My Turn: McHenry looks out for himself in Congress

Reprinted from Gaston Gazzette

I know the May 8 primary is getting close because campaign signs are popping up all over. Patrick McHenry has planted by far the most candidate signs. How does he afford this large expense to put so many signs along so many roads? Actually it is not his money that pays for this extravagance.

When Election Day nears Mr. McHenry dips into his reserve of tainted money. Lobbyists, PACs, and other unsavory organizations have stuffed his bank account for years. Since coming to office he has received over $13 million.

Campaign signs aren’t the only thing that can be bought. This money finds its way to Mr. McHenry because he is on the House Financial Services Committee. Think of this committee as the hall monitor of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury and the Securities and Exchange Commission.

When lobbyists want to buy off Committee members they look for an easy mark. Mr. McHenry is a lobbyist’s dream come true. No questions asked. No thought of conflict of interest. No concern about integrity. Just show him the money. A big enough check could buy all sorts of favors and influence.

Have a client under fire from the SEC for fraud? Have them make a quick contribution to the McHenry account and there’s no telling what favors you may enjoy. Looking at multi-million dollar fines for failing to enforce anti-money laundering laws? Do what the New York City private bank Brown Brothers Harriman & Co. did. A five figure donation to Mr. McHenry and now maybe their pain is eased a bit.

His House Financial Services Committee has received almost $200 thousand from yet another financial firm. This firm stole trade secrets. They are facing a $706 million fine. They sure would like that problem to go away. A stack of cash might induce Mr. McHenry and his fellow committee members to cut this firm a bit of slack. Selling influence and favors can be a lucrative business. Just ask Mr. McHenry.

I am tired of our representative playing us like fools. When he deigns to grace us with his presence he burbs up all sorts of meaningless twaddle. He says he is working for us in DC. He’s working in DC all right. Lobbyists and PACs keep him on a short leash.

Everytime you see a McHenry sign remember this: that sign was bought and paid for by outside money. It’s as if a DC lobbyist blasted a wet sneeze and hit Mr. McHenry square in the face. These sneezes have sprayed gobs of signs all over District 10. By accepting this outside money Mr. McHenry has had his outreached hands slimed by these gooey sneezes. Do you want to shake hands with that? Everytime I see a McHenry campaign sign I need to reach for the hand sanitizer.

Jim Morrison is a resident of Belmont.

Gina ColliasComment