Reed – My comments were taken and I was referred to the senator’s website which outlines Senator Reed’s stance on this issue.

    Rep. Kanjorski – i was assured my comments would be passed along to the congressman.

    Rep. Waters – my comments will be passed along to te representative.

  7. Karen Shelley says:

    Rep. Paul Kanjorski is reviewing leglations

  8. Karen Shelley says:

    Rep. Maxine Waters is all for it!!

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      really? she’s been a reformer. that’s awesome. will link. great reports, thanks, Karen.

  9. Angela Zehava says:

    I called Johnson, Kilroy, and Schumer even though they are not my representatives. All three asked if I were a constituent and I explained that this issue goes beyond local representation. I explained that the spectacle of Democrats capitulating to bankers is very shocking to rank and file voters and that this will affect the willingness of Democrats to volunteer, contribute and vote for Democrats in the fall, nationwide.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      that’s exactly right. i hate when they pull this constituent stuff as if the bill will only affect constituents.

    • Ruth Robertson says:

      This is good, Angela: “I explained that the spectacle of Democrats capitulating to bankers is very shocking to rank and file voters and that this will affect the willingness of Democrats to volunteer, contribute and vote for Democrats in the fall, nationwide.” I’ll remember this talking point. Also, “this issue goes beyond local representation”. Well put.

      Ruth

  10. Ruth Robertson says:

    In a word…answers were “evasive”. I put on my best, “I am just an American citizen trying to find out what’s going on” voice rather than read directly from the script after the first call. (The script was very helpful however!)

    The best response (in terms of acting considerate of my questions) was from Meeks’ office. The person who answered the phone said the ‘financial staffer’ was busy but said that Michael Javid (position unidentified) who works in the Representative’s office had 2 min. to speak with me.
    According to Javid, Meeks has made no decision on 716, no decision on Collins amendment, and is “probably okay” with CFPA.
    I tried to then make then case for supporting strong reform as best I could but the phone call ended rather abruptly. At least he listened! Glad I called.

    The worst response (in terms of being willing to take my call) was from Rep. Moore’s office. Again even with my nicest, non-pressuring voice I got “no one is available” from a guy named “Jack” who would not even give me his last name when I asked for it! He said that he was willing to pass a message on, but then sounding as if he were not writing down the message at all!

    Glad to hear from Tiffiniy in responses above that Gutierrez is backtracking and coming around to our side. The person who answered the phone told me to watch it on TV. He politely took my questions and promised to get back to me by email.

    I got some lip from a young (?) woman who answered the phone at Rep. Peters’. I was reading from the script, more or less, since it was my first call of the five, and I was getting in practice. She acted rather indignant saying “We have already received two calls from A New Way Forward”. I assured her that we are grassroots organization and are private citizens very concerned about the economic health of our nation but she insisted they should not have to answer more than once to the group! She sent me to the voicemail of a legislative assistant Jonathan Swift. I left my questions and email for a response.

    Kilroy’s office asked if I live in central Ohio and when I said I did not she said I should call my “personal office”. I explained that I was calling because the Congresswoman is on the conference committee and had specific questions about what is happening with the conference but she insisted that the Congresswoman did not owe me, a California resident, any answers!
    After I educated her a bit as to how this works (I am appalled at the ignorance, real or feigned, of those who answer phones for elected representatives) she agreed to take my questions and pass them on to the Congresswoman, but ended the call by reminding me I should speak to my “personal office because they will have more information”.

    This is probably too much detail but perhaps it will help others making phone calls about how to approach and what to expect. I’ll call again next week and this time I’ll push harder!

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      HI Ruth, that is some great reporting. I hope it is helpful. the financial bill affects us all and the conferees are on duty to fix it for everyone, even people in California. hah. we will have to make a stink about how awful these offices are, makes them seem absolutely careless with taxpayer money. moore seems like an even worse dude than before.

  11. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    from Valerie in email:
    Jack Reed: supports indy consumer protection agency
    Barney Frank: Supports 716
    Waters: supports indy consumer protection agency

    thanks for your hard work! – VJ

  12. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    from Rosemary in email:

    I tried Reed and Kanjorski again and left messages with the people who answered the phone- again couldn’t reach the staffers who are working on this issue. They were in meetings or on the phone.

