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Sen. Chris Dodd took millions from now-failing finance firms he oversees

Maybe some of you remember Chris Dodd, the white-haired Democratic senator from Connecticut who actually moved his family to Iowa to win his party's presidential caucus last winter.

But didn't.

So Dodd returned to the U.S. Senate as chairman of the powerful Banking Committee, where he'd promised to protect "the safety and soundness of our financial institutions."

Democratic Connecticut Senator and former presidential candidate Chris Dodd who's received millions in donations from troubled financial firms he was to be overseeing according to a Hartford Courant investigation endorsing Illinois Senator Barack Obama who's vowed to reform such lobbying practices

Well, as we've all seen in recent days with chaos in the financial markets -- collapsed firms, collapsed deals to protect financial firms -- that Dodd promise turned out real well.

Turns out, according to our esteemed corporate colleagues over at the Hartford Courant, meanwhile, things have turned out real swell financially for Dodd himself.

In an investigative story by Matthew Kaufman and Jesse A. Hamilton, the newspaper reveals that although Dodd was a presidential also-ran in terms of votes, in terms of cash money he ranks among the top five receivers of donations from the nation's now-troubled financial sector.

"During the past 20 years," the Courant reports, "PACs and employees of finance-related firms have contributed more than $13 million to Dodd's election efforts, including nearly $6 million in the past two years."

That's $250,000 per month from people who expect legislative protection. That kinda money oughta cover the electric bills, anyway.

Additionally, reported in June that Dodd was among a select group of public officials who quietly received preferential loans that waived points, fees and company rules at Countrywide Financial.

Dodd's party has controlled both houses of Congress for the last two years. And although Dodd elbows his way to the front of any photos of congressional Democrats allegedly trying to solve the current crisis, the five-term senator is facing mounting criticism that he and others did way too little, too late to prevent this money meltdown.

As one representative of Common Cause diagnosed the situation for the newspaper, "We have a system where the special interests that give the most money tend to get policies out of Congress that are beneficial to them."

Doesn't that sound familiar? Wait, that's one of the major political planks of another senator, Barack Obama, the Iowa caucus victor, and his vice presidential running mate, six-term senator Joe Biden, both of whom Dodd has now endorsed.

The Courant has the rest of this fact-filled, revealing article here.

--Andrew Malcolm

Photo: CNN

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Comments () | Archives (23)

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Poor Chris! He is just like all the rest of the sub prime mortgage holders. He didn't understand that he was getting a great deal from hie broker. was that the CEO of Countrywide that agave him that great rate.

I did not understand-- Chris Dodd.

I did not understand Chris Dodd!

After giving it serious thought, I have to thank John McCain for selecting Sarah Palin. Not since Dan Quayle has there been a candidate who has brought this much levity to the campaign.

The blame goes to the Democratic Party and Pelosi, Dodd and Barney Frank... the three muskateers who failed to deliver the bailout after talking all week and grandstanding on tv.

But ultimately, the blame falls on Barack Obama, who is the HEAD of this party, and who did not show any leadership at all. This should have been a slam dunk.

They knew the Republicans were against it, so it was up to Obama to call on his "people" to support and pass this! They were too afraid to go against their constituents, with elections coming up. The common folks don't have a clear understanding of this event, and how it could affect them... all they see is a free ride for Wall Street.

The blame or I should say the thanks, should go to the American people, that let their represenatives know that they do not support the bill.

Passing the bail out would have devalued the dollar and commodity prices like oil would have shot up in price.
Instead oil dropped $10.00 a barrel.

Guess what the Dow is back up over 200 points today.
Buy low sell high.

Whay are the National News Stations not investigating this. I would ask all of you to send out the stories on Chris Dodd and Barney Franks. The way to change this election is to educate people and encourage them to think for themselves.

FINALLY! A major metro news outlet reporting Dodd's involvement with Fannie & Freddie.

It has amazed me how silent the "primary" or "main stream media" have been in reporting Dodd's complicity and Barny Frank's complicity in this very serious and major financial crisis. They should be investigated by the FEDS and Congress. This is too big a problem to sweep under the rug.

These two are absolutely the ones to pin this whole mess on. Also, the Democratic Party as a whole began using the Mortgage lending market for their Social Engineering ideas. The Democratic Party is to blame for the general problem. Dodd & Frank are to blame for the specifics. And the "MSM" is going to let the Democrats blame "greedy" Republicans when there is video evidence of Bush, McCain, Republicans in Congress, and even Alan Greenspan trying to avert disaster by requesting increased regulation on Fannie & Freddie. Well, the Democrats blocked those efforts at EVERY TURN! They were getting payoffs!

Doesn't this just prove that it is impossible to get something for nothing? Think of it this way....what "greedy" Capitalist would EVER lend money to people they KNOW can't pay it back? They did so because they were legally obligated to. The "greedy" Capitalists are to blame because they began buying up all the bad debt from Fannie & Freddie because they figured it was backed by the Government. And guess what.....our Federal Government is doing just that...trying to bail out the idiots that purchased all of that toxic debt.

Now we face a major GLOBAL financial crisis. Elderly people could see their life's savings completely wiped out. I really hope that the left leaning "MSM" will FINALLY do their jobs and report the truth of this. They owe it to the Country to try and put their partisanship behind them.

Of course, Wall Street has their share of the blame and I am interested in getting to bottom of their complicity in this too. Washington politicians (mostly Democrat ones) were in a thieves game with many on Wall Street.

And to top it off, now I hear Obama and other Democrats are blaming the mortgage lenders for "mis-leading" people who couldn't afford the loans into taking them! The GALL! It started with Democrats pushing and accelerating a program called the Community Reinvestment Act. Look it up. It the last days of this idiocy, they were offering no down payment mortgage loans.

