Thursday, October 30, 2008

U.S. Senate Candidates Make Final Appeals. Udall Says No Golden Parachutes With Taxpayer Money.

Photo: MG Bralley

Well, the two candidates for U.S Senate in New Mexico are making their closing arguments and final appeal to voters. Today Democrat Tom Udall released his final ad. The gals at Democracy for New Mexico posted the video of his television spot here.

Republican Steve Pearce, who wants to replace six-termer Pete Domenici (who I'm writing a an article for ABQ the Magazine) talked to morning host Bob Clark at 770KKOB on Monday. You can listen to the interview (without commericials) on line here.

Meanwhile, in response to news reports that six major financial institutions receiving “bailout” funds from the federal government may pay their executives billions of dollars in bonuses, U.S. Representative Tom Udall, D-N.M., sent the following letter to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson:
Dear Secretary Paulson:

I am writing today to express my ongoing concerns about compensation for executives whose financial institutions are receiving taxpayer dollars through the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (EESA).

As part of the EESA, the Treasury Department announced its plans to invest $125 billion in nine of our nation's largest banks. I have been extremely troubled by recent news reports that these institutions have spent or reserved over $100 billion for employee compensation and bonuses this year. This is nearly the same amount that they spent last year. Institutions receiving billions in taxpayer dollars should not be spending excessive amounts on bonuses.

I understand that you have worked to establish some compensation standards for some of the companies receiving federal assistance. I am requesting that you continue to work vigilantly on this issue and create further restrictions on compensation for those companies that continue to receive the EESA taxpayer-funded assistance.

Additionally, recent news reports have suggested that banks receiving money from the Treasury are not planning to use that money to extend loans, which is critical to freeing up credit and getting our economy moving again. It seems that financial institutions feel that they can afford to pay their executives exorbitant bonuses, but they cannot find the resources to provide credit to America's businesses in order to rebuild our economy. I urge you to do everything in your power to ensure that American taxpayer dollars are used to fix the American economy, not spent on massive bonuses for corporate executives.

I voted against the EESA because I felt that this $700 billion package did too little to protect taxpayers, too little to support homeowners, and nothing to prevent Wall Street from repeating the mistakes that got us into this crisis. One of my biggest concerns—which was shared by the thousands of my constituents who contacted me—was that the bailout package failed to ensure that executives who ran their companies into the ground would not receive millions in taxpayer-funded compensation. My constituents do not want their tax dollars being used to line the pockets of failed corporate executives. At a time when New Mexico's middle class is struggling, taxpayers should not be forced to spend their hard-earned money providing unearned compensation for some of America's wealthiest citizens.

If financial institutions have their way, the executives who made the bad decisions that led to this crisis will be rewarded. Despite ruining their businesses, they will be given more money in a day than most Americans will save in a lifetime. Even worse, this injustice will have been paid for with taxpayer dollars. My constituents know that this is unfair and unhelpful. I know that it will only encourage corporate executives to make more unwise and reckless decisions in the future. Please act swiftly to protect our tax dollars and our economy.

Again, I ask you do everything in your power to address this troubling situation. I look forward to working with you in the future and to your response.


Tom Udall

Member of Congress


Congressman Steve Pearce received an award for supporting pro-growth, pro-worker policies in Congress. The National Association of Manufacturers presented Pearce with the "Award for Manufacturing Legislative Excellence" which goes to members of Congress who score at least a 70% on NAM's Key Vote Score Card. Pearce scored 95% by NAM's evaluation.

"Rebuilding our manufacturing base is going to be a key component of getting our economy back on track," said Pearce, a former small businessman. "It's the way we create wealth and good paying jobs for New Mexico and the country."

Key votes included expanding access to America's energy resources offshore, certain free trade agreements, protections for intellectual property and workers' rights.

"The best way to create jobs is to lower taxes for individuals and businesses," said Pearce. "I am proud to support the pro-growth policies that will help our economy and enable New Mexico families to get ahead."

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