    Leslie in Senator Reed’s office says he strongly supports an independent Consumer Protection Agency. She will give the Senator a message re Section 716 and re the Collins amendment and will ask Andrew Odgren, the Senator’s aid for these issues to get back to me.

    Clark in Congressman Kanjorski’s office took a message for the congressman re the 3 points, Section 716, the Collins amendment, and the Consumer Protection Agency. He will ask Kate McMahon, the Congressman’s aid working on this to get back to me.

    Yes, feel free to post this.

    Thanks again,

    Rosemary

  13. Tory says:

    Gary Peters – I was told “No Comment”

    Dennis Moore – Staffer was unsure where the Rep stood on these issues. Asked me to direct email to glen.sears@mail.house.gov

    Greg Meeks – Staffer didn’t know where the Rep stood on these issues. Asked me to direct email to milan.dalal@mail.house.gov

    Luis Gutierrez – Staffer told me to watch CNN.. she did not know the Reps position on these three issues-I insisted someone call me back.

    Mary Jo Kilroy – I was told that she couldn’t give out info??? Encouraged me to call my local Representative. Tried to blow me off.. I insisted that someone call me back and left a message.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      we;re going to write a blog post about the worst offices and send it around, absolutely outrageous!

  14. Joanna says:

    I called Reed, Kanjorski and Waters. The only response I got was the Senator or Representative is reviewing the bill in order to make a decision. I asked the three questions suggested, but was unable to get any answers. The person who answered for Reed said to check his website for his position. The Waters person said I could call back and speak to someone named Charla.

  15. Tory says:

    Mel Watt – Left a message for his staffer “Hillary West” requesting strong reform – no backroom deals – and a return phone call

    Barney Frank – Yes on Consumer Protection Agency, still deciding on the other two. Encouraged real reform.

  16. Tory says:

    Phone calls are great… but follow up with letters and emails… especially when you can’t communicate effectively with their office.. I sent the following letter to my Congressman.

    Rep. Mike Crapo,

    I have been a citizen of Idaho all my life and I am extremely disappointed on your stance for Financial Reform ! I cannot emphasize enought the importance of this legislation to your constituancy! I understand your conservatism… but I do not understand your stance AGAINST FINANCIAL REFORM !

    HERE ARE MY SPECIFIC QUESTIONS AND I WOULD LIKE A LEGITIMATE RESPONSE… NOT ONE OF YOUR “GENERIC LETTERS OR EMAILS”…

    Where do YOU stand on Section 716 of the Financial Reform Bill? True Financial Reform MUST require banks to spin off the derivatives activities into separate entities without access to discount Fed money and FDIC guarantees. NO MORE TAXPAYER BAILOUTS FOR RISKY DERIVATIVES TRADING! If YOU are against this bill then I demand to know WHY? Might I add…. I have been in the banking Industry for 20+ years and I GET IT!! I understand why this meltdown occurred and I understand the risks still facing the American Taxpayers if strong …. prudent legislation is not enacted! Your argument to me needs to be much more than Lobbiest Fluff and regurgitated balony.

    What is your stand on STRONG CAPITAL REQUIREMENTS FOR BIG AND SMALL BANKS: When banks make their bets, they’re supposed to put some money down. Over the years, the largest banks received exemptions to how much, and therefore their bets got riskier. They leveraged themselves to the hilt !! Senators Collins and Representative Speier have introduced complementary amendments in the Senate and House to make sure that the money these banks put down for their bets is real capital and is enough to keep the big banks from taking risks they can’t pay for and need to be bailed out by taxpayers. Strong capital requirements are a NECESSITY OF good legislation. Once again…. if you are opposed to this amendment, I would like to know why? Give me the specifics please!

    Finally, I would like to know YOUR stand on a CONSUMER PROTECTION AGENCY? I worked for Bank of America for 10+ years and I saw the abuses this Bank perpetuated on their clients. They manipulated debits and checks presenting against an account to maximize fees.. Consumers could be overdrawn by $25 dollars and easily incur $100 – $200 in fees! That is highway robbery and part of the reason banks have been so profitable over the past 10 years.(This is just one example of many..) I now work for a Local Community Bank and there is no comparison. This company does what is best for their clients best interest and they don’t charge excessive fees. The difference is night and day.. The biggest banks…. especially the investment banks are looking out only for the benefits of their shareholders! That is NOT what banking is about! Banking is about investing in the community you serve, making prudent, business and personal loans. Ultimately looking out for a clients best interest and helping them grow their retirement and their businesses and save for college IS a profitable endeavor.

