Cross-posted at Daily Kos.
I have spent most of the last decade as New England political director for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). I’m proud of my work standing up for working families, hospital patients, senior citizens, and so on – and standing up to special interests like big banks, including one of the biggest banks of them all, Bank of America.
Bank of America received tens of Billions of taxpayer dollars in TARP bail-out funds. What you might not know is that, even after receiving these funds, Bank of America proceeded to lay off 35,000 bank tellers and other workers, employees whose median salary was only about $23,000 per year. Of course, Bank of America didn’t touch its fleet of nine corporate jets. Bank of America even used some TARP money to fund lobbying efforts against the Employee Free Choice Act!
This was so egregious, such a slap in the face of hard-working taxpayers, that my SEIU brothers and sisters and I took to the streets to protest. Across the country, over 100 events were held. Locally, we protested at Bank of America’s Federal Street branch in Boston. Thanks in part to our organizing, our protesting, and our standing up to special interests, Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis was forced to resign.
That has been my relationship with Bank of America – one in which I am ready to take them on with the tenacity of a labor organizer and the determination of a taxpaying family man who plays by the rules.
My opponent in the Democratic primary for Massachusetts’ 9th Congressional district, incumbent Stephen Lynch, has a different relationship with Bank of America. To him, Bank of America is a valued campaign donor. Just this year, Lynch has taken PAC money from not only Bank of America, but also from other big banks and financial services corporations, insurance companies, and defense contractors including: Financial Services Institute, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance, New York Life, Putnam, Raytheon, Citizens Financial Group, John Hancock Financial Services, Liberty Mutual Insurance, and State Street Bank and Trust.
As a member of the House Financial Services Committee, one would think Lynch would be more concerned about appropriate oversight and regulation of the financial services industry than he is concerned about cashing PAC checks from them.
As I’ve gone door-to-door across the district, it’s clear that voters in the 9th Congressional District want someone who stands up to big corporations, not someone who is funded by them. This represents the choice they have in the primary: support a status quo that continues to give special interests control over the agenda in Congress or support my fight on behalf of working families. I urge you to join my fight.
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