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CREW Releases New Report Examining the Influence of High Frequency Traders in Washington

May 15, 2013 Comments off

CREW Releases New Report Examining the Influence of High Frequency Traders in Washington
Source: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW)

Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released a new report, Rise of the Machines, detailing the growing political influence of high frequency traders in the nation’s capital. High frequency trading, a complicated and controversial method of securities trading, has begun drawing scrutiny from government regulators, prompting skyrocketing lobbying spending and campaign contributions by the industry.

CREW studied the lobbying and campaign contribution records of 48 companies that specialize in high frequency trading. Between the 2008 and 2012 election cycles, these firms’ campaign contributions soared by a staggering 673 percent, up from $2.1 million during the 2008 election cycle to $16.1 million during the 2012 cycle. Over this time period, these firms contributed more than $21 million to federal candidates, party committees, PACs, and super PACs.

Additionally, since 2008, these firms have spent more than $10 million lobbying Congress, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission. These companies’ total lobbying spending jumped 93 percent between 2008 and 2012, from $1.4 million to $2.7 million. The biggest single-year increase came between 2009 and 2010, while Congress debated heavily lobbied provisions of what would eventually become the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

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CREW Names the 14 Most Corrupt Members of Congress; Five More Earn Dishonorable Mentions

September 22, 2011 Comments off

CREW Names the 14 Most Corrupt Members of Congress; Five More Earn Dishonorable Mentions
Source: Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington

From lying on financial disclosure forms to receiving improper gifts to unreported conflicts of interest, it has been a busy year for lousy lawmakers. Today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) released its annual Most Corrupt Members of Congress report, which takes a bipartisan look at Washington’s worst. Fourteen members were named to the list, while five more garnered dishonorable mentions. A startling 14 of the 19 members on CREW’s list are new to it this year, and six are also new to Congress.

Although CREW assigns no ranking system to the list, several members’ actions are particularly egregious. Rep. David Rivera (R-FL) is under investigation by multiple law enforcement agencies, and Rep. Joe Walsh (R-IL) has refused to pay over $100,000 in child support. Meanwhile, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA), a serial offender, again made the list for using taxpayer money to help a staffer tend to criminal court matters and for trying to bribe Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.

On the Democratic side, the FBI seems to be looking at Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) for accepting gifts from campaign donors. Rep. Nick Rahall (D-WV) made the list for letting his lobbyist sister trade on his name – perhaps even allowing her to maintain a mailbox in his office – and for using congressional stationary to influence a judge about to sentence his son.

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