    BANKS DO NOT NEED TO MAKE BILLIONS OF DOLLARS AT THE CONSUMERS EXPENSE! We need a Consumer Financial Protection Agency to be a WATCHDOG for the best interest of society. Where do YOU stand on this issue? If YOU ARE against it…PLEASE TELL ME WHY.??

    I want to make sure there are no backroom deals that effectively gut the best reforms currently in the bill I intend to share your response……. or lack of response with every media outlet I can find! From “Grassroots Organizations” to Facebook to NBC, CBS ect… ect… Do not let us down! WE ARE THE PEOPLE THAT ELECT YOU INTO OFFICE TO MAKE DECISIONS FOR THE GOOD OF SOCIETY.. PLEASE DO NOT WATER DOWN THE BILL FOR FINANCIAL REFORM!

  17. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    from Amy by email:

    Yes, I called all 3 of them and left messages with their interns.
    Thanks for your work,
    Amy

  18. William Busi says:

    Called Rep. Peters and informed them of my position for the congeressman’s full support for “The Big 3″ ; no backroom deals to weaken derivitives and water down the other measures. Also, I mentioned that I do on occasion make campaign contributions even to those outside my congressional district. The staffer thanked me for my comments and said he would make sure Rep. Peters receives them.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      thats perfect, peters needs to hear from us. thanks so much, william. you called the other day too, right? extra credit!

  19. mallory says:

    Hi Tiffiniy-
    I called all 6 Thursday senators and reps….on Waters’ staffers could speak to her positions….she supports the consumer protections agency.

    I pleaded for support for the three big issues and added my own pet peeve…….matching the number of FBI Fraud Investigators who were assigned to the S+L crisis in the 80′s! We have 1/5 the # of FBI on this collapse than the S+L and this is 100 times BIGGER (william Black).

    Keep up the great work ANWF!

  20. [...] How did these and other elected officials respond to inquiries from concerned citizens?  The usual shenanigans: their staffers ducked our calls, gave evasive answers, refused to speak to callers outright, and even hung up on one of our callers! [...]

  21. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    we wrote up a blog post on the congressional offices who were rude, putting up on hpost now too…

    http://www.anewwayforward.org/blogs/2010/06/21/the-good-the-bad-and-the-downright-rude-responses-from-the-offices-of-elected-officials/

  22. Tiffiniy Cheng says:

    from Dianne: So here were my responses:

    Chris Dodd’s office: assistant said he hadn’t taken a position yet on Lincoln amend, politely took notes about my other preferences, like the Kanjorski Amend, etc. but sounded like he didn’t know anything about them.

    Richard Shelby’s office: assistant not sure about anything except support for independent CPA (of course, b/c right-wingers hate the Fed)

    Jack Reed of R.I.: assistant took message on all issues, didn’t sound like he knew anything about it, but put up with me.

    Paul Kanjorski: Blew me away that he didn’t sound like he even knew what the Kanjorski amendment was! Unsure of his position on the Lincoln Amend. (honestly, how do some of these people get hired? I’m only a nurse-practitioner with a poli sci degree, and could do much better)

    Gregory Meeks (N.Y.) – Assistant politely took message, clueless as usual

    John Conyers (Mich) – I left a message on the voicemail of his “financial expert” – at least I felt better here that the receptionist directed me to someone who knew something, even if only to leave a message.

    Mary Jo Kilroy (Ohio) I mentioned I had donated to her campaign in the past, to see if that would help, and the assistant still seemed anesthetized, so I got more aroused and said the “masses are really mad”…. don’t know if I got through, but at least she took the message.

    Blanche Lincoln: got a voicemail, mostly left msg of encouragement.

    Maxine Waters: Assistant was hurried, but seemed to take the msg.

    Had hoped to call more, but ran out of morning hours before work.

    As I said last week in an email to Simon, “though we’re in the cancerous phase of casino crony capitalism, at least we can say we tried to do everything we could.”

    Dianne

  23. [...] the backroom information that, when hidden in the dark, work all too well to kill good reforms. The call-in days are ongoing (report back here) through the last leg of passing HR 4173, the financial reform bill. Unfortunately, it seems many [...]

