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Thu May 24, 2012, 04:19 AM May 2012

From think Progress: How The Banks Bought The Tea Party [View all]

"The 15 freshmen Republican representatives in the House Tea Party Caucus each ran in 2010 on a populist anti-Wall Street message, highlighting their opposition to bank bailouts like the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and criticizing Washington for enabling the banking sector as it became “Too Big to Fail.” After winning, all fifteen received significant PAC contributions from the banking industry — and have become a reliable vote and mouthpiece for the financial industry, a ThinkProgress analysis of campaign contributions, voting records and public statements reveals.

Rather than campaigning on a typical pro-business platform, the Tea Party freshmen tapped into public resentment of big banks and bailouts. For example, then-candidate Sandy Adams (R-FL) said on her campaign website that she “opposes government bailouts” and “would have voted against TARP and the auto bailout.” Jeff Landry (R-LA) said bailouts of private businesses had “corrupted our free market system by rewarding the irresponsible and penalizing the responsible,” blasting “bank bailouts, which led to taxpayer money directly or indirectly going into multi-million dollar bonuses.”


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