Don't let them kid IS time to point fingers to get to the bottom of this! Screw bi-partisanship. If the Republicans had any spine at all they could just bury the Democrat Party with this.


This might be news to you, but it isn't to anybody who has been paying any attention to this disaster. I'll give you another hint, no charge. Look up who has been taking money from Freddie Mae, Freddie Mac, who overlooked Raines, the guy that oversaw the falsification of Freddie financial statements so as to get a bigger bonus, Jamie Gorlick, and Barney Franks. Toss in Barack Obama and who knows, people might start to believe you know what an investigative journalist and watchdog is.

Wonders never cease.

Republican Humor,

Cute comment, but don't try to change the subject. We're talking about Chris Dodd and YOUR party here. Ol' Chrissie has never met a campaign contribution he didn't like and, if there's a God in heaven, the voters will eventually can him or, better yet, he'll be doing his own frog-march on a day not far off.

Capisce, paisan?

Wow, wouldn't our government be equally great if all IRS agents could simply take a contribution from those they were auditing. Kinda like a protection fee.
Teachers could require their students to make contributions towards their retirement. Judges could ask defendants for contributions towards their re-election campaigns.
Can someone please explain to me how this is any different from organized crime?

I am a Ct. native and I as so ashamed of Sen. Dodd. I believe he caused much of the probems we are now having . He accepted millions from these companies that are now failing. I think he should beinvestigated of the FBI

The American Socialist Nomenklatura

Democrats ridicule Sarah Palin for saying she can see Russia from her home (in Alaska). But they could not see themselves a Soviet-like nomenklatura in America, headed by Clinton-Greenspan-Raynes, distributing free-housing-fo-all (and mostly for their own job preservation). The ensuing present crisis does not remind us of the 1929 crisis but the following reaction that followed in Europe in 1936.
In France, the Socialist-Communist governments forbade any increase of houses' rents, while inflation was around 20% per year. That meant free-renting-for-all. For 2 decades, it was financially impossible for real estates owners to repair houses, even less to build new ones. Behind front walls in stone, the interiors were slowly crumbling. Still, after 70 years, the shortage of houses is still dramatic. The demography makes the gap even more dramatic. At that time, the defense of workers could not be used as justification as 80% of French workers were in the agriculture sector; they stayed totally unprotected socially for more tham 25 years, while the factories workers were the spoiled brats of the Leftists rulers..
American conservatives must look at their Soviet-like horizon as well as Sarah Palin sees Russia, if American Socialists amid Democrats continue to have their vision dimmed. Fortunately the American mortgage crumbling is one step before the France's walls started crumbling. American houses are still standing solid and money is not floating to the wind of galoping inflation.
It is pitiful to read Greenspan's last book's last paragraph, trying to deculpabilize himself by predicting the rise of interest rates.
The more honest way to appease the anger of the American public is to tell them how much money, to reimburse the $700 plus BN bailout, can be obtained by forced regurgitation from the profiteers of the Crisis. They may now be stampeding to go abroad but their pensions must be stopped and not sent them there. Up to now not one single real estate has been seized. That's amount to complicity. And that's why they must not be "decapitated" (McCain) before they regurgitate.

Wake up! Chris Dodd is a CROOK.

Chris Dodd might break his arm patting himself on the back for saving the country. Oh I forgot he ruined the economy. Does anybody on the hill deserve to still have a job? Barney Frank? NOTTTTTTTTTT!

Chris is a walking breathing poster child for term limits. Ditto Blowhard Biden.
In the meantime, how soon before we see Chris look directly into the camera, wag his finger and say "I did not have financial relations with those Subprime lobbyists!!"

Chris Dodd to Barney:You're doing a heck of a job,Frankie!!

Chris Dodd is the definition of slimeball. The FBI needs to investigate not just Dodd but ol' Barney, Raines, and Obama. Now we get to give billions to wooden arrow makers, people who spill oil, tv and movie producers, etc. Is anyone else totally and completely sick of the corruption?



One Of The Crooks Is Rumored To Be The Next Attorney General Under Obama. If That Happens, NONE of them will ever be brought to justice.

Can it be true? Dodd moved his family to Iowa? WOW where was the sleaze bag when we were cleaning up Parkersburg after the F5 tornado? Where was the SOB when we sandbagged churches, homes, businesses? Where was the jerk when we cleaned up after the flood of 2008? A man of his immoral standing was probably shacked up with some chippy named Fannie or maybe Freddie is more is type.

Dodd , Barney Frank, and their buddies are responsible for this financial mess. They both should resign from Congress immediately because they are incompetent. Also, Dodd should go to jail for his sweetheart deal with Contry Wide.

this guy is an amazing crook, wise up connecticut !!!!!!!!!!

Dodd, Polosi and Frank need to go. Can't imagine why our country has gotten so bad in the last 2 yrs. maybe because congress is Democrat majority. Ya think? Wait until Obama gets Presidency and absolutely nothing will happen to any of these people since Democrats always get away with everything including Obama with Acorn...

obama is not our leader pelosi reid frank and dodd are they should be indicted and jailed.they are all idiots.thanks you idiots for voting the crooks in office, your grand kids will be proud of you. you should be ashamed

Senator Dodd needs to secure his retirement as quickly as possible. The misdeeds this man has been involved in are worthy of jail time for accepting bribes. The worst part is his proclevity to outright lie until he is nailed to the wall and then tell the part od the truth already known. Dodd is an embarrisment and will lose the next election. I don't want it to get that far. If Dodd won't go quietly away I would like to see him defeated in the primary before a republican disassembles him in the general. Obama apperantly can tell New Yorks Gov. Patterson to hang it up, he should have a conversation with Dodd. As democrats we must take a stand against Dodd type of corruption.


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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