  24. [...] before a crisis happens. We are happy to report that one of his staffers handled our inquiries in a polite and professional manner, compared to the rude treatment callers received from staffers in some other politicians’ [...]

  25. [...] the backroom information that, when hidden in the dark, work all too well to kill good reforms. The call-in days are ongoing (report back here) through the last leg of passing HR 4173, the financial reform bill. Unfortunately, it seems many [...]

  26. [...] hearing as much from citizens, and it’s making them lean towards the banks. So far, our ongoing call-in days are working to turn some conferees into a yes on derivatives reform. Today through Thursday, [...]

  27. ruth says:

    ubmitted on 2010/06/22 at 4:45pm
    I called Moore’s office. Mason (aw shucks, “I’m just an intern”) sounds like a pleasant enough young man. “Just Jack” who would not give his last name the last time I called Moore’s office, was apparently not around.

    On a serious note: Mason fielded my comments with due interest, although he did not want to address any of the questions I asked. He referred me to Glen Sears, whom he said was in the conference with Moore as we were speaking, and said I could both email him as well as leave a voice mail msg. Sears’ email is glen.sears@mail.house.gov.

    Mason the intern said he was confident that Moore will do the best he can for the public. I was glad he did not say “for his constituents”.

    Then I called the office of Sen. Schumer because I really wanted to see if he had fixed his crazy phone system since last week, when several of our ANWF callers were sent directly to voicemail with no chance to talk to a human at all, and then cut off before they could leave a msg. I also chose Schumer because the large amt. of $ he has received in contribution money from the financial sector.

    I am happy to report that I got on the phone the intelligent and charming “Alexandra the intern” who is a graduate student in history. (I got this info out of her as I tried to establish a “let’s talk turkey” relationship).

    Alexandra, who answered the phone as if she really cared, said that Schumer really wants to hear from his constituents on this issue. I took the opportunity to explain that this bill will be for the whole nation and not just for constituents and she politely corrected herself. Score 1 for Schumer!

    Since Alexandra is a history major I talked about the perspective of history, that memories are short and when the banks say ‘just trust us’ they should not be listened to.

    I also chose to call Schumer’s office because he has had the most contributions from financial sector of anyone on the list I was sent. So I asked Alexandra:
    CAN I GET YOUR REACTION TO $4MILLION IN CONTRIBUTIONS from the financial sector the Sen. has received? She asked me to HOLD ON, seemed as if she really wanted to seriously address that. She came back on line after a few minutes and said that the Senator is the author of the Disclose Act, and referred me to this site

    http://schumer.senate.gov/record.cfm?id=324343&

    She describe it to me and I said, “Hmmm, that seems at odds with the fact that the Senator received such a huge amt. of money from the financial sector” and she said she was happy to pass that comment on to the Senator.

    Here is Schumer on the Disclose Act and you can read more about it at link above.

    “At a time when the public’s fears about the influence of special interests were already high, the Court’s decision stacks the deck against the average American even more. Our bill will follow the money. In cases where corporations try to mask their activities through shadow groups, we drill down so that ultimate funder of the expenditure is disclosed. If we don’t act quickly to confront this ruling, we will have let the Supreme Court predetermine the outcome of next November’s elections. It won’t be Republicans or Democrats; it will be Corporate America and other special interests.”

  28. Larry Kelley says:

    I called all the congressmen who are supporting big banking and dirivatives thismorning ! Thank you for your work and for supporting America and the American people !

  29. Annabee says:

    I called all Congressmen on the l;ist and let them know that I had already contacted my Congressmen about my concerns and desire that regulations be put into place to control the gambling of the Big Banks. I asked that they support OR tell me why they their Congressmen did NOT support Lincoln’s language on derivative gambling. I stated that its time we stand up to the Big Banks and develop protection for American taxpayers. One of the office aids attempted to threaten me with contacting my Congressmen with my remarks. I invited him to do so as I had already commended Merkley for standing up to the Big Banks and that his Congressmabn should do thje same!

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hey Annabee, thanks a lot! I told them that I was calling on behalf of an organization that was going to mobilize against them and told them not to ignore my call even though I am not from NY. They should know we’re serious now.

  30. Called the first 8 on the list. All calls were answered by staffers who were pretty passive in their responses. While all thanked me for my interest and support, only one staffer, a woman with Ms. Clarke’s office, voiced her gratefulness for the support of so many.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Higgins office said the same! thanks, arlene, will keep this in mind about Clarke.

