I liked Dave "Mudcat" Saunders the first time I met him years ago (we won't say how long ago). Mudcat was one of the people who convinced Jim Webb to take on and beat George Allen. He also has been credited with Mark Warner's successful outreach to rural Virginia in his run for the U.S. Senate. This year, Mudcat is a senior adviser to the campaign of Wayne Powell, who is challenging Eric Cantor in the 7th District.
Now, Mudcat and I are pursuing the same story about the dubious career of Eric Cantor, his rise to majority leader of the Republicans in the House of Representatives, and conflicts of interest in his own family.. A few days ago, I wrote on Blue Virginia about how the office of Eric Cantor had quietly removed a key provision from the STOCK Act, a bill intended to end insider trading by members of Congress, their staffs, and their families. The section in question related to families of those in Congress. Cantor's office moved the section about families to another section of the bill as passed by the House, thus eliminating the requirement for family members to report stock trades.
That little move miraculously exempted Cantor's wife from having to report her stock trades. She makes her living as a financial adviser for very wealthy clients. Like me, Mudcat raises several questions for Cantor to answer for his constituents:
"Mrs. Cantor's investment firm, Alternative Investment Management LLC (AIM), has a hedge fund in the Cayman Islands with assets of $134,570,536. While she is listed as a partner in AIM, Mrs. Cantor is not listed on any SEC filings. This raises two very serious questions. Is somebody trying to hide her name? Is her only job to sell political intelligence?"
Mudcat also points out that Cantor was TARP's head cheerleader in the House. AIM's president and Mrs. Cantor were formerly with Goldman Sachs, which got $10 billion in the TARP bank bailout. I agree with Mudcat's conclusion that even a moron would be able to figure out that Eric Cantor had a "personal financial stake and conflict in the spousal exemption" scam that was pulled by the House, a scam that ultimately made it into law.
The time has come for the people in the 7th District of Virginia to realize that Eric Cantor represents his personal interest, not the interests of his constituents. Wayne Powell knows he's got an uphill battle, but who knows? Sometimes, the underdog wins, especially when the other guy is as sleazy as Eric Cantor. We can only hope.
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