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My Left Nutmeg

Friday roundup

by: ctblogger

Fri Mar 08, 2013 at 09:00:40 AM EST

Reading material before you dig yourself out of your house.
  • CTNJ: "Second Closed-Door Meeting Just As Productive As The First"
    Republican and Democratic legislative leaders emerged from a four-and-a half hour meeting Thursday optimistic they'll be able to come to an agreement on post-Newtown legislation, including some of the more controversial gun proposals.

    But it was too soon to tell if they'll be able to reach agreement on all of the issues. They're still hammering out the "nitty gritty of how each issue will play out," according to Sen. President Donald Williams. "It's still too early to tell."

  • Collins: "Lawmakers' blind eye toward sexual harassment"
    A former representative and past committee chairwoman disclosed this week that Hewett was not the only lawmaker denied interns.

    "If they (male legislators) don't do well with females, the committee decides they are not going to have female interns," Kathleen Tallarita, a Democrat from Enfield, told a reporter.


    Some of the lawmakers who supervise interns decide the best way to deal with what they perceive to be a serious sexual harassment problem is to sweep the whole thing under the rug.

    Sexual harassment in the General Assembly, like anywhere else in the state, is against the law. And victims should be encouraged to file complaints with the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities, which is charged with enforcing and adjudicating those laws with due process for those accused and privacy protections for those making complaints.

    Legislators are charged with making the law, not taking it into their own hands.

    If Hewett or any other lawmaker is harassing, they should be brought to justice.

    To think that some lawmakers could have been allowing sexual harassment to openly fester is alarming.

  • Senator Chris Murphy goes on the offensive agaisnt NASCAR's embrace of the NRA.
    Sen. Chris Murphy wants NASCAR to pass on NRA's race sponsorship.

    In a letter sent Thursday to NASCAR CEO Brian France, Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, asks the stock car racing association to drop the NRA's sponsorship of an April race at the Texas Motor Speedway in Fort Worth. The race, in NASCAR's top flight, will be the NRA 500.

    "By giving the NRA sponsorship of a major NASCAR race, NASCAR has crossed a line - you have decided to put yourself in the middle of a political debate, and you have taken a side that stands in opposition to the wishes of so many Newtown families who support common sense gun reform," Murphy wrote. "Whether or not this was your intention, your fans will infer from this sponsorship that NASCAR and the NRA are allies in the current legislative debate over gun violence. By announcing this new partnership at the very height of Congress's deliberations over gun reform, NASCAR has inserted itself into a political debate that has nothing to with the business of NASCAR."

  • Say it ain't so Jim!
    Rep. Jim Himes (D-Conn.), a former Wall Street executive, is joining Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-Ill.) to introduce legislation that would deregulate derivatives, undercutting one of the most meaningful elements of the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

    Derivatives -- which Warren Buffett has referred to as "financial weapons of mass destruction" -- are viewed as a key trigger of the 2008 economic crisis.

    The bill would "allow banks to keep commodity and equity derivatives in federally insured units," Politico reported on Wednesday, meaning that banks would no longer be forced to spin off their trading desks. It would weaken Dodd-Frank's "push out" provision, otherwise known as the Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailouts of Swaps Entities, which bars federal assistance from being provided to any swaps entity.

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Friday roundup | 1 comments
Himes: You're right-it AIN'T SO! (4.00 / 1)
Hi All,

If you don't know me, I'm Congressman Jim Himes' communications director, and I wanted to clarify a few things about the Huffington Post story mentioned above.

First, the HuffPo story is simply factually inaccurate. The Congressman's bill does not weaken derivatives legislation. It ensures that derivatives used to insure against the fluctuating price of airline fuel or crops occur in banks that are subject to heavier oversight by federal regulators. The bill does nothing to alter the margin, clearing, or transparency provisions of the derivatives regulation created by Dodd-Frank. This is not a controversial provision--in fact, the bill has bipartisan cosponsors in both the House and the Senate on both the Agriculture and Financial Services (Banking) Committees.

Some history: This bill passed the House Financial Services Committee as an amendment last year. Then Ranking Member Barney Frank and current Ranking Member Maxine Waters were both publicly supportive of the provision.

Here's what Frank wrote in the committee report:

During the Full Committee markup, Democrats [JIM HIMES] worked with the Majority to amend H.R. 1838 to continue the prohibition of complex swaps employed by AIG with devastating effect. [Himes' amendment] addresses the valid criticisms of Section 716 without weakening the financial reform law's important derivative safeguards or prohibitions on bank proprietary trading.

Additionally, I'd like to point out that the author of this story wrote the above piece without either reading the bill or asking our office for comment or clarification. It's simply irresponsible journalism.

You can read the Congressman's press release about the bill here:

Communications Director for Congressman Jim Himes

Friday roundup | 1 comments
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