  31. Jean Bails says:

    This is in response to the call in Wed, June 23 involving support for the Blanche Lincoln language on dirivatives so that tax payers won’t have to pay for gambling losses again. I called all but the last 4–will do those later.
    Staffers took message, some took names and addresses as well. No comments were made except that they would pass message on.

  32. I called all 13 Congresspersons’ offices and was as firm as someone who could not vote for them could possibly be in opposition to any compromise that would allow the big banks and businesses to make
    bets against the American homeowner and the American Dream.
    We need the courage and vision of brave people, and President Obama needs to rise to confront and beat these people. President Roosevelt – both Presidents Roosevelt – did. This is our time.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hi James, such a good point. I felt I was as firm as I could be too. thanks a lot! will note.

  33. Gail Sutton says:

    I called three – all gave non answers – saying that the negotiations were still underway so the positions of the representatives were still being decided. When I asked if the representative had any stance of his own prior to the dealings, they stammered a bit and said they were sure he did but they didn’t know what they were and would have to get back to me. Dennis Moore’s phone had an unpaid intern with even less knowledge – gave me an email to talk to his Moore’s rep on the issue: glen.sears@mail.house.gov

  34. CogWheel says:

    Called Frank (my District), Corker, Reed and Tim Johnson:

    I didn’t stick to script, but expressed support for tightly independent solutions to Volcker and Lincoln. I informed that customer-directed (non-proprietary) derivatives trades would not fall under any version of the Volcker rule and that is another reason Lincoln’s amendment must stand. I also expressed that a 2-5% exclusion from the Volcker rule, which would allow that percentage of a bank’s assets to be traded as hedge funds, etc, is too much when the number of institutions with over 1 trillion in assets are considered (ie 50 billion dollar hedge funds under an FDIC bank’s roof).

    How the calls went:

    Jack Reed (R-RI) – Disspassioned call taker referred me to his website, would not give position.

    Tim Johnson (D-SD) – Agreeable, but didn’t go beyond hearing me out and saying he’d forward comments.

    Bob Corker (R-TN) – Good call. Person was receptive and knowlegable. Said he didn’t have a firm position on Volcker, or Lincoln, as to tomorrow’s conference. So, I went into how one doesn’t replace the other and wish I remenbered to say fed presidents Hoenig and Bullard also support 716. Sen. Corker has stuck to his guns over this crisis being entirely housing related, so I preceeded the call with an email about the unregulated swaps market since the CFMA of 2000. I expressed that it was swaps that gave another side to “the trade” and a whole bunch of other aspects that go beyond the FNMA/FHLMC/CRA chant that’s gotten beat to death.

    Barney Frank (D-MA)
    I got put through to the Finance Committee, where I again harped on his not letting Volcker replace Lincoln. I know he’s given up on that, anyway, but comments today suggest he’s looking for up to 5% of that asset exclusion for banks to go start/keep hedge funds that will lever up all over again. I did the math with the gentlemen on the phone and suggested that, for our top five banks, 50 billion dollar plus hedge funds would be a bad idea. As an analyst, I can say that few people realize that hedge funds don’t do their homework (unless its insider trading, eh Raj?) and their speculation is something that, frankly, shouldn’t even be underneath the FDIC protected umbrella.

    Hope that helped.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Hi Chris, this is perfect. do you want to be a spokesperson for ANWF? we can’t agree with your analysis more! so, we need to get these answers to more of the callers who are getting the same pushback. not sure what the best way to do that is, maybe a FAQ on this, will see if there is one of these already. there are articles and articles on these very issues, but maybe not a faq… if not, maybe you can help turn your answers into one.

  35. Judi Poulson says:

    I called all 13 . Most asked my name and where I was from. About after 9 of them, I stopped saying where I was from.
    They perhaps discount someone NOT FROM NEW YORK.

  36. rabbitron says:

    Called first 8 on list this morning. Staffers were polite, if disinterested. ONe asked me if I was aware I was not in the congressman’s district. (I guess some people don’t know that?) I responded yes, but this is a national issue, not regional.

    Got most interesting response from Nita Lowey’s office – said she’s against it only because she fears the result would be to only move derivatives trading abroad where there are no regulations.

  37. We called the 13 NY Reps and got results similar to the above. Nita Lowey’s ofc claims that 716 would force banks to move their hedge fund operations offshore so that’s why she opposes it…is this a real concern or an excuse?

    I got good results saying I was with ANWF and that we were tracking the 13 and would publish the effects they may have when the next collapse comes. They seemed to listen and said they would pass it along.

    -sandy

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      we’re pulling together a response letter we’re going to send to the ny dems now. thanks for this intel, it’s really great and we know how to act. we have some good answers to that, like other countries are more strict and it’s costlier to bail them out and to not create jobs instead of funding risky derivatives.

  38. Kim Kaufman says:

    Called all the reps on your email list from today. Said I wanted them to keep the strongest language possible about derivatives in the bill. When asked, told them I lived in Los Angeles and what they do affects everyone in the country and I will give money to their opponent if the bill is watered down.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      that;s a perfect response, love it. that’s a good strategy point, anwf maybe can go out on it. so, we were thinking tomorrow we can ask people to tweet conferees directly, to get them on the record, “will you vote for strong reform, we are donating to opponents of those who water down the bill” or something like that.

  39. I just called all 13, all offices answered and said they’d pass my comments on. I made the points in the script as to support the Lincoln derivative language and working from California to defeat any of these congresspeople who weakened to favor the banks. I think most of these staffers were mystified as to why a CA voter would be calling New York, and I’m not sure how many would pass on my comments or count them but it seemed to be worth a shot.

  40. Debby says:

    I called all 13 New York Congress people who signed the letter and asked them to support Lincoln’s language. Their staff was very polite and said they would be sure to pass my message on.

  41. Tara says:

    Rep. Gregory Meeks (D, NY) (202) 225-3461

    * Staff who answer the phone doesn’t have that info, ask to email milan.dalal@mail.house.gov

    Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D, IL) (202) 225-8203

    * Staffer doesn’t know the info, will email back with answer. Btw, it’s a congressman’s office but the script is about a Senate bill??

    Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.) 202-224-5842

    * Staffer Laura Swanson would be the person to contact but, is not available at the time. Left her a voice mail with the questions and my email address for her response. Will forward the email when I receive it.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      hi Tara — thanks for a thorough call! Rep Gutierrez is a conferee on the whole bill, right now we’re merging the senate and house versions of the financial reform bill. perfect info and pressure…

  42. Rocco says:

    We really need to add a Tobin tax to our No.1 reform. A 1% Tobin tax would slow down reckless volume and bring the gambling into the open. Shouldn’t we consider this?

  43. [...] 13 of the 26 members of the delegation backing the effort. However, an e-mail from the folks at A New Way Forward says that the rumor on the Hill is of “a possible compromise on Derivatives because of the [...]

  44. Maximilienne Ewalt says:

    I called and left messages for all 13 New York signatories, except Michael McMahon. The office was closed, and I could not leave a message.

  45. sabiha ahmed says:

    Called all 13 on the list. Spoke to the interns who said they have made a notation and will pass my message along.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      good, thanks a lot. this is what we need to do, seems like they are caving to pressure.

  46. Tracy Griswold says:

    As a resident of New York state, I called all thirteen New York state representatives who have signed onto the letter you mentioned in your e-mail. In fact the letter may not weaken derivatives regulation, it calls for the House version of that regulation because they feel it is a better vetted version then in the Senate bill. In any case, I asked in the strongest terms possible for four things in the final legislation: loophole-free clearing and transparent exchanges for derivatives, retain section 716 of the Senate bill (at least the section that bans FDIC or Fed funds from backing swaps dealers), a strong Volcker rule so that FDIC or Fed funds cannot back banks or investment houses that engage in risky proprietary trading and strong, hard capital requirements so that banks cannot lever themselves to 30 & 40 – 1 as they did several years ago.

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      Tracy, this is such a strong call. thank you for taking the time. did you see the letter we sent to them based on their responses to our calls?

  47. Val says:

    Called all 13. Got mostly ‘will pass on your message’. Most also asked for name and address so the congressperson could ‘follow up’. When I mentioned I wasn’t a constituent but felt this issue was important to all of us across the country they were much less interested in this information. Engel’s staffer did say that aside from 716 he supports the bill and will vote for it. but when I asked if he supported strong capital requirements & consumer protection agency, he said he didn’t know…

    • Tiffiniy Cheng says:

      hmmmm, that’s interesting on engler. thanks so much, Val. you’re the best!